Devout: to be very religious, pious, earnest and sincere.
Devote: to concentrate on a particular thing, such as a devotion to God.
Pious: having, or showing religious devotion.
I thought I was religious until I researched all it entails, and by studying the Bible, I discovered I was a long ways off the mark. I also discovered besides myself, there are quite a few of us that are not religious, although we think ourselves to be. I also learned it would be advantageous to get a closer walk with Christ by becoming more devoted, for myself as well as for family members, friends and others.
To be religious is to believe strongly in your religion by carefully obeying its rules. So to be religious involves concentration coupled with dedication. You know we have our ways so naturally some will stir the pot. (Cause trouble) I am mindful of the fact that human frailty causes us to make ripples, and at some point we are not aware of them. Yes, this can happen because we are human.
There are exceptions, except for the Words of Christ.
Not being aware of something is when a lesson is just waiting to be learned whatever the outcome. Remember this is the time to take the experience as a lesson well taught; but to be useful we must share what we have learned with others.
The key is to recognize the opportunity and gain from the experience.
When we apply ourselves we will be able to put knowledge to use, brightening up our future and others in the days to come. Take advantage instead of using complaints. Learn from all the episodes that comes to life; learn them well for some may come into focus again and again in a different situation, so be ready.
Experience is for a purpose, an everyday learning process to gain knowledge.
As I put more thought into being a better Christian (pious) I found I could barely obey my own rules. So if I was going to be an outwardly religious, Christian, I needed to be just that and not make a fool of myself by not knowing. (Void of knowledge about how to be a good Christian and a good citizen in the carnal world.)
For some to not be religious doesn’t mean they don’t believe in Christ, but it would be wise if they did. We just don’t know or obey all the rules when we proclaim ourselves to be this or that. I also found no matter how religious we consider ourselves to be, “it’s what others think that matters,” in this case.
We must look, act and be the person we say we are in the Name of Jesus Christ, and our walk is to be all we say we are when using his name.
Some of us are afraid to practice our beliefs because of insecurities. Some of us are New Christians and don’t want to end up like some old bitter Christians, Christians, we may have witnessed or known personally. Some things that are important are very confusing, causing us to lay low until information is revealed from a trusted source. (Family members, friends, the Bible.) Some of us are in situations where information and Jesus are at a premium and or tabooed. For whatever reason, we can find plenty excuses to not be as reverent as we should.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
A religious person should be Devout, Godly, Faithful, and Conscientious. Those are big personality traits that are attainable and easily accomplished if we put them to work. By using our faith and trust in God, we can reach peaks unimaginable; as with all things we desire and need when Jesus Christ is at the forefront of our lives. Our CEO.
Some of us worry about being and remaining religious in the face of adversaries? The Devil. Who knows, some may be very religious, but for some reason not want us to know their spiritual business. I believe it is more to it than that; afraid of being called out as a coward or shame could be a factor. All I am saying is there is no need to worry if you are not a hypocrite. Pretending to be something we are not.)
I think some people really know themselves and are wise enough to be careful with the eyes of the Lord on them, not realizing he knows all, admitted or not. Then there are those who are sometimes Lovers of Christ, especially when it benefits them, not knowing he is always a benefit if you know him, and he knows you. Then there are those who talk a good game and that is all it is, game.
Toying with Jesus is a dangerous game that I prefer not to play. Proclaiming to others “I do what I do in the name of the Lord,” will not fly. But it will dig a hole that can swallow us up.
I believe there are people who understand and work very hard at keeping their mouths shut, therefore keeping their opinions to themselves. I am not saying that is a good or bad thing, but I will admit sometimes it shuts down that outspoken tongue, saving us from ourselves, and the stoppage of using the Name of the Lord in vain. But not all, some will still speak with forked tongues, and proclaim they are religiously devout, and an outstanding Christian in the Name of the Lord, coupled with being a good citizen in the community.
“If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridle not his tongue, but deceive his own heart, this man’s religion is in vain.” James 1:26
I don’t know about you, but I have a conscience, I Fear the Lord, and I am sure I am not the only one. If I were not religious at all, it would be a moral issue that I cannot fathom. I know I cannot hide my Heart from Jesus Christ. I am not strong enough to act as if I don’t know Him or his ways. There are some that can do it, and say they are religious; after all, it is from their mouths and according to them.
I worry about the consequences, maybe we all should. I am certain there is a price to pay for everything. I also know we can make it easy on ourselves if we choose Jesus Christ, who already paid the penalty.
A person that knows Jesus and chooses the other path for whatever reason may not want to be religious, but still, they need to be redeemed. So just because someone is not religious does not mean they are not God Worthy; go get them like Christ did you.
We can buy them back with our love. Recover and convert others with the help of the Lord by bringing the Words of Christ into the lives we meet along the way. More than likely we will enjoy the journey and may become a “fishers of men.” Why not, It’s something to Think About?
We should never put ourselves at a disadvantage by following or listening to those who would teach or do harm to others. The Jim Jone’s of the world have been the ones in drag, never revealing their true selves. It is up to us to root out those;
“Having the appearance of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2nd Timothy 3:5
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1st Timothy 2:5
(Jim Jones led a group of Christians following after him instead of Christ to mass suicide.)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27
We have been warned, Devout, Devoted, Pious, Religious or not.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows (etc.) in their afflictions, and to keep one unstained from the world.”
Teach us Oh Lord that thy path is clear and your teaching trustworthy. Amen