Growing Strong in Christ

There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

–1 Corinthians 8:6

Several years ago, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Do-It-Yourself Religion.” The article began, “Looking for a priest she could relate to, Cecilia Schulte had been church shopping since moving to Austin, Texas, a few years ago. But when the fifth parish she tried had an elderly priest and, in her view, not enough participation by women, the 43-year-old internist took a novel approach: She started her own worship group. ‘It’s as deep as anything I’ve experienced in the Catholic Church,’ Dr. Schulte says. ‘Dogma doesn’t get in the way.’ Her prayer gathering of about 12 people meets every two weeks in her living room, incorporates readings from many sources and doesn’t use a pastor. Dr. Schulte acknowledges that the approach is outside the bounds of Catholicism, but she says the group helps strengthen her spirituality.” Then the reporter said, “In a move to deepen their spiritual lives, some Americans are tackling a new do-it-yourself project: religion.”

Many people today are discontent with traditional religious beliefs, so they’re constructing their own faith. Their beliefs are a curious blend of two parts Bible, one part pop psychology, and one part prejudice, sprinkled with a dash of superstition. Even many Christians today are engaging in what I call “religion by mathematics”: they add to what God has said in His Word, or they subtract anything they find distasteful or restrictive. For example, they might say, “Faith in Christ is necessary for salvation, but you also need to believe this and this and this.” Or they might reject what the Bible says about hell or sexual morality.

Yet God says everything we need to know about heaven, hell, God, Satan, life, and eternity is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s living Word, and He is also God’s final Word about everything important in life. That is the message of the book of Colossians, which we’re going to begin studying this week.

Do you desire a stronger, healthier, and more vibrant relationship with God? Has your Bible study and prayer time become ritualistic–or even nonexistent? Do you wish you could regain the joy and power you once had in your Christian life? If so, then Colossians is for you. This letter tells us the secret for growing strong in Christ.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “Growing Strong in Christ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Elizabeth Bernstein, “Do-It-Yourself Religion,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2004, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB108690878680634603.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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