Monday, September 01, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Running on Empty

I was reading a pastor’s blog yesterday which saddened me. He’s retired and after many years of serving the Church, he just doesn’t feel like going back on Sundays. He’s tired of the old liturgical ways and of Christ being hijacked by evangelical Christians. He feels more comfortable with Islamic and other world religion’s views of Jesus.

I think he’s reaping what he sowed. He’s on the progressive side of theology and has ended up with an empty heart. He’ll protest that the Church has gone to the dogs and that Bible thumping believers are just spiritual thugs, but those are just smokescreens for his unhappiness. He chose the wrong path long ago and he’s ended up in a dead end. I feel sorry for him and wish that he could turn his heart back over to Jesus, the Christ of the Gospels and the King of Good News.

Our faith is not a plaything or leisure pursuit. What we put into it, is exactly what we’ll get out of it. If we kick against the goads, as Jesus would put it, or reject His true words, we end up creating narcissistic gospels that reflect our own feelings, opinions, and ideas which, in the end, leave us spiritually bankrupt, isolated, and bitter.

Luke 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

If, however, we come to the New Testament Gospels as seekers looking to become servants of God, and if we take Christ’s words as being true, then we spiritually flourish through the riches of His grace and find ourselves attached to the real community of faith. At the end of our lives, instead of feeling bitter, we will know the eternal comfort of God and the everlasting joy of Christ. That’s what that retired pastor could have received, but instead of being fed by Jesus, he sadly chose to feed himself until there’s nothing left.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive us when we take You for granted or seek to displace You in our hearts with our own ways and words. Keep us from creating our own gospels and instead, teach us to learn from Yours. Be with us and bless us throughout the days of our lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

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