Jesus Lives Now

Real, Alive, Relevant.

What Went Wrong???

Let’s picture ourselves living in the 1940s. If someone told us that in the upcoming decades there would be millions of Christian books printed and that Bibles would become more accessible than ever, we would undoubtedly be excited.  In the 1940s it would be incredible to hear about technology that would allow people to listen to the Bible in their cars, to carry a Bible on their phones, or to listen to teachings and praise songs everywhere they go! We would certainly think, “How the people of God in the future must be encouraged! How strong their faith must be!”

Well, here we are living in the 21st century. What has been the effect of all the teaching and Bible availability? Millions of Christian books and sermons and Bibles are produced every year. Yet it seems that spirituality is actually declining! Teenagers are in more danger than ever of leaving the faith. Families are in disarray and children are wild and disobedient. And despite the widespread availability of Bibles, it is hard to find a Christian who has even read the entire book!  

What is wrong? How has this happened?  

Let’s make it personal. Have you ever had a Bible study or a book study that was really challenging? Maybe a passage of Scripture caused you to think, “wow, this is challenging and I want to change and be more like Jesus.” But did lasting change actually occur?  Are you becoming more and more like Jesus in reality?   

In Matthew 7, Jesus said that the foolish builder who builds his house on the sand is the one who hears the word and yet does not actually put it into practice! It is not supposed to be that way. It doesn’t have to be that way! We don’t need more books, more sermons, more devotionals... Something fundamental needs to change. Will you seek God, press in and demand change? Start with your own life.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Rather, do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:22-24).

Demand of yourself that you will not look in the mirror and then forget what you saw and do nothing. If you hear God’s Word but do not end up obeying it then, according to God, you are deceiving yourself. It does no good to attend worship services or read your Bible if you refuse to be changed. Jesus said that if you love Him, then you will obey Him (John 14:15). Your obedience will be the natural result of loving Him. Your love for Him will cause you to require it of yourself.

So, the question becomes: Do you really love Him with all your heart? It is tempting to answer, “of course I do!”... But take a moment to consider.  Have you “lost your first love”? (Revelation 2:4).

Has the Word of God become powerless in your life because of what you allow to compete for your affections? Jesus Himself said that the Word of God will actually lose its ability to affect you if you allow riches, pleasures, worries, desires for other things, and traditions and cultural norms to distract you. See Mark 4:18-19, Mark 7:6-13.

Will you take some time to ponder these things? Please consider and ask God what is missing in your heart and life. Do it for Him!

 

 

"I may say with truth that there is only about one in ten who professes Christianity who will turn round and glorify God with a loud voice. Nine out of ten are still-born Christians. You never hear of them."

  --D.L. Moody 

"A prayerless church member is a hindrance. He is in the body like a rotting bone or a decayed tooth. Before long, since he does not contribute to the benefit of his brethren, he will become a danger and a sorrow to them. Neglect of private prayer is the locust which devours the strength of the church."

   --Charles Spurgeon