CHRISTIAN OR "A CHRISTIAN"?
These people turn toward me with their mouths,
and honor me with lip service while their heart
is distant from me, and their fear of me is just
a human command that has been memorized.
I often wonder about polls that ask the question, "Do you consider yourself Christian?" Often the answer is given by the process of elimination - "Ok, so I'm not Buddhist, or Muslim, or Jewish, then I must be Christian." And of course we always say that we are a "Christian nation."
But, does that mean that we are all Christians - that we are all Christ followers? Not that Jesus pays attention to opinion polls, but if He did, I can just imagine His face when reading the percentage of people who checked the box marked "Christian."
He might say, "Hmm. News to Me."
Those who consider themselves "Christian" because it seems like the most fitting of the options - the ones who see it as a label instead of a lifestyle, an affiliation instead of a life-altering commitment - those may be among the ones referred to in our Scripture verse today.
They turn to Jesus the Lord - they follow Him with their lips only, not their body, heart, mind, soul, and strength. Their reverence for Him is human wording that they have memorized instead of a heartfelt, "Jesus, I'm all in."
Jesus didn't give His life to offer us access to a club or a free trial membership. He conquered death to give us real life. He invites us to follow Him to a life of grace, trials, answers, questions, forgiveness, and hope. He invites us to walk with Him into a wonderful future here on earth and after that an even more wonderful eternity.
Pretty much describes what it is like to follow Him, doesn't it?
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Your Son to show us the way to You. May we always follow Him with all that we have and all that we are. Amen.