This post was not part of the plan!
I wanted to write this warm fuzzy word of encouragement to walk you into your Christmas celebration. But every time I tried to put words to white space, God challenged me with the following question…
What’s your religion?
Honestly, I didn’t know what it meant or what I was supposed to do with it. So, I prayed about it!
And what I began to realize is there are tons of “religions” out there and I’m not talking Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Atheism, Islam, or anything else you might expect.
You see, I’m writing to a mainly Christian audience here. And I feel like the challenge God is asking me to bring to you today is through your conversation (written or spoken) are you pointing people to Christ or pushing another “religion.”
- Climate Change
- The Resistance
Friends, “Liberal” vs. “Conservative” agendas are dividing us and ruining our witness.
So, although I’d prefer to be winsomely writing about peace, joy, and love … I’m going to challenge you to think about five questions that might help you as you finish out this year with friends and family and move ahead into 2018.
5 Unique Ways You Can Know Your TRUE Religion
When you and I call ourselves Christians, we represent Christ! Based on the fact that He told us to “love one another” (John 13:34–35) and strive for “unity” (John 17:23), maybe it’s time for us to know our true religion and how we might share it going forward.
1. What’s your passion?
What gets you excited and enthusiastic? What do you want more than anything?
You and I are encouraged to follow our passions but as a reminder, Scripture has something very important to say about how we do that…
Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23 (NLV)
2. What do you think about when there’s nothing else to think about?
I know, you rarely have nothing else to think about! Our world is never quiet and when it is we grab our phones and check out social media or text a like-minded friend. But when you do have a moment to think, when you wake up in the middle of the night … where do your thoughts go?
Scripture has a word about that, too…
3. What dominates your conversations?
Scroll through your social media feed. What do you see?
Think about the last time you had dinner with friends. When the floor was yours, where did you lead the conversation?
Did your words unite or divide?
What was more important … winning the argument or planting soul seeds?
When you walk away from a conversation, how have you represented Jesus?
I’ll admit, this one makes me squirm. I’m careful about what I write but I wonder if I’m as careful with what I say.
Yes, Scripture has something to say about that too…
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 (NLT)
4. What gets your “whatever” in a bunch?
I know there is something that fires you up, that makes you angry and makes you want to scream.
I have a challenge for you … do your own research and make sure you’re not being swept along by what’s popular or fashionable at the moment.
You can ask Rev, my “whatever” gets bunched up often but I only have one big thing that is a true “bunch maker.”
And that’s … LIES!
I absolutely loathe when untruth or half-truth is used to manipulate.
And once again, Scripture weighed in on that too…
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Ephesians 4:24–25 (NLT)
In order to speak the truth, you and I have to know the truth.
So, I have one final question for you and it’s the most important of all the questions.
5. What’s your TRUTH?
Where do you go to find the truth? The five-o’clock news? Social media? Countless articles you can find on the internet? Your best friend?
Again, if you’re not a follower of Jesus it’s something to think about but if you are … then He is your TRUTH!
“Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” John 18:37 (NLT)
To the people who believed in Him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31–32 (NLT)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NLT)
So, let me ask you again.
I know there are varying views about the accuracy of Bible but I believe, I trust, in Jesus as the source of my faith and I believe the Bible is an accurate source of truth about Jesus.
Because I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.” John 15:26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit to testify to the truth about Jesus!
So, maybe, just maybe, you will join me in taking a permanent sabbatical from promoting temporary religions that are unable to save us and focus our passion, thoughts, and conversations on Jesus, the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
At the end of the day … at the end of your life, isn’t that what’s important?
Your relationship with Jesus. Your loved one’s relationship with Jesus.
As Christians, you and I can do better. We can stop talking about the things that divide us and talk about the One who unites us.
Because that divisive stuff … it’s all just passing away.
A week from today we will celebrate Jesus first coming.
May we also remember — He is coming again!
“Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:27–28 (NLT)
Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Next year. Or a hundred years in the future.
Jesus will return.
If following Jesus is your TRUE religion isn’t He the message, the Truth, you want to share?
One last thing…
I’m taking a Christmas break for most of the rest of the year. We will enjoy our last Faith ‘n Friends Link Party of the year, on Friday, 12/22.
I will spend the time with my family and working on my plans for 2018. I can’t wait to tell you about them. I am sooooo excited!
Enjoy a blessing-filled Christmas my dear friends! I am so thankful for you!
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