ARE YOU TRYING TO FOLLOW A SET OF RULES YOU LEARNED AS A CHILD OR IN YOUR CHURCH THAT DICTATES YOUR FAITH WALK?
The more I walk with GOD and other fellow believers, the more I realize that GOD draws us near to HIM, each in his own way, each in his own set of special circumstances. We all are unique creations and GOD knows that friends! My way is not your way and my path is not your path. But sometimes we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others……..this comparison alone will cause us to feel pious or feel like a complete failure. We all know what it is like standing next to the “Church lady”. You know the one I’m talking about……..she does a million and one things in the church and still has time for a few Bible studies and many charities.
Do you feel like your way of walking with GOD is the right way or the only way? Or do you feel like you are a failure because you aren’t one of those “church ladies”? Whether you have walked your whole life with GOD, or have walked some of the time, or are a brand new Christian, none of that matters. What DOES matter is this: do you have a personal relationship with JESUS? Is HE your priority over everything else in your life?
Let us be careful to not apply our own experience to every other believer. Are you making it harder for someone to come to JESUS? Is someone pushing their beliefs of what a good Christian is upon you? Because JESUS said to the Pharisee that the sinful woman who applied the alabaster flask of fragrant oil to HIS feet, was forgiven for her sins because she loved much. Luke 7: 36-50. Get that? She loved MUCH. JESUS said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. GO in peace.” Sounds like the condition of our hearts is the most important thing when it comes to following HIM. JESUS encouraged the woman to go in peace in her faith and her way to HIM didn’t matter even though others mocked her.
It seems to me that JESUS met everyone at their own level, right where they were, sins and all. Didn’t matter who they were, but what did matter, is after time with HIM and coming to love HIM, they knew whose they were! All the different stories in the Gospels just shows us all the variety of sinners and all the colorful ways that JESUS touched them. Since HE knows every hair on our heads, HE knows we are all different and will all find our way to know HIM and love HIM differently.
Have you ever run into someone in the Church who will give you a long laundry list of all they do for CHRIST? Now, have you ever come across someone who tells you why they love CHRIST and how because of their sin, HE forgave them and redeemed their life? Our words reflect our hearts and what we say about CHRIST says a lot about where we are in our walks with HIM. Words matter and knowing of JESUS and being in love with HIM is different. May our actions reflect whose we are and not a way to impress others.
There are those who know HIM, but there are those who are in love with HIM and make HIM a priority every day because of their love and humble devotion to HIM. JESUS CHRIST’S gift of salvation is offered to everyone and it requires nothing more than a childlike faith. Everyone means everyone. Beware of those who try to tell you that you must do this or that first in order to follow. Surrender of our own will is between us and our LORD. HE alone knows our hearts and minds and there is no one out there that should judge you for not doing something their way! Following CHRIST is a personal commitment. It is a loving HIM with all heart, soul, and mind.
Whatever you do, don’t let rules get in your way of following, because there are none except loving HIM and loving your neighbor as yourself. That is why JESUS spoke so strongly to the Pharisees. HE wanted to break down those rules, because they were keeping people from coming unashamed to HIM. HE first loved us! Let us fall in love with JESUS each and every day and remember that in the center of all the rules, and rule keeping people, and people who compare and judge………stands……. the……… CROSS.
LUKE 7: 47 “THEREFORE I SAY TO YOU, HER SINS, WHICH ARE MANY, ARE FORGIVEN, FOR SHE LOVED MUCH. BUT TO WHOM LITTLE IS FORGIVEN, THE SAME LOVES LITTLE.”