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Institutionalized Religion

  • For John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Luke 7:33'34 WEB.

    A gloomy feeling settled over you when you entered the church sanctuary. Everyone was somber, with long faces like they were mourning, but it wasn't a funeral. The elders certainly looked elderly. The paintings of Jesus on the wall always made Him look sad. Either He was a baby in a manger or bleeding out on a cross. This church was cold, quiet, and highly religious. It was institutionalized religion at its finest, and the denomination was basically a franchise.

    When I read my Bible, I couldn't help but think, "We seem to be missing something." Jesus lived a colorful, full, happy life. He laughed with people, He loved, He wept. Jesus had friends. He fasted often, but at other times, He ate very well. The Pharisees stood outside and watched Him feast with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11). Yet, they felt too holy to go inside themselves. They stood outside feeling holier than the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jesus gave His disciples nicknames like the "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17) when James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven. He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (Luke 10:21). The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), and Jesus walked in that realm. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and I am sure that Jesus was strong.

    The great reformer Martin Luther became a monk. He wore himself out praying to saints, fasting, and confessing sins to his superiors. Yet, it gave him no peace. Then he found true grace, left monkery, married a nun, and changed the known world. Luther raised ten children and concluded that "Marriage is a far better school for character than any monastery."

    The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to live a full and wonderful life just as He did. There will be times of laughing and times of weeping. There will be times of fasting and times of feasting. There is a time to be born and a time to die. So allow room for joy in your life, and balance the drudgery. Don't allow cold, dead religion to sap the joy from your life, for it was God who invented blue skies and sunshine.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please restore the joy to my life and let me feel Your touch once again. Help me focus on what is important to You and guide my heart today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

    Note: This morning, we will be hosting our RHM Live Online church service. This is a special time of worship, prayer, fellowship and an inspiring message. All are welcome! Here is the link to join: RHM Live


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18 comments
  • 4
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Praise the Lord Hallelujah! Thank you for the JOY and PEACE and LOVE in my life! ❤️
February 27, 2022
  • 5
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes Lord Jesus, bring back the joy to my life, please help me to fulfil my destony in Your joy, in Jesus's name i pray, amen.

February 27, 2022
  • 5
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen Father thank You for teaching me peace and joy in my life.

February 27, 2022
  • 5
Sharon Leonard
Sharon Leonard

JOY ! YES, AMEN...LOVE YOU LORD. JESUS.

February 27, 2022
  • 4
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen The joy of the Lord is my strength!

 

February 27, 2022
  • 4
David  Earlywine
David Earlywine

Jesus,please give us peace, happiness and joy. Amen 

February 27, 2022
  • 4
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb

Amen! Lord, help me focus on what is important to You and guide my heart today. 

February 27, 2022
  • 4
Yvette York
Yvette York

Thank You For All The Joy You Put In My Life Amen Good Morning Everyone Have A Joyful Day

February 27, 2022
  • 3
Candy Laventure
Candy Laventure

May I always have the love and  joy of Jesus in my heart. Amen!

February 27, 2022
  • 3
David Krull
David Krull

Amen. Jesus restore unto me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit in me. In Jesus Name.

February 27, 2022
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell

Amen!  : )

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen 

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

In Jesus Name I ask,  Amen 

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen

February 27, 2022
  • 2
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

I would love to live a life full of joy. Please my God make me a joyous happy person. Amen

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

Help me to do what You said for the rest of my time here on earth Lord Jesus,Amen. 

February 27, 2022
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

February 28, 2022