Isaiah 28-30, Psalm 115
Karl Marx paraphrased, said, “Religion is the opium of the people”. Though I’m not a fan of Karl Marx, these words unfortunately ring true. Isaiah 29:13 was quoted by Jesus in Matthew 15:7-8 when Jesus described the people of His day, “Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.”
When it comes to our walk with God, we must all ask ourselves the question are we doing it because it is the right thing, because we should or have to do it, or are we walking with Him out of sheer love. Do we continually stay amazed that we actually get to be in a relationship with the Creator of the universe. There is a continual war going on between religion and relationship. Religion consists of finite people on earth trying to touch an infinite God in heaven by works. Relationship, which is Christianity, is an infinite God reaching down to earth to touch man. Religion hinges on what we do (which can never be enough), True Christianity hinges on what He did, and our loving response to what He has done and continues to do in our lives.
Most of us who have come to Calvary Chapel have left a former religion to help foster our relationship with God. We have Pastor Lloyd who literally salivates over the Word of God despite the many years he has served as pastor. But as strong as his message and example is, each of us must decide whether we will follow God with all of our heart or just go through the motions. As great as CCOB is, you can become religious there too, the choice is always up to the individual. When we worship, do we still truly worship Him. When the music is playing, do we allow ourselves to be distracted by who is entering the sanctuary, whether we like the songs, whether we like the sound of those playing the songs, whether we like the voices of those singing around us. When we worship, though it is being done together, our worship must be personal. When we pray, is it rote, or is it an outpouring of our heart daily to the One we love and trust in. When we read (and what a privilege it is to have a Bible in our language, in an easy to read translation, in our hands wherever we want) do we do so because we are doing our “daily devotions” or do we approach it with excitation as to what the Holy Spirit is going to pour into us today.
In John 8:31-32, Jesus says, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” May we continually abide or live in God’s Word, in worship, in prayer, in fellowship and experience the true relationship that God desires to have with us.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: