It’s hard to preach this kind of message in today’s world. With so many people turning away from the Church, society is beginning to make up its own rules and regulations about what is and isn’t moral. Children who are given no boundaries, for instance, grow up with savage natures. People who have no conception of God, do not see any need for either repentance or forgiveness. The Church itself, which is supposed to be the faithful fence-keeper which keeps the boundaries intact, has sadly diminished its role and responsibility by relinquishing its devotion to Christ.
It’s almost as if we’ve turned back the clock and are living once again in New Testament times. Christians who lived in that world were surrounded by pagan temples, idols, and gods. People were superstitious and fearful, living their anxious lives and expecting disaster to be brought upon them by the wrath of the gods.
But Christianity changed all of that by revealing Christ’s grace, restoring hope into an unhappy world, and showing people how to live their lives positively and productively by adhering to the Christian creed. It didn’t happen overnight because it took about 400 years to complete and many good Christian people sacrificed their lives rather than give up their beliefs about Jesus.
It seems to me that the Western Church is wasting its well earned faith by embracing the world on society’s terms. We give up on the good far too easily and accept the mediocre far too readily. All of us need to repent, to confess that we have allowed the world and all of its distractions to make our faith easier instead of stronger. It’s time to ask Christ for forgiveness for straying away from Him, the Gospel, and God’s Word. The Church needs to re-Christianize itself and de-modernize its mistaken ideas. Instead of merging with the world and emerging as a social Christless institution, we need to re-immerse ourselves in New Testament Christianity and be humbly aware that boundaries do exist. Rather than re-invent the Gospels to accommodate our societal beliefs, we need to return to Jesus and follow Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we have allowed ourselves to stray from Your path by indulging our feelings rather than securing our faith. We repent of our reckless ways and seek Your forgiveness. Allow us the gift of discernment and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Restore us to Your Kingdom and God’s favor forevermore. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s devotional, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.