Christianity and The Battle of Religion vs. Relationship

Friday, January 12, 2018 No comments

Disclaimer: This post is a fairly controversial topic within the evangelical Christian world. Keep in mind while reading that this post is not written with any snarkiness, nor is it intended to offend anyone. I simply want to address an issue that doesn't really get addressed very often. We can still be unified as brothers and sisters in Christ without seeing eye-to-eye on this. It's okay if we disagree on the following subject, because it is a non-essential. However, even the non-essentials are good to discuss from time-to-time.


I grew up thinking that the word "religion" meant anything but Christianity. I would silently (or not-so-silently) correct people who would say things like "My religion is Christianity". I would make sure that people knew that Christianity is a relationship- not a religion.

This reaction came from two things: First of all, many people I knew who used the term "religion" to describe Christianity were nominal Christians (meaning they said they were Christians but it was clear that they had no love or passion for Jesus, or for the Christian life). Secondly, a lot of the time, the terms "religion" or "religious" were used to describe rules, living a life that would earn us salvation, or rigid regulation or oppression from a higher power.

It's understandable, then, why so many Christians cringe at those terms. It's understandable that our gut reaction would be to declare that Christianity is none of those things.

However, in the last couple of years, I've come to realize something: Religion is not the antonym of relationship, and equating Christianity with religion is not bad. In fact, it's accurate.

For those of you cringing at my words, please hear me out. I'm pretty sure I'm not saying what you think I'm saying. And I would love a chance to explain.

Is Christianity a Relationship or a Religion? And is "religion" a bad word? #faith #Christianity #religion #bible

What Constitutes as a Religion?

When people talk about Christianity not being a religion, but a relationship, I totally get where they are coming from. As I mentioned earlier, religion has become a word that means rules, regulations, and living to earn salvation. And obviously, that's not an accurate depiction of Christianity. However, those things are not actually what "religion" means. The word that would be more appropriate in such a situation is "legalism". And legalism is a terrible, terrible thing. As Christians, we should cringe at that word.

But a religion is simply a set of beliefs, way of thinking, and/or the worship of a higher power. And that's what we do as Christians. We hold to a set of beliefs, we shape our way of thinking according to Scripture, and we worship the God of the Bible for who He is and all He has done. That means that Christianity is a religion. The difference however, is that it is the only religion that runs on grace, instead of our own works. It is the only religion that says that we can never work our way to heaven, and that it's all going to be okay because someone took our place.

Why Does It Matter?

I can also hear the second set of objections to this post as I type: "But Kristin, why does it matter? Why are you spending time on a post about word-choice?".

My answer? Because I see Christians being judgmental to other Christians who use the term "religion" to describe their faith. They assume that because a person uses the word "religion" as a descriptor of Christianity, they must not really know God and they must not really have a relationship with God.

And in those moments, I just wonder- how is that any better? How is alienating a brother or sister in Christ just because they use the "wrong" phrase any better than living by a rigid set of rules in order to elevate yourself?

A person who uses the term "religion" to describe their faith or their relationship with God does not necessarily have any less of a love for God. They can be just as connected to God as those who never let that word leave their mouth. A term doesn't define a relationship with God- the actual relationship does. Time spent with God shapes us, not the words we use to describe that time.

I realize that not everyone who says "It's a relationship, not a religion" is judging other Christians for using the term "religion". I also recognize that most of the people who have a problem with that term have good intentions. And honestly, we probably agree on the type of life a Christian needs to be committed too. We are simply using different words. But the thing is, if we are going to get mad at someone for the phrases they are using, we need to make sure that we have our definitions correct.

This is especially true because, not only do we not want to be condemning Christians for something that isn't even accurate, but we also want to make sure we aren't confusing non-believers. Can you image being a non-believer and hearing some devout Christians say that they love being a part of their religion, while hearing others loudly proclaiming that Christianity isn't a religion at all? How confusing and dis-unified does that sound? Probably very much so to those who don't know Jesus.

Religion vs. Relationship in the Christian Life. #faith #Christianity #religion

My Conclusion

Brothers and sisters in Christ, keep on hating the idea that we can somehow earn our way to salvation, or that our actions somehow make God like us better than other believers. I'm right there with you. That's a terrible view that diminishes God's grace and keeps us from receiving much of what God has to offer us. But please, stop judging people when they say that Christianity is a religion. Stop saying that "Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship", and stop declaring that religion keeps people from God. That is not accurate. And that inaccuracy actually causes a lot more confusion and judgement than you realize and I doubt very seriously that is your intent. The word I think you are looking for is "legalism", and if you want to shout your disdain for legalism from the rooftops, I will gladly join you.


This post was not meant in a rude tone at all. It wasn't meant to hurt or offend anyone. I only hoped to bring to light something that I used to have backwards too- for the majority of my life.

And if you still disagree with me, and you still hate the word "religion", then that's okay. Just as there is nothing wrong in my eyes with the word "religion", I also don't think there's any reason why you would need to say it. It's just a word. I'm not suggesting it's a superior term- only that people who use it are not inferior. 

And it's totally okay to disagree. We are still siblings in Christ, we are still unified on the most important issues, and we still have the same ultimate purpose. We don't have to agree on this. But I wanted to share my thoughts. And you can too. Comment below and let me know how you feel. I would love to hear from you.

Are You Too Easily Pleased?

Friday, January 5, 2018 No comments

For the past few months, I've been attending an amazing Bible study at my husband's seminary. The Bible study covers the book of Hebrews and is an in-depth, word-for-word study. We have been meeting since September, and we probably still won't have finished by the end of Spring!

One thing we have been learning in the Hebrews study, is that we are often far too easily pleased. If you aren't sure what I mean by that, I think C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -The Weight of Glory 

You see, the book of Hebrews tells us over and over again that Christ is better than anything else we grab on to, anything else we fill our time with, and anything else we try to put our hope in. In every way, Jesus is better.
Money won't fulfill us, family won't fulfill us, even things like church and community will not fulfill us. When we look to those things to give us happiness, and when we accept the small amount of happiness they do give as all-satisfying, we are settling for much less than best. We are far too easily pleased.

Too Pleased with Gifts

Don't get me wrong. God is the giver of good gifts. That community at church, that godly spouse, that beautiful child, and those joyful friends that you've been given are all good things. They have been given to you by a gracious God who saw fit to give you (and me) more than we needed. But when we start appreciating and loving the gifts more than the One who gave them to us in the first place, we are creating idols and setting ourselves up to be dissatisfied.

The reason? God is the only perfect person. Humans make mistakes, humans hurt others, and humans do stupid things. God will never fail us or do something stupid, but everyone else, at some point and in some way, will. And as far as "stuff" goes, it can never fill any sort of deep void. It can be enjoyed, it can be useful, and it can be helpful, but putting our hope in inanimate objects is a barrel of pain just waiting to explode. Things or "stuff" can not fulfill your deepest desires, heal your hurt, or settle your longings. It will always fall short.

God is the only one who will never fall short (Deut. 31:8). And that's why if we allow ourselves to settle for people, status, and things (even the good gifts we have), we are settling too low. We should long for God, the Giver, and be pleased by Him.

Too Pleased With Our Lives

Another way we are far too easily pleased, is in the way we live our day-to-day lives. Think about it. Do you live your life as if it's one giant checklist? You avoided being mean to that person that drives you nuts. Check. You went to church (AND Sunday school) this week. Check. You read your Bible for 10 minutes everyday. Check. Awesome! Now you've had a godly week, right?

But doing good things is not the whole picture. We shouldn't be pleased just because we've checked the "Christian stuff" off of our list this week. Instead, what should satisfy us is the presence of God. We should find our peace, our hope, and our satisfaction in God and in who He is.

"But reading the Bible, praying, and going to church are some of the ways we experience the presence of God!", you say. And yes, you are so right. But, my question for you (and for myself) is this: is your satisfaction actually coming from communing with God, being in His presence, and spending time with Him? Are you satisfied because of who He is and who you are to Him? Or is it coming from you feeling good about yourself because you "did the right things"? I know I often fall into the latter category, and I bet sometimes you do too.

And that's exactly how we know that we are far too easily pleased.

Are you too easily pleased? Find out at The Peculiar Treasure! #faith #Christianity

"We are far too easily pleased." -C.S. Lewis | #faith #Christianity #quotes

We are far too easily pleased, but it is only the LORD who will never fail us. #faith #Christianity

Jesus is Better (Than Everything Else)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 No comments

Last year, I joined the blogging club and decided on a word of the year. Actually, I had two: Freedom and Discipline. These words were good choices and definitely things I needed to make some improvements in. But this year, I've decided to pick a phrase to live by for the year, instead of a word.

My pick: Jesus is Better

I've mentioned before (and will talk about it more on Friday) that I've been going to a Bible study for the past few months on the book of Hebrews. The study has been incredible, and there's so much goodness that I've gleaned, but so far, the main theme of Hebrews is that Jesus is better. Not only that, but that we are often far too easily pleased by things besides Jesus, when He is the best. This is a theme that I have been incredibly thankful for, because it's something I really struggle with.

But how is Jesus better, and why did I choose this phrase for 2018? Keep reading!

Jesus is better, and that should change our lives. Find out why at The Peculiar Treasure. #faith #christianity #Jesus

Jesus is Better Than...

Everything. Jesus is better than anything else. No matter who, what, or where you and I think of, Jesus is still better. He's better than our marriages, better than our kids, better than our moms, dads, and siblings. He's better than our dream home, dream job, or dream vacation. He's better than rest, relaxation, and self-care. He's just better.

But that can be really hard to wrap our minds around, right? How could Jesus be better than our marriages, when marriage is so awesome? How could Jesus be better than that precious little baby that has it's tiny hands wrapped around your finger?

The answer is that Jesus is the only perfect One. Jesus gives perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), Jesus loves us forever (Jeremiah 31:3), Jesus gives joy (John 15:11), and Jesus provides for our needs (Philippians 4:19). While other things can be temporarily satisfying, and can be gifts from God, they aren't the ultimate gifts and they will never ultimately satisfy- because Jesus is always better.

Why I Chose This Phrase

I chose this phrase because I have such a hard time with it. Because I am so naturally inclined to be easily pleased. Because I so often treasure the gifts more than the Giver. Because sometimes I don't feel like Jesus is better.

He is better. And there's no reason I should be pleased with less than Him. But my sinful nature likes to fight against that. So I chose this phrase in hopes of being reminded to fight harder against my sinful nature. I chose this phrase to focus on cultivating a deeper longing for Jesus. And I chose this phrase to remind me that I should never be satisfied with anything less than the presence of God.

This isn't something that I can just fix completely in a year's time. Putting God first, and living out the knowledge that Jesus is better is a lifelong journey. But, I can improve. God can help me improve. God can mold my heart so that I am satisfied by him instead of by the things that typically grab at my time and heart.

And that, sweet friends, is why I chose this phrase as my "phrase of the year". Learning that Jesus is better than everything else, experiencing it, and living it out is incredibly important, and I'd rather learn it now than put it off for "some day".

If you want to join me in growing in the truth that Jesus is better, I'd love to have you jump on board. Whether you choose the same phrase of the year, watch the Bible study that I've been attending online, or read the book of Hebrews with a "Jesus is better" mindset, practicing this truth will be life-changing for all of us.

Jesus is better than everything else on the earth. He's better than me, my marriage, my family, my dream job, my future kids, and anything else I can think to name. Jesus is better. And that should change our lives! #faith #christianity

25 Nations in 25 Days (Featuring Renee Young)

Friday, December 1, 2017 No comments

Christmas is about Jesus. He is who the entire holiday centers around. And then beyond that, family and giving. But if you could take even a tiny little glance at my heart, it often gets things a bit mixed up regarding the holiday. Instead of focusing on giving, I think about getting. Instead of thinking of how I can bless others, I think about how I can see my loved ones and do as many fun things as possible. And then there's Jesus. "Oh hai, Jesus".

I'm ashamed to admit it. It's sad. And what's even more sad, is that I know I am not in the minority here. So, so many Christians join me in this predicament. We want to honor Christ above all, and yet somehow we always end up putting other, less meaning things ahead of him.

Of course, God gives grace to His people. He forgives and He continues to help us improve and grow. We as Christians are all on this faith journey together and we are here to lift each other up, to encourage one another in righteousness, and to point each other towards God.

And that's why it's so important to recognize and appreciate the areas in which we get it right- where God's people are rightly pointing to Him instead of to themselves. And today's post was inspired by a woman who has been doing just that.

25 Nations in 25 Days: A mission-focused way to celebrate Christmas this year. #christmas #faith #christianity

I met Renee online a few years ago. I was immediately inspired by her heart and passion for the Lord. We become social media and blog friends, and still talk via Instagram and Facebook.

Related: Check out Renee's blog: Mulling Over my Morning Coffee

One thing that has always struck me about Renee, is that when she writes, you can tell that it really is for Jesus. She isn't trying to sound ultra-spiritual, nor is she trying to gain attention. Instead, she is trying to point to God, to truth, and to all that will motivate towards righteousness. I am encouraged by pretty much everything she posts. And of course, that's God working through her and it's all Him, BUT He uses her sweet, fun-loving heart to deliver an eternal message.

So, why do I bring any of this up? Because recently, Renee launched a brilliant idea that is open to whoever would like to join.

Enter 25 Nations in 25 Days

25 Nations in 25 Days is a Facebook group and downloaded PDF that Renee created as a "tool for helping to ignite a heart for the nations. 42% of the world's people groups are still unreached (less than 2% Evangelical Christian). This should be a startling statistic for us to see as believers.How neat to have a tool that educates us on those people groups and encourages prayer within the family FOR those people".

I asked Renee to talk a little bit about why she decided to create this project for all of us, and this is what she said:

"I decided to compile the information on unreached peoples and various nations because I think it's important to know about cultures outside of American society.  I also hope to cultivate a heart in my children that is for missions and for people who don't believe, act, speak, or look like we do.  I believe this is a great starting point. I think we get so focused on how "unfair" and how "hard" life is in the United States that we forget that nearly 1/2 of the entire world has never even heard of Jesus.  And while our hardships are valid in a sense, we need to focus on what is eternally significant.  There are millions of people that still have zero parts of the Bible translated into their language.
Our problems become minuscule when we are concerned with what's going on on a global spectrum (even if your global perspective starts with meeting your next door neighbor and befriending them for the sake of the gospel).
While compiling this information, my heart began to ache as I was forced to face the fact that most of the nations covered are animistic, meaning they worship nature and spirits and ancestors and rocks.  Some of the religious beliefs of these people groups will hopefully wreck you.  My hope is that anyone who walks through this "25 Nations in 25 Days" would have a heart burdened for the spiritual darkness in the world, that they would be moved to action locally, nationally, and globally for the cause of making Christ's name great, and that they would consider giving their physical and financial resources to Bible Translation and Global Missions."

Peculiar friends, I am so excited about going through 25 Nations in 25 Days with Renee and a bunch of other awesome people. Will you join us? You can scroll through the PDF below, you can download the PDF here, and you can join the Facebook group here. I hope to see you there!

5 Books For Women Who Want to Grow in Their Faith

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 No comments

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

When I was a little girl, I remember my mom doing a lot of reading. She would spend time reading with me, but she would also take the time to read her Bible, and read Christian books that helped her grow in her faith. Her bookshelves were full of inspirational, Christian living, and devotional works that aided her in her daily walk with the Lord.

For a time, I followed suit. I read a lot of good books that were extremely helpful in my faith. But after a while, I stopped reading. I got out of the habit and left it by the wayside. That's something I have talked about here at TPT numerous times. But despite the fact that I've had to start from scratch to form new reading habits the past couple of years, I still think that Christian books and devotionals are incredibly helpful tools for growing near to God and growing strong in the faith.

However, have you ever noticed how many different titles there are in the "spiritual development" section? And trust me- all books are NOT created equal. Some are worth the read, some are worth passing up, and some are just a bunch of junk.

Soooo, to help you navigate through all those choices, and in order to offer a few books that may even make a good gift for a loved one, I decided to take today to make a few suggestions. So if you like good books and you cannot lie, then keep reading! 😉

Using Christian books to grow your faith can be very helpful if you choose the right ones. Today on The Peculiar Treasure, I'm sharing 5 books for women who want to grow their faith. #Christianity #faith #books

Wild and Free

Let's start with Wild and Free. Seriously, this book is so good! Jess and Hayley are both awesome writers with a heart for God and a desire to see women find true freedom in Christ. I really appreciate how they don't skip over our sinfulness, yet still show us that we not only can be forgiven for our sins, but that we can also find true freedom in life.

A Place Prepared

This autobiography was written by my dear friend, Julie Moore, of The Hallway Initiative. I wrote a post about Julie's book a while back, but I definitely wanted to include it in this list too! Julie did a fantastic job illustrating how even in the toughest moments in our lives, God is preparing us for our purpose. If you have been struggling with this concept (or even if you haven't), A Place Prepared is a great read!

One Year Walk With God

I believe I was in middle school when my mom asked for this devotional book for a gift for her birthday. I gave it to her and she read it and reread it for years. I didn't go all the way through the book myself, but I often borrowed it from her and did my own quiet time in the same book. It's short, yet truth-filled- just the way I like a devotional!

40 Days of Faith and Fitness

My sweet friend, Marsha, of Faith and Fitness with Marsha Apsley, launched this devotion book in September and she rocked it! This devotional focuses on drawing near to God and having the right mindset and thoughts when it comes to diet, exercise, and overall health. Each day's reading is short, which is perfect for times when you are on the go but still want to do a devotion! Check it out!

The Bible

Honestly, I think sometimes we get so caught up in reading good books, we forget that the Bible is the ultimate book. It's the way we draw near to God, the way we see truth more clearly, and the ultimate way we grow in our faith. So, it seemed silly not to include the word of God in this list. Of course, I'm the one who came up with this post, so I'm not downplaying the role of awesome books in helping us grow in our faiths, but let us never forget that the Bible is and always will be numero uno.

Note: The Bible I shared above is the same one I have. I love it!

Honestly friends, these are all books that can help you grow in your faith. So whether you are shopping for yourself, for a Christmas present, a birthday present, or a "just because" gift, these are great choices. We all need a little bit (or a lot) of daily encouragement in our walk with God, and I am hopeful and confident that these book suggestions will do just that. Happy reading!

Which one of these books interests you most? Tell me in the comment section below!

Gratitude: Lessons From Joanna Gaines

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 No comments

Hey there, friends! Ya' know how I'm borderline obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines? And ya' know how in the past I've talked about what Joanna Gaines taught me about simplicity? Well, then it probably won't shock you that once again, I've found another gem from The Magnolia Journal (TMJ, from here on out) to talk about.

Per usual, TMJ was packed with yummy recipe's, fun recommended items, and sweet articles about homes, families, and local businesses. But I think my favorite part of TMJ is the A Note From Jo section. This is where she shares wisdom about something she has been learning lately.  

For the Fall issue of TMJ, Joanna chose to talk about gratitude.

Joanna approaches this subject in an extremely practical and applicable way. Her main premise?

Everyday tasks are reminders of how blessed we are. -Joanna Gaines. What I've learned about #Gratitude from #JoannaGaines

Such a simple concept, huh? But good grief, we miss this constantly.

If I have to do the dishes when I am tired, I grumble.

When I have to wake up early for work, I complain.

When I have to fold clothes, I avoid it.

When I have to go to a social engagement that I don't want to attend, I try to get out of it.

When my car needs repairs, I get stressed because it costs money.

When my spouse doesn't agree with me, I get angry.

Surely most of us know that these aren't the right responses. But figuring out how to have a good and godly response is a lot harder to do than simply identifying the wrong way of doing things. But tackling this issue is what Joanna Gaines does in TMJ, and it's what I want to discuss with you today.

Gratitude: What I learned about it from Joanna Gaines and The Magnolia Journal. #JoannaGaines #Magnolia

What Joanna Learned About Gratitude

Joanna talks about how she used to dread meal planning and grocery shopping. She used to feel that gardening was a burden. She felt like a cab driver when she had to drive her kids everywhere. And she felt overwhelmed by the constant mountain of laundry that seemed to always be waiting for her.

But then something changed. Joanna decided to choose gratitude for the everyday things in life, and her attitude was transformed. When she realized that cooking for her family was a privilege, and that she was able to serve them and help nourish them through this act, she stopped dreading it.

When she accepted that the garden work was not going away anytime soon, she decided to use that time outdoors to breath and think. It become her own little therapy session.

The same was true of driving. Joanna realized that her time in the car with her kids was the best time to catch up with them and hear how they were doing. They had time to talk without the distraction of TV, homework, etc. At that realization, it was no longer a chore, but a joy.

And as for laundry? Despite the fact that Joanna says this one will always be tough for her, she has found gratitude by realizing the abundance they have. They have been blessed with even more than they need, and taking care of this chore is a reminder of that.

"I bet you have your own internal list of little daily grievances... Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to let gratitude run free in every area of our lives. Once that happens, nothing ever looks the same again: Everything starts looking like a thank-you." 
                                                    - Joanna Gaines

What Joanna Taught Me About Gratitude

So what does that mean for me- for us?

It means that we should be thankful when the alarm goes off in the early morning, because it means we are blessed with a job and an income.

It means that we should be grateful for the social engagements, since it's another opportunity to make friends, form community, and be a witness for Christ.

It means that I should cultivate gratitude for the dishes that need to be washed- because dirty dishes mean that I've had food to eat and plates to eat it on.

It means that I should try not to get angry about car repairs- I should be grateful that I have a car to drive in the first place.

It means that when Taylor and I disagree, I should be thankful that he and I are often able to grow, challenge, and sharpen each other.

Responsibilities & Blessings

The fact that we have things that require our attention, means that we have things that are worth taking care of. Having responsibilities means that we are in charge of things that are worthwhile. And coming to this realization is a practical way to cultivate gratitude year-round. And while I technically knew that, Joanna just has such a great way of wording things. She is very skilled in taking simple concepts and bringing them to life.

So once again, a big thank you to "Jo Jo". She rocks, and she has so many wise things to say. I hope this struck as much of a cord with you as it did with me.

Why The Reformation Matters

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 No comments

Did you know that Halloween isn't the only holiday that falls on October 31st? No, it's not National Donut Day, or National Goat Yoga day. It's Reformation Day. When I say "Reformation Day", I am referring to the anniversary of Martin Luther challenging the Catholic church on some of their views and nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the church. This theses included Martin Luther's rebuttal against works-based salvation, indulgences (the idea that people could pay the priests for forgiveness), and the false belief that only the church leaders had the ability to interpret the bible- not the everyday people.

Reformation Day has never been something I've thought about, honestly. I mean, I knew it was a good thing for Christians that the Reformation happened, but I never thought to celebrate the anniversary or really pay attention to it. But this year, there has been a lot more talk about the Reformation because it is the 500 year anniversary, which is actually really cool.

And this past weekend, a local church in Charlotte hosted a Reformation Conference to celebrate the upcoming anniversary. Taylor and I signed up, along with his parents, and I am very glad we did. The speakers were awesome, I learned valuable truths, and the Keith and Kristyn Getty concert to finish up the weekend was amazing. I only knew a couple of their songs going in, but I will definitely be making a Spotify playlist!

And since today is Reformation Day, I figured it would be the perfect time to share a bit of what I learned/was reminded of from the conference. Keep reading to find out!

October 31st, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. For years I thought it was just another date in history, but I've come to realize that it matters a lot. Read the post to find out why.

God Uses "Nobodys"

Martin Luther was just some random monk. That's all. A monk who beat himself up over his sin constantly. And God chose to use him to bring about the entire history of the Protestant church. He used him so that we could see that we could read the bible for ourselves, that we could come to God in prayer and ask forgiveness of our sins without the help of a priest or a confessional.
God used a "nobody" to bring about something huge. That's not the first time he's done it that way, and it's not the last.
We have a great privilege and calling to serve God with our lives, and he often uses "the little people" to do big things.

God Calls Us to Himself

The fact that we are allowed to come to God on our own- that we can talk to him, read his words, learn about him, and be led by him- is a deep truth that the Reformation displays. Before that, people weren't living as if that were true at all. They were paying priests for their salvation, confessing their sins to a priest instead of directly to God, going to church and listening to scripture readings that were solely in Latin, which meant that they had no idea what was going on, and they just had to trust whatever the priest told them was true about the Bible. But the truth of the matter is that God calls us to himself. We don't have to go through all those other means. It was never necessary, and thanks to the Reformation, we can now live that out.

We Should Not Reject What the Reformation Allowed

One thing I've been thinking about for the past few days, is how much we take our Bibles for granted. I mean, I already knew that, and I have heard plenty of sermons on the matter. But when I think about what the Reformers went through just so we could have the opportunity to sit in our PJs while we read whatever passage of scripture we feel like- that's when I realize how ridiculous it is that I don't take the time to read God's word each day.

Sure, there are probably better reasons to be convicted about not taking the time to dive into God's word- like, ya know, the whole Jesus dying on the cross thing- but the reformation provides just another reason to take advantage of the freedom we have to know God through his word.

Friends, we have a great privileged to know God more, and there's no reason not to actively live in that gift. God used the Reformation to free many from the lie that we can't come to him on our own. He reminded us that our sins are forgiven through Christ alone, by faith, not by works, and not because we sought out a priest for help. God also used the Reformation to remind us that we can read scripture for ourselves, in our own language, so that we can get to know God without having to have someone reading to us from the Latin version.

Our protestant heritage shouldn't be taken for granted. Our salvation shouldn't be treated as mundane, and the accessibility of scripture should be deeply appreciated. As one of the speakers from the weekend said,

"If your sermon, message, or ministry is lacking a focus on the scriptures, then it is lacking God himself!"
Let us not take our faith or the sacrifices of those before us for granted, and let us live with thankfulness for the freedom we have.