Proverbs 21 5-21-21

Christianity is not, “Jesus and,” but, “Jesus or.” FAITH is, “Forsaking All, I Trust Him.”

17 He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.

The topic for today is:

Cultural Christianity vs. Authentic Christianity

Rather than seeing the decline of the numbers in America concerning Christianity as a bad thing, let’s assume that God is up to something NEW and BIG. We have lived in a society that has allowed people to be culturally good (obeying the laws of the land and living sociably with their neighbors) and to be considered as Christians. Many people even call America a Christian nation. Actually, there is no such thing; the only collective name for a bunch of Christians is the Church. America is not a church. It is simply where we live physically.

What could God be up to in America? If God is weeding out the tares from the wheat by making it unpopular to be a Christian, I see this as a good thing. Over the past two millennia, Christianity has thrived best in societies that are inclusive in their view of religion, and hostility keeps the Church pruned. It makes our relationship with the Lord vital. He becomes our sole sufficiency.

What is vital to you? Is conversing with Jesus–on His terms–a continuous process? What I mean by “His terms” is that He speaks to us in four general ways:

  1. Prayer-His spoken word
  2. The Bible-His written word
  3. Other people- His shared word
  4. Circumstances- His revealed word

We must avail ourselves to each of these on a routine basis and not just when it’s convenient or we feel like it. Discipline, folks!

Jesus is pruning His Church. What is Jesus calling you to “cut?” In what activities are you involved that are in the “Jesus and” category? By the way, those are called idols. For instance, Jesus calls us each week to assemble together as His body in His name. Jesus Himself led by example (from The Chosen Interactive Bible Study):

The Sabbath was not just for the OT Israelite nation, but for all who would put their trust in the Lord. Read Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; and John 20:1-19. Saturday, the seventh day of the week and the Jewish day of worship practiced by Jesus and His followers, is still the day of worship for Judaism and for a few branches of Christianity. Yet most Christians set aside Sunday, the first day of the week, as the primary day to rest from work and gather for corporate worship. Which means that something very significant must’ve happened in order to get a bunch of religiously concerned Jews to change how they observed one of the most important commandments in their whole belief system. #resurrectionsunday. Betcha didn’t know that by worshipping together on Sundays, Christians celebrate Easter every week. #heisrisenindeed

Let’s choose to be part of the authentic Christianity that God is bringing about in America.

Abba, I choose it! May we see our day as one of light as You prune Your Church so that we can bear much fruit (John 15:5). Grow Your Church, Lord, and may we join You in Your work. Amen.

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