Practicing our religion or living our faith?

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.
Amen.

Shalom,  Art
Alive in The Word

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About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
This entry was posted in CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Practicing our religion or living our faith?

  1. This was the EXACT subject of study in sunday school yesterday at church. Then when I woke up this morning it was todays devotional topic. Now I read it again on your blog.
    When I prayed this morning for wisdom to live a life of faith, not one of obligation, this question came into my mind..
    Does the love you show to strangers profess your love for me?
    I had to honestly answer that, No it does not always reflect my love for the Savior.
    Practicing and living my walk with God are two very different things, and I think it is a subject that he is wanted me to explore for myself at a deeper level.
    As always, Thank you so much for your wisdom. Your words are a blessing in my life.

  2. do we live as disciples of Jesus…or for ourselves? that is the bottom line.

  3. Practicing or living . . . some days we go thru the motions (we are only human) and I can only hope that the moments of the living of the relationship can take over so that our practicing moments reflect our living moments and send us back to the correct path.
    Thank you Art! I still think you need to publish these! 🙂 I love reading them!

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