At times, the church unintentionally exalts the wrong things. Let’s look at two examples.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great if kids and adults have a bunch of verses memorized, but are they truly living out those scriptures?
Knowledge without action is just knowledge.
James 2:17-22 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”
Accepting “The Gospel”
Accepting the Gospel is great, but this is just the first step. Jesus spoke in simple parables, and yet it seems we still miss the message. Receiving does not automatically mean life or fruit.
Mar 4:13-20 “[Jesus] said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?…The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
The Gospel isn’t like a pill we swallow once and we’re good to go, nor is it the golden parachute we slip on if the plane’s going down. Rather the gospel is something we need in our life like air. It’s not a one time need or interaction. The Gospel is an ongoing intake of God’s love, mercy, grace, etc. God gave us Life and is giving us life (this is the gospel) so that we get to live and show His love, mercy, and grace to others. This is where faith becomes fruit. Where the seed that is sowed, becomes a plant, is fruitful, and participates in the harvest.
Challenge: We need to exalt God in our lives not just the things of God. Because without God the things of God mean nothing. Only, with God does Scripture speak Truth, and only with God does the Gospel bring Life.