Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"1 (Lyrics)
In my local social circle, I am often with Christians, but I have family and friends who are not Christians. It's difficult for me to explain to those non-believers that my "religion" is not like others such as Buddhism or Judaism. It's nearly impossible for them to understand that my Christian faith is not about what I do; it's all about who I am in Christ. It's more than virtuous acts; rather it's the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in me. Even when I sin, I am still a Christian — who needs to repent.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NIV)
They try to relate to my faith, and in some cases, they excuse my obvious senility by allowing that they understand about some people having a "belief system". Unfortunately, we have lost a whole generation who have little or no experience with church or Sunday school; thus the Bible is totally unfamiliar to them. Playing bridge one day, the ladies were discussing religion, and one stated that she believed that she herself was her own god. My response was that I was personally hoping for something better! There is such a need for Christ in our world today, that people cobble together belief systems from whatever suits them. We are spiritual beings, and most are not being fed the proper nourishment.
Recently, I was silently humming the hymn, "He lives". It occurred to me that the opening line, "I serve a living Saviour", is the key. If people understood that Christ is not in the musty pages of unopened Bibles, but that He is alive today — the living God — perhaps they would be curious to know more about Him. We don't worship Him by rituals and observances; He is alive within those who have received Him. God wants our repentance so that He can wash us pure in the blood of Jesus and be in relationship with us.
Psalm 51:16-17 – You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (NIV 2011)
Prayer: Abba, Father, this poor world is desperately in need of Your Son Jesus. Everywhere we look, there is sickness, violence, broken homes, poverty, and the list goes on. Empower us to spread the news of Your peace to this fractured world by preaching the living God from our pulpits and in the streets. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, enable all to receive the message to their own understanding, as happened at Pentecost. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.