We all see them. They come to worship, sit quietly in the pews, sing beautifully, repeat the Lord’s Prayer, nod thoughtfully during the sermon, drop an envelope in the plate and are first in line for the coffee and donuts. Then they leave just as they came, obligation fulfilled for this week. Our churches are filled with folks like this. Obligation to God fulfilled for a week, God pretty much forgotten until next Sunday morning. OK, these are easy to spot.
But we each must ask ourselves in our daily lives: “Am I really living my faith, or am I just practicing my religion?” What’s the difference?
Here are some questions we must ask ourselves:
Are God and Jesus put first and foremost in our daily thinking, decisions and actions, or do we allow worldly pressures and self-centeredness take over?
Do we feel and listen to the Holy Spirit working constantly in our lives?
Do we attend worship for what we can get out of it or what we can put into it?
Do we admit our doubts and take them to God or do we hide from them?
When we take our troubles and needs to God, do we just leave them there or are we intentional in our actions to do our part?
When people look at us, do they see us as being different from non-believers? Do we walk in our faith?
Do we follow the same values in our work or public lives that we do at home?
Are we satisfied that we will be saved because we have accepted Jesus, become passive in our Christian growth, or are we striving to learn and grow in our understanding?
Do we simply read God’s word or do we study it? Does God’s word simply comfort us or does it move us?
Have we fully and completely turned our lives over to Jesus as our living Lord and Master? In our actions and thoughts, do we fully serve Him as a slave serves his Master?
Not easy questions. Every single one of us falls short. We are sinners. At times we all practice our religion rather than live our faith. At times, we are all like the “them” I referred to in the first paragraph. We are human.
But by facing these sorts of questions directly, by becoming intentional in our thoughts and actions, we can move closer to our Lord.
And by His grace, we are saved.
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost.
Alive in The Word