“Just a Christian Veneer?” June 15

 

Just a Christian Veneer? - How deep is your Christianity? Is it just a Christian veneer or is it who you are? How do you respond to God's dealings with you? Do you pray and read your Bible only when the heat is on and stop once the pressure is off? Have you added a little "Christianity" to your life without truly making Jesus Lord?How deep is your Christianity? Is it just a Christian veneer or is it who you are? How do you respond to God’s dealings with you? Do you pray and read your Bible only when the heat is on and stop once the pressure is off? Have you added a little “Christianity” to your life without truly making Jesus Lord?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 17 & 18
Ps. 74.1-8
Prov. 18.22-24
Acts 1.1-26

 

Just a Christian Veneer

 

2 Kings 17 & 18:

End of Divine Patience

In chapter 17 we see what John MacArthur calls “divine patience” come to an end concerning the Northern Kingdom. Their continued idolatry and disobedience to God’s commands brought the judgment of captivity.

God has not changed (Heb. 13.8). While He is patient and merciful with us, His patience will not on go forever. As a nation and as individuals, if we continue in disobedience to the clear commands of Scripture, if we practice idolatry or if we worship God half-heartedly, we will eventually suffer the consequences of our choices, as well.

 

What is idolatry?

Someone asked me, what is “idolatry”? We usually think of bowing down to some statue or image, but that is not the only form of idolatry. Ezekiel 14.1-8 talks about idolatry of the heart. Anytime we put other things, other people, or other relationships above loving, serving, and pleasing God, we have placed that person or that thing on the throne of our hearts in place of God.

 

We practice idolatry when …

We say “I know what God says about pre-marital sex, but I’ll lose my boyfriend if I don’t.”

We refuse to forgive because what they did was just too awful.

We justify sinful anger.

We lie, cheat, or steal because “everybody does it.”

We refuse to submit to or show respect for our husbands because “they might be wrong” or “they don’t deserve it.”

 

Christian Veneers

lionToo many times we are like the pagan people who were brought in by Assyria to occupy the land they had conquered in the Northern Kingdom. God had sent lions in to attack them, so they called for a priest who knew the “God of the land” (v. 27). They continued living life and worshiping as they wanted; they simply added a little “Jewishness” to their rituals.

How like us! We get tired of the “lions” so we turn to God. We make a few concessions to Him. We start coming to church. We may get some new friends and tone down our language, at least around other Christians. We add a little “Christianity” to our lives. But if our hearts have not truly changed, if we have not truly made Jesus Lord, if we don’t change our thinking, if we don’t truly surrender to God … as God, we will soon be living, speaking, and acting the way we used to. Jesus will have been dethroned for some idol.

 

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

prayer praying hands sq

Psalm 74.1-8:

Honest Prayers

The psalms are full of the prayers and praises of real people and a great place to go when we are hurting and don’t know how to pray. Here the psalmist is praying for God’s help and deliverance from his trials.

 

A Good Thing

Proverbs 18.22-24:

Verse 18 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing …”

Does that verse describe you, ladies? Can your husband see God’s blessings through your life and ministry to him? Husbands, do you see your wives as “a good thing”? We all need to view the blessings and circumstances of our lives as coming from the hand of a loving God. Do you?

 

Infallible Proofs

Acts 1.1-26:

As we start another New Testament book, we are reminded that Jesus …

“… presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (v. 3).

Then He left their testimonies for us to read. Our faith is not based on wishful thinking. It is based on the infallible, inerrant Word of God, including the testimonies recorded in Scripture.

 

journalWhat about you? Questions to Ponder or Journal:

How deep is your Christianity? Is it just a veneer or is it who you are?

How do you respond to God’s dealings with you? Do you pray and read your Bible when the heat is on only to stop once the pressure is off? Do you seek God’s wisdom or worldly wisdom when things aren’t going well? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Blessings,
Donna

 

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Just a Christian Veneer? - How deep is your Christianity? Is it just a Christian veneer or is it who you are? How do you respond to God's dealings with you? Do you pray and read your Bible only when the heat is on and stop once the pressure is off? Have you added a little "Christianity" to your life without truly making Jesus Lord?

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11 thoughts on ““Just a Christian Veneer?” June 15

  1. Our pastor just tackled the issue of idolatry last month, and boy, was he dead on about the rampant idolatry of this nation. It was a sobering, yet hopeful sermon. Visiting from Sitting Among Friends!

    • It is sobering, isn’t it, to realize how far down that slippery slope we have gone as a nation. When you read the Old Testament stories about the Israelites and their repeated returns into idolatry, you think, seriously, how could they be that blind and yet … here we are! But it’s so important to remember that those of us who belong to Him can always put our hope in Him! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts. Blessings!

  2. I had a meeting yesterday with a well-known Christian businesswoman in our area, but I was so disappointed by her disrespectful attitude. I had to remind myself that her previous fruit has shown that she IS a godly woman, and to overlook this one day of “veneer” that seemed bad. Praying others overlook the same in me when I have an off day. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, Donna.

    • Lisa, that is so true. We all need to be grace-givers because I for one need that grace from others on a regular basis! Blessings!

    • Recently,in my heart and soul I am acting as a veneer christian…my faith,trust,and love for God is not my problem. I love Him,pray with thanksgiving for every good thing in my life. I have been a slacker due to many issues these past 2 months. It is not about Him,it is about me,not going to worship,as churches are different here, no sense of belonging…I feel like my prayers to where God wants me to serve,where am I to connect what is my passion and /gifts to share are eluding me…perhaps I am not listening or obeying. After losing my son 10 yrs. Ago unexpectedly from a heart related issue,I doted on the word of God to get me through this sorrow– filled time, clinging to Ps 147:3, Phil 4:13, Ps 46:10, and so many others.Attending ladies classes,ministering my sense of hope to others who have lost adult children,and just allowing God to show me the plan he has for my life..Jere.29:11. I have just given into the flesh and not winning the battle by continuing to put on the Armour of Christ..Pray daily to be refilled with my God whom I love and trust for everything.. perhaps my loss has become my identity,and not my testimony. My son’s widow remarried last weekend and emotions for our family,young and old,surfaced once again..and our precious shelter adopted lil pup we had for 5+ yrs had to be put to sleep on father’s day,as cancer ravaged her lil body from the inside out. Perhaps God is testing my faith,and during the tests the teacher remains silent. Prayers for my renewal and obedience.IJN I ask these things.

      • Barbara, I’m so sorry that it’s been such a difficult season for you. I can’t imagine how hard it has been to lose your son. I prayed after I read your comments that God would strengthen you and bring you His comfort. Blessings!

  3. Hello,

    I think this is such a “WAKE UP” post for me. I feel that I had a pretty good relationship with God (definitely not a veneer) until a few years ago when my mother passed away (it was very sudden, unexpected and just a month after I got engaged). She was the center of our family and really was the glue that held us all together…we were so close. As time went on, I felt so cheated/angry at God that she wasn’t there with me on my wedding day, or the trials of infertility, then my pregnancies, the birth of my first child, then my second, the list goes on and on. All of this time I have said I am a Christian who believes in the Lord, but I definitely haven’t prayed or asked for forgiveness in a really long time. Just recently I have really been missing my relationship with the Lord and it made me realize how important it is for me to teach about the Lord to my children (just like my mom did for me). This post has really inspired me to start dedicating time to Lord to renew my relationship with Him. Thank you!

    • Lisa, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I can’t imagine how devastating that must have been. I certainly wouldn’t try to say I understand why that happened, but I do know that God is good and will somehow use all of this for good in time.

      But I was equally glad to hear about your decision to renew your relationship with God. I’ll be praying for you. Please let me know if I can help in any way! Blessings!

  4. It’s easy for us to have the appearance of faith when everything is going our way, but the defining moments of whether our faith is real or just a veneer is what we do when things don’t go our way. Will we still choose to follow God when we have pain, suffering or discontentment b/c of our circumstances? It’s a question we have to ask ourselves repeatedly and allow the Spirit to lead us to face our discouragements and be drawn closer to Him through them instead of repelled away. Thanks for a challenging post, Donna!

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