I know this is being written rather late in the hour. This weekend, we traveled to my mom's house for mother's day, and I didn't bring a laptop. That's okay! When going to see family, the trip should focus on just that: family. In the same way, our faith can often by hijacked, as trips can (especially when we bring work with us): when we do not make it about the main thing, we get side tracked, distracted, and, yes, led away by the wrong things! This week, God has laid it especially on my heart that many churches also are trying to save people with all the wrong things: programs, rules, traditions, and everything else. We're trying to save people to CHURCH as opposed to getting them to CHRIST.
Don't get me wrong, I think church is important. We're told not to forsake the gathering together! YET church can't save us, only Christ can! Over and again, throughout the New Testament, we're reminded again, and again, and again and again that we're saved by Grace through Faith. And faith in what...or more specifically whom? Romans 10:17 says "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. There is no other way or name other than Jesus Christ, who said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me." Let us, then, get people to Jesus. If we are following Jesus, HE will manage His church, but it is Christ, and Christ alone who can save! Galatians 4:8-22 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.