Habit or Love?

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25 ESV

Life Application Study Bible
Jesus said, “Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” How do we remember Christ in the Lord’s Supper? By thinking about what he did and why he did it. If the Lord’s Supper becomes just a ritual or a pious habit, it no longer remembers Christ, and it loses its significance.

Personal Commentary

It’s supposed to be about our hearts, not just our minds or our outward actions.

This is why we can’t argue theology hard enough to bring someone to Christ – that will only teach someone how to study religious things closely. That might win what Jesus called a “religious convert” when He was rebuking the Pharisees and explaining that they cross the oceans to win converts who were twice the devil they themselves were. Religious practice, even works, if they are void of love,  if the Holy Spirit is not the one actively manifesting those things,  then they are nothing but empty religious sacrifice,  like filthy rags in the eyes of God.

Practicing religion doesn’t buy you a stairway to heaven. Attending church and tithing doesn’t pave the way to earning God’s favor. Doing great works for the needy doesn’t convince the Lord that you are worthy of His love. Yes, all of these things are morally good, and if a person is Holy Spirit filled and led, these things should be manifest from the love that fills our heart towards God and towards others, our of the grattitude that we have for this gift of grace that we have received.

But if it comes out of obligation to try to meet the requirements of the law,  if it comes from our trying to be perfect,  or our trying to earn honor or respect our titles or position – we must ask ourselves if we are striving in vanity and pride or if we are humbly seeking a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior.

People can trade in their opportunity for the Word of God to bring them closer to understanding and knowing Him and settle instead for intellectual pursuit of high minded theology and understanding. But His resolve is for us to lean not upon our own understanding,  but to trust in the Lord. Do you see that He’s bidding us to participate in a trust filled relationship with Him – not a religious or theological exercise. Isn’t this part of what He means when He tells us that He desires mercy and not sacrifice?

When we look through the repeated examples of those imperfect people mentioned in the Bible,  don’t we uncover a recurring theme that proves that He uses imperfect lives, imperfect people, even people with clear and visible faults and failings – but when they truly desire a close relationship with Him, that His power and His grace and His glory is demonstrated perfectly and clearly as His work and not their own. I wonder why this is such an easy message to overlook? Is empty religious practice maybe one of the most slippery and sly tactics of the enemy use to tempt us to take our hearts and our eyes off of a close,  restored relationship with the only prize worth having?

Isn’t this why even the religious will look at a sold out, Christ loving, life surrendering, self sacrificing disciple filled with Christ the hope of glory who lives in them – and they will be confused about a God that draws near and close to His children and that is involved in every aspect of their lives,  both blessing and disciplining those who are His, and providing for them in every way that is best for their eternal growth, many times at a cost to their worldly comfort and pleasure that the world can’t understand is a blessing of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. The religious happily lift things to their “gods” on occasion as ceremony and practice,  but never draw close,  and are satisfied to put their religion back on the shelf whole they return to their worldly lives until it is time once again to offer sacrifices.

But this is not the story of a Child of God. This is not the description of you who love the Lord. You see, those who know the Lord,  those who love Him, those who truly seek to be drawn closer and closer to Him,  to be reconciled into His presence – those who seek Him not only as Mighty God, those who not only seek Him as Lord, those who do not only seek Him as Savior – but those who seek Him as their love,  as their portion, as their prize – this is us, friend.

Please, do not settle for religion when you can have relationship. Do not settle for practiced sacrifice when you can have presence and mercy and power. Don’t settle for ceremony when you can enter into worship and experience the breath of life touching and moving and stirring your heart. Don’t settle for surface examination of the Word of God,  or even in theological examination,  when you can let the Word of God be written upon your heart and applied in your life as we are changed and revoked in the potter’s hands.

Are you in His hands today? Are you close and in His arms, friend? If not, are you running back towards His house, seeking to return to His house,  His presence,  His love? His loving arms are open,  friend. His forgiveness,  His mercy,  His grace is there for you.

Do not settle for separation, do not think that one day, after you die you will see God – for that is true of many who will meet Him at judgement and who will hear,  “Depart from me,  I never knew you, you workers of iniquity!” Know Him today,  do not say,  “I will tomorrow” – you do not know that life will allow you another breath. Turn now from whatever is capturing your eyes and your desires and your ginger and your thirst for laser things that will only drag you into the pit of flames with them – and know and love the only one that has true, sacrificial,  godly love for you that will fill that emptiness in your heart forever.

Yes, He is your soulmate. Yes, He is the love that is meant to take over your life. Yes,  He is the all consuming fire that is meant to fill our lives to overflowing.

Has His love taken over your life?

Do you want it to?

Or are you “just fine” on your own?

Wake up, or realize today the death that you are walking in. One way or the other,  hear the warning cries of His messengers,  and decide not only who you will serve,  but who it is that you truly love.

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Luke 10:25-28 ESV

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