Today’s post is another ‘old’ classic from 2010. As I read through it this morning I was re-challenged to think about the things that I’m doing and if they’re the right things…the important things. In reality, 100 years from now the only thing that will matter is someone’s relationship with God.
For anyone in the Kansas City area, the Upper Room still happens every Sunday, and is lead by my good friend Ethan Bunce. I would encourage you to check it out. For everyone else, I challenge you to find time-alone or in a group, where you can spend a while just in worship before God and be refreshed. Services are great, but often times we don’t focus on the worship because we’re serving, we’re there for the Word, we want to connect with friends…Church is an awesome place to provide community, but make sure that you take time to cut out all distractions and worship your awesome God!
Each Sunday night we have a worship ministry called the Upper Room that meets for 1 hour. This time of worship, prayer, and fellowship is so rich and refreshing. It takes me back to my Bible School days in the living room of one of my good friends homes, as we’d have CD worship and pray, and just wait for God to talk. He always would.
A few weeks back, He impressed something on my heart that I would like to share:
Being a Christian is supposed to mean being Christ-like. But what is that? Our definition of Christianity has become so convoluted and polluted that most people have no idea what its like to be Christ-like. Their head is so full of other peoples ideas of Christianity that they wouldn’t understand Christ-likeness if Jesus Himself stepped in front of them and smacked them in the face.
Today, Christianity has been reduced like a broth to basic religious elements
we go to church
we give to the church
we sing, dance, run, and lift our hands
And we actually thing THESE things are an exhibition of true Christianity.
But its not. Being a Christian isn’t about putting your butt in a seat or a check in the plate on Sunday morning. Christianity has nothing to do with how loud you can shout or how high you can lift your hands.
Christianity is Christ-likeness. Its having our lives look like Jesus’ life, and not like the life of the TV preacher, famous athlete, our momma, or sister so-and-so. Oh, being in church is important because God says so (do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together- Hebrews 10:25). Tithing is important because God tells us to bring the tithe into the storehouse (Malachi 3:10). Singing, shouting and even dancing are important because they are natural expressions and reactions of adoration for an overwhelming, Supreme God how has impacted our lives. David couldn’t help but dance and sing for joy in His presence.
However, nothing about these things makes us a Christian.
all the tee-shirts we wear, the bumper stickers we have…they don’t cut it either. A cross around your neck is no guarantee of the impact of the cross upon your heart. Christianity is about action. What did I DO today that’s like what Jesus DID?
whose life did I impact
whose heart did I encourage
whose thinking did I challenge
whose situation did I step into and bring hope?
God cares so little about your religious expressions that you’d feel embarrassed if you knew how much difference it made. Jesus said ‘The works that I do, you shall do also, and greater works that these…’ (John 14:12). The book of 1 John says ‘as He is, so are we in this world’ (1 John 4:17).
We need to readjust our mindset and stop the frivolous, fanatical religious rituals and start feeling the change of real relationship. We need to stop being church-like and start being Christ-like. We need to stop acting like Christians and start acting like Christ.
The relationship we have with Him should so changes us, so penetrate every area of desire, every dream of the future, every passion of our heart, that instead of life being about simply being close to Him that it becomes about being an imitator, a copy, a double, and a duplicate of Him. Christianity is about Christ-likeness, not people-likeness. Its about action and impact not words and going through the motions of religious expression.
But in order to be Christ-like we first have to be truly impacted by him first. We have to stop caring about what others do, think, or say and be willing to be confrontational, not just conversational. Christianity isn’t about tradition, its about truth. The truth is too many Christians are too much like the world…and that is why they aren’t making a difference AND why they aren’t seeing any difference in their lives. Its not real relationship unless there is real change in the way you talk, think and act.
So, are you Church-like or Christ-like? Who have you and who are you impacting will answer that question well. Be bold…start being like Jesus and not like the crowd.