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Empty Religion

Yesterday, Sunday January 7, 2018, I had to attend my son’s high school football banquet. I must admit that I was not up to it after having preached twice and had some afternoon appointments. However, the address from the coach to the team and parents was a moment of critical thinking. So, on the way home I asked my son; “how can I be a better example of manhood for you?” It was an eye opening conversation which reminded me that preacher’s kids don’t care how successful the church is or how powerful the preaching is. They live in a different world.

However, I am passionate about my preaching ministry. I spend hours engaged in biblical interpretation seeking a fresh insight on an old text. And this is the challenge. We can become so accustomed to our routines that our personal lives are the depiction of empty religion.

Jesus said: ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then, I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

These verses challenge us with the warning of how easy it is to be loyal to the Word in our public delivery and lawless to the Word in our private disciplines.

How would you describe your walk with God? Does your life reflect the gift of salvation or empty religion?

May we be intentional about making sure that our private and public lives are one in the same. I’ve haven’t gotten an A+. I suppose neither have you. But, its a good goal for 2018.

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