Thursday, May 10, 2012

Peripheral things...

I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness. Philippians 3 verse 9 (The Message)
 …not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  (NIV)

Have you ever felt pumped up because you had missed church in a while and you went back there? Or better still, you’ve missed reading your Bible for like a month, and one weekend, you dive into it and receive this awesome revelation from God. How did that make you feel?  Maybe you can better relate to this, you usually have a good snooze during the sermon but you were able to stay up all through it. And you automatically feel exhilarated due to this! Perhaps you had been struggling with consistency in your tithe payments, and now, you realise that you’ve been faithfully tithing  for about 6 months, no misses or interruptions –A little victory dance is called for- right?  Yippie!, my barn house has got to be filled to overflowing! (… I just sang out the scripture right there, I may just have discovered the stirrings of the Psalmist in me J)

All these examples stated above are not bad. In fact, some of them are a good indication of a firm relationship with God right? However, they are not fool-proof indicators of how deep our roots go. Yes, it is important we fellowship with the brethren, study our Bibles daily, give offering and tithes, be kind to the poor, give that nice smile to everyone to indicate we love them and on and on…the list goes..
But as this verse says, our righteousness does not come from a set of rules. These rules we set as standards to indicate that we are Christians; our righteousness does not come from them.
At times, we even snort at people we feel are not keeping these rules. We have our own set of rules that identify if that brother or sister is a Christian or if they are backsliding (I’m not saying the rules are wrong, but they are not fool-proof).It’s my faith in Christ that makes me to be in right-standing with Him. Of course this faith is built on constant fellowshipping with God. It’s nurtured by me hearing the Word and fellowshipping with people (Iron sharpens Iron right?).
Today, I'd like to point you towards focussing on the internal, and not the peripheral. When we focus on the activities instead of the working of our faith within, we loose sight of what's important. Focus on building your relationship with God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We tend to look at those external things like they are what matters, but my dear, it’s the internal. 
The internal governs the external!