July 12th 2010

Religion Or Christianity?

“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.’   So David paid him fifty pieces of silver for the threshing floor and the oxen.”
2 Samuel 24:24 (NLT)

In the Old Testament before the Presence of God could come, there was a sacrifice that had to be made. They were not to sacrifice just anything. They were to sacrifice the best of what they had.

If you are having a hard time sacrificing something that actually costs you something, you might have a divided heart. We cannot have a divided heart when we are serving the Lord. Our affections have to be totally submitted to God. David was the one speaking in 2 Samuel 24:24, and he was known as a man after God’s own heart. In the events that preceded the above scripture, David had come to a point of decision. He had messed up and wanted to make an altar for the Lord. Someone approached David and offered to give him the sacrifices that he needed. David could have looked at that situation as “Provision”, but he chose to look at it differently. David didn’t want to just go through the motions, he wanted to do something that would be a sacrifice on his part. He wanted to offer up things that would actually cost him something and God has had this example recorded for us today.

When we read the New Testament, we see a pretty stark contrast to the way that most of us are living today. Do we hunger for the Presence of God like they used to in the New Testament church? The New Testament reveals that there is so much more to Christianity than what most live for.

Do we live for Jesus, or do we live for a religion?  I think there are many of us who have added Jesus onto our life, instead of making Him our life. It’s almost like joining a club.  Instead of going out to party, we go to church and spend our spare time with “Christian Friends”.  Since we act like Christians by not drinking excessively, cursing, partying, sleeping around, doing drugs, etc., we think that we are Christian. We may have put religious duties in place of having a relationship with the Lord. We may have eliminated any major sacrifice on our part, and have reduced Christianity down to a set of rules. Is this the kind of Christianity that the Lord has called us to?

Father, show me what it is to offer you something of meaning.  Help me not to go through the motions of religion, but to have a sacrificial attitude to my relationship as a true Christian.

Study by Fraser Murdoch 

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