Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton in their book More Jesus, Less Religion remind us that when Jesus walked this earth he worked to get the focus off of “good” people doing what appeared to be “good things” and to get their focus back on God.
Many people in the first-century Israel were pointing to the rules; Jesus pointed to a God who wanted a relationship with his people. Religious professionals focused on the law; Jesus focused on the Lawgiver who knew our hearts and offered us grace in the midst of our failures.
A healthy growing faith is always focused on the person of God himself, not on substitutes. A healthy faith begins and ends with God, not in the rules or regulations or sheer raw duty. Jesus, not religion, is at the core of a robust Christian faith.
Today, Jesus offers you and me the same opportunity he gave to those people in the early church. We can still perform and conform out of obligation or to try and feel good by all the “good deeds” we chalk up. Or we can love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.
I pray that as the season changes and we feel the warmth of rising temperatures, so too will our faith as we grow closer to God. Let’s make God the Focus of our lives.
Peace and Warmth,