This week, we are preparing our hearts for Easter Sunday using a Holy Week Worship Guide (thank you, Nick).
Caleb and I were together on our Holy Week journey one morning when I read,
Each year, thousands of faithful pilgrims made the trek to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, and Jesus and His disciples were among them.
As I began to proceed, Caleb brought our voyage to a halt. His inquisitive mind craving the truth.
Wouldn’t that have been religious of Jesus?
We are hearing much about religion these days.
Caleb explains he saw a man wearing a shirt which professed God hates religion but loves relationships.
Then did God hate Jesus celebrating the Passover, mom?
According to my 1949 Webster’s Dictionary, religion is the service and adoration of God as expressed in forms of worship.
An awareness of conviction of the existence of a Supreme Being, arousing reverence, love, gratitude, the will to obey and serve, and the like.
Caleb recognized Jesus adhering to an act of religion.
Many in this world will find themselves devoted to forms of service in an attempt to become right with God. Works designed and motivated by self. Acts prescribed by men.
Others will find themselves zealous and faithful because of their right standing with God.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift. (Ephesians 2:8 HCSB)
Endeavors originating from God. Allegiance and dedication energized by God.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:14-20, 24, 26 HCSB)
One is religious because of the relationship.
The other is religious hoping for a relationship.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sleeping in an oven makes you a biscuit. (Randy Culp: thinkingoutkeyboard)
Caleb and I discussed the differences. Pondered the thoughts of men. Searched the Word.
Just a mom and her twelve-year-old son. No theological training. Lacking seminary degrees.
But seeking Truth.
And we came to a conclusion.
When devotion flourishes as fruit from a relationship rooted in God, religion is lovely in His sight.
What are your thoughts? (And you don’t have to be a theologian to share!)