April 4
‘Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues, deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.’ James 1:26
Bible reading: Luke 6:43-45 (Go to the Bible passage)
One of the most obvious symptoms of religious decay is a segregated life. As soon as we start talking about ordinary life and religious life, we should raise the alarm.
When we have surrendered our lives into the hands of the living God, when we are redeemed from our sins by the precious blood of Christ, then a new life breaks through, which includes and determines everything! By the breakthrough of this new life, we are torn off from our old life and in our submission to Him, we find that the gap between old and new continues to widen. This is not something of our own doing, but something we face with astonishment, sometimes even with concern.
The Bible speaks a radical language. James dares to speak about a worthless religion, which is a religion in which one deceives oneself. Sweet thoughts about God appeal to our most tender feelings, but in our daily life - in our family, our work and in traffic - little remains of this beautiful, exalted and soothing thoughts. And so we live a segregated life, corrupted by sins we don't want to confess and which we don't wish to call by that name, neither to God nor to each other.
If we do not seek God to ask forgiveness of our sins but simply assume that God will - of course - forgive us, then our religion is powerless, for never we will find actual deliverance. So we deceive ourselves and subject God to mockery.
Let us quit deceiving ourselves: do people pick figs from thorn bushes? Watch that unbridled tongue, for it tells what the heart really is full of!
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