I was thinking about our relationship with Christ - who we are in Him. Youth in the church are taught to be a part of a youth group – other like-minded believers. Then they are thrust out into the world – college, jobs, or other things.
The world is littered with ‘religious’ kids who threw off their parents ‘religion’ to experience life apart from ‘religion.’ There are those who have shaken off Christianity, because they don’t think it ‘works.’ They consider it just another ‘religion’ among all the other ‘religions.’ They haven’t experienced a relationship with Jesus.
Why is that? Are we grounding our youth in Christ or just teaching them the rules and regulations of our religion/faith? Are we sharing Jesus with them in more than just our facts and traditions? Is Jesus a living reality to them or is He just a figure from history?
I think sometimes the adults running the show aren’t even aware of what they believe? We concern ourselves with the organizational elements of our ‘faith’ instead of our relationship with Christ. Our ‘religion’ becomes a ‘business’ and we are more concerned with using people that will make our ‘business’ more profitable. We don’t disciple people into a deeper relationship with Christ. We teach them the rules and regulations of our ‘organization’ so they don’t embarrass the ‘ministry.’ Instead of teaching our young people how to be real in the eyes of God, we teach them how to ‘act’ in the eyes of man.
I’ve talked with some who have shed tears because those they are teaching just don’t seem to understand or ‘get it,’ the relationship with Christ, that love the Father has for His children. They grieve over the realization of how much others miss because of a lack of a relationship with Jesus. We are taught the theology of Jesus, but we miss the awesome, wonderful, sweet reality of Jesus.
I sometimes wonder when talking to people who are supposed to be the church (living stones) why they are more interested in the organization of an institution rather than the reality of Christ. Why are they stuck on the rules and regulations rather than the love that the Father has for His children, and the Grace that He has so freely bestowed upon us through His Son, Jesus? I would rather talk about how Great Jesus was, is and evermore shall be, rather than how much the ‘ministry’ is making, or how big our ‘church’ building is, or how much more ‘righteous’ we are than they are.
I've been looking at things more from the Jesus "The Reality" rather than Jesus "the theology." It's no longer stories to learn from but Jesus to see - His character, His grace, His mercy, His love, His forgiveness. You can see the history behind that and see how religion reacts as opposed to how God in human form reacts. Too many years I've spent looking at the nice stories instead of the reality of Jesus and how He wants so much to be close to us. We are told in scriptures to "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you." I sometime wonder if we miss the point of Christ because we focus on what lesson can we learn about how we should act, instead of learning of the character of Christ. We look for lessons instead of looking for Christ. There is a subtle shift towards learning how I should behave or how this applies to me, instead of drawing closer to Jesus. As John once said, "He must increase and I must decrease." We leave behind our first love because we think we need to ‘prove’ our love.
Jesus said, “Love God, love your neighbor. On these two laws hang all the law and the prophets.” He also said, “They will know that the Father has sent Me, by the love you have, one for another.”
James said, “If you love, you do well.”
Let us drawn near to Jesus and we will learn of Love.
Blessings and Grace,