Do You Have Life or Religion?

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4  

One Sunday, I had an interesting conversation with a man who was visiting our church.  He was very excited about the service.  He said to me, “This church is not like my church.  This church is alive.  This church just feels different!”  I thanked him for his comments and explained to him what he felt in the church was the manifest presence of God.  The living God is among us, and we are in awe of Him!

Not too long ago, I ran across an insightful quote from George Whitefield, the great revivalist of the 1700’s.  God used this British evangelist to bring spiritual awakening to America in the late 1730’s and early 1740’s.  Upon returning to England after one of his trips to the United States, Whitefield made this sobering comment, “I am greatly persuaded that the generality of preachers talk of an unknown, unfelt Christ.  And the reason why congregations have been so dead is because dead men preach to them.”  What a terrible indictment—and yet so true!

I believe there are multitudes of dry, lifeless churches in America today where preachers tell people of a Jesus they don’t personally know and never truly seek.  They often preach “feel good sermonettes” that lack the Word of God, the fear of God, and the power of God.  The result is a dull and boring religious service that is void of life, vitality, and the manifest presence of God.  The Hebrew word for that kind of impotent religious experience is Ichabod— “no glory” or “the glory has departed.”

CHECK YOUR OWN LIFE

Is your life alive with the glorious presence of God?  Do you simply talk about an unknown, unfelt Christ … or do you really know Him, love Him, seek Him, and see Him working in your life each day?

If you are living a lifeless, joyless, powerless religion, the time is now to trade it in for the real thing.  The Bible says of Jesus, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4  ).  The Lord wants you to have life, not religion.  He wants to fill you with His joy, peace, power, and presence.

Peter told the crowd in Acts 3:19  , “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Humble your heart before God and ask Him to forgive you and be real to you.  Tell Him you are tired of going through the motions of religion and you want life—His life flowing through you!

The Lord will answer that kind of prayer.  He wants to refresh your soul.  He wants to be real to you.  Don’t wait any longer.  Start living the life Jesus died for you to have.  Start living a life overflowing with the manifest presence of God.

Pastor Jeff Schreve