The Religious Life

And whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:17

LORD Jesus we praise You for not leaving us in chaos. From the beginning on You have created time and order. Forgive us, O God we pray, for we so often look to other people or things or traditions for help instead of seeking counsel in Your Word. Enable us to see what it is that You want us to hear, read, and do. Help us to do these things for the right reason and guide us to do them in the right strength. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

How is the religious life being practiced?

For some of us the religious life started at a very young age while for others it did not begin until we have aged quite a bit. God is not tied to time nor is He bound by our age. As His people we come from all kinds of age groups. No matter what the age, though, we need to remember that it is not our family but God who saves and calls us.

The religious life, however, especially in its baby-steps, depends more or less on our background and family history. What do I mean by that? I’m thinking specifically of keeping family traditions and continuing in learned habits. These can influence us for the good or for the bad.

Family traditions are a great keeper as long as they are grounded in the Word of God. Still, we should not blindly follow them but search the Scriptures for their truth. Are we able to explain and defend these traditions by what the LORD says and requires of us?

Habits are great tools, for example, to aid us in memorizing verses, in doing tasks in an orderly fashion, or in taking care of our earthly vessels. True, memorization can help us to remember the Word of God; that is, if what has been memorized is being transferred from our minds into our hearts. We will be amazed at how the Spirit uses verses from our memory to comfort and encourage us. On the other side, we can memorize for the wrong reasons, and then we may recite the verses but never know or take to heart what these exact verses really mean.

The danger lies in the wrong motivation. What is true about keeping family traditions and habits is also true about following church customs. We should always be able to find their foundations within the Scriptures. Also, in regard to our religious life in its practice, we need to be able to explain what we are doing and the reason behind the things we are doing.

Whatever you do, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus today.

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