Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
October 11 Scripture Selection: Isaiah 46-48
Food for Thought: Is. 48:1
There is a way that appears spiritual, but it is empty. It is religion, not a true relationship with our God. It’s all talk and no substance. And it is a very dangerous, self-deceptive position to be in.
People may fool others and even themselves, but they cannot fool God. He knows the condition of the heart. In Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus identified this problem, and, directing himself to the religious leaders, quoted Isaiah 29:13, 14 saying, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” The apostle Paul also warns of the people who are “… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power (II Tim. 3:4, 5).”
I Corinthians 4:20 says, “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” People who are committed to the Lord and live by faith manifest some evidence, the power of God, in their lives, not just a lot of doctrine. Jesus said in John 15:1-5, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” It’s not just religious talk, or even one trying to do “spiritual” things on their own. When it’s real, the person is connected to Jesus, and fruit naturally appears because the branch takes in all the life-giving substance from the vine.
If you identify yourself as Christian because of the family you were born in, or because you attend a certain church, or because you practice particular religious rites, you have fallen into the false security of religion. But if you are connected to Jesus by your faith in Him, and your confidence is not in what you do but what He has done for you, then you are in a relationship with Him, the most secure relationship that you can have.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):