Bible Reading: Matthew 27:41-44
I am the Son of God. Matthew 27:43
Chad didn’t want to forget to do any of his Christian duties. So he made up a list and titled it “Important Stuff to Do as a Christian.” He knew he was supposed to go to church, so he scribbled that down first. He kept adding to his list: Pray. Read my Bible. Obey my parents. Grow together with other Christians.
The list grew longer and longer. Chad was so busy making his list and checking it twice that by the time he got to the bottom he forgot why he’d made the list in the first place.
Talk about it: Why do we do all the stuff we do as Christians?
Here’s a key fact you never want to forget. As important as all the duties of being a Christian are, they all have one goal: to help you get to know God!
Many people assume that Christianity is just a bunch of beliefs-a set of doctrines or rules of behavior. But that’s just not true. Christianity isn’t a religion. It’s a relationship. Christianity isn’t a pile of doctrines. It’s a person.
When Jesus was put on trial by the religious leaders before his crucifixion, he hadn’t been dragged into religious court merely for what he taught. He was on trial for who he was. The high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God?” Jesus answered, “I am” (see Mark 14:61-62). That little scene tells us a lot about our faith. Being a Christian isn’t having a bunch of beliefs we pile up in our brain and forget. It isn’t making a list of behaviors we can pat ourselves on the back for completing. It’s all about Jesus—and how we relate to him every day.
Some of the biggest disputes in the Bible were between Jesus and the Pharisees. The religious leaders thought that sticking to their overly strict rules was the only thing that mattered to God. Jesus said in effect, “You’re missing the point. Talking to me and letting me forgive your sins and help you through life is what matters.”
Are you growing in your relationship with Christ or only in your knowledge about Christ? Jesus wants you to study the Bible and understand what he taught, but that doesn’t make you a Christian. He wants you to do what’s right, but that isn’t all there is to Christianity either. He wants you to talk to him and live as his close friend-and grow in faith as you trust him!
TALK: How are you getting to know Christ himself—not just learning about him?
PRAY: Jesus, don’t let us make faith into a bunch of rules and ideas and miss out on knowing you. We want to know you personally and follow you totally.
ACT: Take time today to tell God for yourself that you want to know him up close and personal.