Continued from here.
Far too many Christians view their faith as following a list of do’s and don’t’s to avoid going to hell when they die, but that completely misses the point. Christianity was never intended to be a religion. Jesus died to reconcile us with God to restore our relationship, and it’s out of this relationship that the blessings flow. If you try to reduce down the Christian faith to do’s and don’t’s, you are setting yourself up for being a miserable Christian.
Far too many Christians spend their time focused on trying to change the outside (comply with a list of do’s and don’t’s), which isn’t going to work because we don’t have the power to change ourselves. They…
are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” ~ Matt. 23:27-28).
Only a relationship with God can resurrect the dead bones and clean the inside. As you enter into a close, deep, personal, and intimate relationship with God, He changes you on the inside, which gradually flows to the outside, enabling you to begin gradually obeying that list of do’s and don’t’s, not out of fear of going to hell but out of love. The key to experiencing fulfillment rather than misery in your relationship with God is love.
I used to think that missionaries were crazy. I didn’t want to get so close to God that He made me stop doing the things I wanted to do and start doing “weird” things like giving everything up and following Him. Now, I am one of those “crazies” in that I gave up a higher paying job to lead a prison ministry, an area of ministry I previously had no interest in. Quite simply, God changed my heart, and it’s an honor and privilege to serve Him in this way rather than a chore. Have I paid a high cost for following Jesus? Sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I no longer ask if the cost of following Jesus is too high. Instead, I ask if it’s worth it, and the answer is a resounding YES!!
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace sitting on a couch under the words, “Worth it.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]