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  • David

    Member
    July 4, 2022 at 7:59 am

    Gold Star Nathan! It is all about relationships with Christ and others. It is also about being “In Christ.” In Christ, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). We are all sinners and we all fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23), so there is no place in the church for “judging or thinking we are better than other people.” In Christ, there is Grace and Truth because Christ is full of Grace and Truth (John 1:14). Truth without Grace is harsh, mean spirited, without love, and legalistic. However, Grace without Truth is deceiving and without meaning.

    The Seedbed Daily Text, July 4, 2022

    Just Jesus. Is it that simple for you?  I suspect the expected and short answer is yes! Jesus is all and in all (Colossians 3:11). “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him” that all things happen, but is just faith (belief) enough? The reason this Book of the Bible is called the Acts of the Apostles is because they acted on their faith. Faith without action (deeds) is dead (James 18-26).

    I am not trying to be a contrarian, well maybe I am, but let me explain why I think it is important to realize that it is all about Jesus, but it is really not that simple. Yesterday, my family did not go to an organized church service. There were good reasons for this that I will not go into here. I felt compelled to have a short devotional after breakfast including a message for the younger children, my great grandchildren (Generation Alpha). For the younger kids, I asked them about their favorite Bible story and we talked about Noah and the Ark, and the rainbow promise.

    For the older kids, my children and grandchildren, we used the Daily Devotional from E. Stanley Jones that JD referenced in today’s wake up call. I focused on the same point, Our religion is not an “it”—a system of thought, worship, ritual, institutions—these are built up around the Person of Christ and may be more or less Christian. Our religion is “He.” I also focused on the importance of having a community of faith in order to grow in faith. When I asked if there were any observations, applications or questions, one of my grandchildren’s significant other (generation Z) caught the disconnect.

    If our religion is a He and all we need is faith in Jesus, if it is really that simple, why do we need the church? I gave her a gold star and did my best to answer her question. I first explained that it is not an organization or a denomination that we need. It is not even a system of thought, worship services, or rituals that we need. We need relationships with the Body of Christ, other believers. I also tried to explain that our faith is a journey, but it is not a solo journey. I am not sure that I convinced her, but I think I gave her something to ponder.

    The reason this is important, is the statistic that JD shared in an earlier Daily Text, that an alarming number of millennials and Gen Z’s are leaving the Church. My prayer for all my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren is that they find a local community of faith where Jesus is preached; the focus is on relational discipleship; love and accountability are practiced; and faith in Jesus is demonstrated through deeds and service.