religion and sin don’t mix
Jesus said: “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” —Matthew 7:21
When we think of sinners, we think of atheists, agnostics, and those who scorn religion. These people are certainly sinners. Nevertheless, sinners also include religious people who cry out to God, “Lord, Lord,” but do not do His will (Mt 7:21). The first sinners, Adam and Eve, had a personal relationship with the Lord, for they walked with Him in the evening (see Gn 3:8). Cain, the first murderer, was jealous of his brother Abel over a religious matter (Gn 4:4ff). The high priests, Pharisees, and scribes who had Jesus crucified were very religious. Many of those who persecuted and executed early Christians claimed to be worshipping God (see Jn 16:2).
This is not to say that religion is bad. Indeed, religion is a “great gain” (1 Tm 6:6) as long as we do not approach our “religion only as a means of personal gain” (1 Tm 6:5) and “make a pretense of religion but negate its power” (2 Tm 3:5).
As we prepare for Christmas, let us make sure that there will be no lip service (Mt 15:8), pretense, or hypocrisy in our Christmas. Rather than giving Christ the “silent treatment” this Christmas, let us totally give our lives to Jesus and be His witnesses. Have a religious, holy Christmas season.
Prayer: Father, make me ever more religious and obedient.
Promise: “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.” —Is 26:4
Praise: Joy was a cultural Catholic until she received the power of the Holy Spirit.
Reference: (To help prepare your heart for Christmas, consider receiving the sacrament of Confession. View, download or order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or listen to, download or order our CD 44-3 or DVD 44 on our website.)
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