Monday, March 1

Beyond a Form of Religion

The SEC Track & Field Championships (both indoor and outdoor) always finish on a Sunday. Because of that, there has traditionally been a chapel service offered on the Sunday of the meet. Over the years, I have attended services at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Arkansas.

The highlights of yesterday's service were the testimonies shared by a couple of athletes: Jager Livingston of Auburn and Dylan Roberts of Arkansas. Jager spoke of God's purpose in our lives even when things don't turn out the way we had them planned. Dylan shared with us about the changes in his life since he chose to start following Christ during his freshman year. Both of them demonstrated that their faith was more than just a religious habit, but something that affects how they live and what they value.

Today, my cousin sent me a link to this article from yesterday's Kansas City Star about former KU basketball star Wayne Simien. (Considering my cousin and his family are K State people, it is especially meaningful!)

The common thread? That faith in Christ is a life-changing decision that affects how you live and how you see the world. Unfortunately, there are many who profess a faith in Jesus whose lives give no evidence of it. Nothing has changed in their lifestyle or language, in their relationships or their values. Because of that, many look skeptically on them, the faith they profess, and the God they claim to follow.

This isn't a new problem. Here are words written by the Apostle Paul almost 2,000 years ago:

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, ... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power." II Timothy 3:1-5

"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him." Titus 1:16

It is always encouraging to see lives that go beyond a form of religion and are living out the faith they profess. But the question is: Do you have a faith that is influencing the way that you live and the things you value or do you just have form of godliness with no power? One is transforming and life-giving. The other is just deceiving and dangerous.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Mike i consee with all you have to say on our faith walk with Christ. i admire all who takes a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. and not trying to be politically correct.Thank you for your faith pastor and your walk it is truely a light to so many. Be blessed.
Lonnie Greene.