Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 9, 2016
The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abominations of the Earth. Revelation 17:5
Unfortunately, there are those who use religion to get their way. They may be single adults who prey on other unsuspecting single adults in church. They attend church to take advantage of trusting souls. Or some unseemly business people use the art of Christian conversation to give the appearance of values and principles based on the Bible. However, once they make the sale or close the deal, their self-serving and dishonest ways reveal who they really are—promoters of false spirituality.
One of the worst types of deception is spiritual deception—using God to get our way. In marriage it may be the husband who uses submission to control his wife, or it may be the wife who uses grace to withhold physical intimacy from her husband. Therefore, warn those who, like Simon in the early church (Acts 8:17-19), try to buy the Holy Spirit for their benefit. Instead, we cultivate authentic spirituality in our heart and mind through prayer, worship, and community. Those who use religion to satisfy sensual desires will one day be exposed as spiritual imposters.
“She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said: “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows” (Proverbs 7:13–14).
True spirituality, on the other hand, is motivated and controlled by the Spirit of Christ. There is authenticity because almighty God is the initiator. True spirituality is not just looking out for itself but is sincerely concerned with serving others. You are comfortable in their presence, because you know they care for you. Integrity rises from their business and religious activities.
Their yes is their yes, and their no is their no. There are no surprises; what you see is what you get. True spirituality comes over time. It is forged on the anvil of adversity, taught at the hearth of humility, and received at the gate of God’s grace. You know your religion is real when you love others above your own needs and you care for the poor and needy. True spirituality leads others to love God and obey His commands—unstained by the ways of the world.
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27 NASB).
PrayerHeavenly Father, give me Your Spirit’s discernment to distinguish between authentic and false spirituality in my heart and in the heart of others.
ApplicationWhom do I need to confront in love about using their “Christianity” for selfish intentions?
Related ReadingEcclesiastes 7:4; Matthew 25:36; 2 Corinthians 1:17; Colossians 2:23
Post/Tweet todayGrowing faith forged on the anvil of adversity, taught at the hearth of humility, and received as a gift of God’s grace. #WisdomHunters #falsespirituality
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