Read James 1:26. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” Oh how I thought I was religious! I had someone very close to me say on Christmas Eve that it is BS (her words were said in full) that I was not a Christian when I was in High School. I was super “religious” in the way James uses the term. Back when the Book of James was written the word “religion” was understood to mean a persons outward display of ceremonial worship. I was even respected by this person because I was not too over the top. My “religion” was politically and socially acceptable and palatable and because of that it was desirable. It was what is called “easy believism.” It was not hot. It was not cold. It was right in the middle. That perfect (disgusting) lukewarm “Christianity.”
I believe there is going to be a great shift soon and it is already happening around the world. People are going to start becoming more black and white. More hot and more cold. There will be people who literally fall away from their “faith” and those that realize their faith was no faith at all and they will repent and turn FULLY to Christ. Think about James 1:26. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” What do we see happening in most Christian circles today? Gossip. TONS of gossip. All in the name of prayer, or supporting one another. The church’s tongue is not bridled. There is rampant deception going on right in our very own churches! Pastors are watering down their sermons and their theology so much that they have no problem advocating a One Faith Religion.
Take note my friend, just because people claim to be a follower of Jesus does not mean we are “on the same team.” This is not my theology. Read the entire Bible and it will scream at you. Many people who claim to be faith based believers in Jesus Christ will not be going to Heaven. READ THE ENTIRE BIBLE! That is where most people fall short. They never have actually read the entire Bible. Cover to cover. Multiple times. The reason it is called the Living Word is because it brings life to those who read it. It brings eternal life. As my pastor, Mike Fabarez likes to say “The best way to guard against heresy is to read the Bible thoroughly and often.”
This world is so infectious! It is like when your child wants something from you, they are relentless. To ignore them is to be a superwoman. There is no balance in this world as so many people think there is. There is no way to COEXIST as the bumper sticker says with all the religious symbols. It is clear in the Bible that if you are a lover of the world you cannot have the love of God. (1 John 2:15) You cannot have it both ways. This was what hit me so hard a couple years ago. I thought I was saved and then started looking at how I was living my life: chasing after money, bigger homes, nicer cars, upgraded kitchens, etc etc etc. These things are a waste of time. One of my good friends calls it “shining the poo.” That is all we are really doing when you really think about it. It is a funny turn of phrase but it makes sense. Compared to where we are going (if you are indeed headed for Heaven) then anything we love in this world is pretty much poo.
Newsweek’s “The Myth of the Perfect Mother” Cover Image
In today’s DBR (Daily Bible Reading) we read about a sin that leads to death. What could that sin possibly be? We get a glimpse of what he is talking about in the final verse of the entire book of 1 John in the last chapter and last verse. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. As you are reading the full text, this verse seems sort of out of place. Sort of like a, “Let’s stick this thought right here because I don’t know how to end my letter.” Oh, my friend, that could not be further from the truth. The last verse is the sum of all the parts of the Book of First John. Take a look at what A. W. Tozer says in Knowledge of the Holy.
“That God exists for Himself and man for the glory of God is the emphatic teaching of the Bible. The high honor of God is first in heaven as it must yet be in earth. From all this we may begin to understand why the Holy Scriptures have so much to say about the vital place of faith and why they brand unbelief as a deadly sin. Among all created beings, not one dare trust in itself. God alone trusts in Himself; all other beings must trust in Him. Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the self-sufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of the man.”
Unbelief is rooted in idolatry. Not just any idolatry of external things and trappings but idolatry of the worst kind: the worship of self. The usurping of God’s attributes and placing them unrightfully on yourself is paramount to Grand Theft and punishable to the full extent of the Law: eternal damnation in Hell. Wow, that’s not you! Or is it? Can you do it all, have it all, be it all? We women are great at that. Fitting it all in, becoming so busy and great at all we do, because after all, God calls us to be excellent in whatever we do. In the end are you just relying on your own strength? Little children, keep yourselves from yourselves!
1 John 5:16-21
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. ~ 1 John 5:16-21 (ESV)
One of the saddest things about life is the fact that we are the only ones to blame for how crazy our life is. I see many many of my friends overwhelmed with busy schedules so much so that they scarcely have time to spend in solid Bible study, reading, and prayer with God. There is no time to meet with friends, no ability to “pop over” for tea. No time to help out when a sister is in need. All because we have mistakenly chased after the things the world tells us we need to chase after.
I get it. We are all busy especially this time of year. Martin Luther used to say when he had a busy day he would get up an extra hour early to get in 2 hours of Bible study and prayer in but when he had an extra busy day ahead of him and he knew he was barely going to be able to fit it all in he would get up 2 hours early to spend 3 hours with The LORD.
Spending 3 hours with God in the morning may seem unrealistic but my conscience bears witness against it being unrealistic. My spirit tells me I need to do as much as I can to be in the Word. Below are some of the potential lies we have eaten hook, line, and sinker (think about that phrase for a sec.) You have swallowed EVERY BIT of the lie. While the items on the below list are not inherently bad, some are, in fact, quite good, you need to check who you are serving and what your motives are for doing them. The things the world wants you to serve or God?
God comes first, then your husband, then your kids, then your family, then your church family, then your co-workers, and on down the line. This is not about hours in your day, of course you need to work 8-9 hours a day. This is about who you are and your priorities. Click on the Green Pyramid and read the things we should focus on when we interact with different people in our lives. God and prayer should be a part of every one. Consider if you are trapped in any of the following areas and how you can lighten your load.
Making sure every kid is involved in a sport or even two. (What happened to playing outside with the neighbors and staying out until the street lights come on?)
Thinking the right thing to do to enrich your child is an after school program. (I know you could come up with something to help enrich them.)
Signing up to volunteer for everything you can (PTA, CHURCH, YMCA, you name it)
Working away from home. (I know some of you are not going to like this one, but this is straight from the Bible.)
Signing up for this activity or that activity to fill your time. (Quite time and hours spent alone with God are soooo important.)
Filling up every weekend with stuff to do. (Try making sure at least one or two weekends a month are free and clear, you never know what appointments God has for you.)
All this leads to being overwhelmed. I encourage you to ruthlessly edit your life. Stop carving out time for God and make him the largest section of your waking hours Life Pyramid. Resolve to commit to under commit.