A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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External Religion

"Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised."  Jeremiah 9:25 NLT

external religionI had a Sunday morning demeanor but lived like a respectable sinner the rest of the week by hiding my major indiscretions. I had external religion only.

As a young teenager, I professed faith in Christ as we were supposed to do in my church. Yet from that time to early adulthood, this decision had minimal impact on my life. I grew up attending a church that recognized perfect attendance by giving Sunday school pins. Some proudly wore them down one lapel and up the other. My charade continued until one day, on a college campus, I came clean with God. From then on, everything changed.

I was a perfect example of one who outwardly portrayed religion but lacked a heart transformation. Or, as our scriptural reference states, “circumcised and yet uncircumcised.” Sadly, many are in the same spiritual condition. They proclaim Christianity but don’t practice it. The Bible calls it having a form of religion but denying its power.

Jesus’ greatest condemnation was for people who had an outward facade of religion but lacked an inward heart transformation. The validity of our Christian faith is always based on a radical choice—whether we will keep our life or lose it.

If we live with one foot in the church and one in the world, we will possess a divided heart. God is the supreme ruler of the universe, but He respects our right to determine our destiny. Therefore, He never takes more of our hearts than we give to Him.

You may have been a church member most of your life but feel little desire for God or His Word. You may be a lot like I was, possessing external religion. If so, give your life to God entirely. Don’t hold anything back. Then, watch what God will do. 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/