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Date: 07.19.17
What’s the Greatest Source of Personal Transformation?

I once heard someone use the phrase “moral Christianity” to describe what they believe is the current temperature of faith in America, and it grieved me. Moral Christianity points people toward godly—or moral—answers without pointing them toward Christ. It shows people how to live by good rules without showing them how to be disciples of the Good Shepherd.

Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with teaching others to live by godly principles. We are told to share God’s truth. And after all, God’s Word is our instructional manual for a successful, godly life. It’s a light for one’s path (Psalm 119:105). But there is something wrong with teaching “moral, do-good Christianity” without showing others how to connect with the Savior. If we simply do what’s right  and know truths without being disciples of the Author of Life, we may look more like the unbelieving Jews or the Pharisees than the disciples.

I’m sharing this because over the last year, the Lord has been repeatedly reminding me that good principles minus the Savior are empty. I have been asking myself, Shana, does what you share cause others to want Jesus, not just want to do the right things or have a better life so they can be more comfortable?

If I only offer up moral Christianity without pointing you to Christ, what good am I honestly doing?

In John 5:39-40 Jesus said to the Jews . . .

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Knowing truth and knowing the Author of Truth are two entirely different things—and only one of them leads to the life we desperately need.

At the end of January, during a quiet moment with the Lord, I scrawled these thoughts in my journal.

Knowing the right answers will not transform you. Going to church alone will not transform you. Being religious and even memorizing Scripture will not transform you. Only being in right relationship with Me while you experience these things will transform you. . .Knowledge of the truth alone cannot transform. It’s My love working together with truth that transforms.

People who are experiencing war overseas, divorce in the United States, and death in their families don’t need to know just good principles without knowing the Prince of Peace. They don’t need to know how to live unless they know the One who gave them life. To give them truth without pointing them to The Truth is dishonoring to the Lord—and offering a balm to the wounded that does not heal.

So what does this have to do with you? A lot, actually. Just like me, you are preaching a sermon with your life. You may not be standing in a pulpit or putting words on a page. But every day, you are a witness for Christ. Will you only show others what it means to be a moral Christian—or will you demonstrate what it looks like to intimately walk with the Savior?

Posted in: Faith

Comments

20 thoughts on “What’s the Greatest Source of Personal Transformation?

  1. I like your thoughts, but maybe I don’t quite understand your point, so I have a question. I have always felt that the best way to develop my realationship with God and Jesus is to base my actions on biblical teaching, the truth if you will, because that provides the foundation for everything else to follow. In other words, you have to know the truth in your mind so that you can live it in your heart. Everyone is at different stages in their relationship with God and Jesus, and everybody’s relationship with God Is unique, but we all need to know the truth first. People begin to want Jesus when the time is right for them In their lives, not necessarily because I have influenced them to want Jesus. There are so many people who don’t even know the basics of the truth or simply don’t feel that it is important to them or relevant in their lives, but still call themselves Christians. My question is, if they don’t perceive how we live our faith as a way to lead them to want Jesus, then how can we help those people beyond praying for their hearts to be opened by the Holy Spirit? God bless you and thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post!

    1. Hi, Melissa.

      Thanks for your question. It’s a good one. You and I are in agreement. What we do IS important, but only out of the overflow of our relationship with Christ. What I am saying in this post is that it all comes back to the heart. What we do does matter, but if we have relationship with Christ right, then we WILL automatically do good works. We won’t do good works for the wrong reasons. If we know what to DO, and do it with the wrong motives (for example, to appease God or to make Him love us more), then our motives are misguided. God wants our love (Matthew 22:37), not just obedience. He wants us to love Him and then our love for Him will be acted out. I hope that makes sense. Please post another comment if it doesn’t.

      Blessings!
      Shana

  2. This is so true and speaks to me directly. I do try so very hard to have my focus on Jesus and having the personal relationship with him for myself. If I have this walk then I can show others. I fall short but there are times that I do not. Your words to help lead me closer to Jesus as my first choice for my life and let the rest fall into place. Thank you for listening to God and helping others with their walk.

    1. Hi, Candy.

      Thanks for your comment. Amen. I like what you said about seeking Him first, and then the rest will fall into place. So very true.

      You are welcome. I’m just a fellow sojourner on the path.

      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  3. Hi Shana!

    Wow!! I think this is one of the best one’s you have ever done. It is so profoundly true. It is easy for us to slip into “playing Christian”, and neglect the true treasure of seeking, knowing and obeying Christ.

    I love your phrases “Author of life” and “we are preaching a sermon with our lives”.

    Our goodness and morality are dirty rags without the relationship, blessing and love of Jesus.

    So appreciate your insights and ministry!

    Ron

    1. Hey, Ron.

      Thanks so much. It is really easy to fall short on intimacy with Christ, huh? I think we’ve all been there and I am so grateful for His steadfast love that accepts us in spite of our wanderings.

      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  4. Shana,
    What you have just written is what I have been writing, teaching, and experiencing for some time. I’ve observed in several of the congregations that I work with here in Mexico where I serve as a Missionary that a lot of “Scriptural/doctrinal” information is preached and taught in one fashion or another. But I’ve come to feel like a lone voice in the desert when it comes to the issues of God’s commands to Christians to take up one’s cross on a daily basis, follow Jesus, imitate Jesus, and imitate Abba Father !!! Scripture clearly tells us that if we don’t then we are not one of His disciples!
    I also tell Christians to quit trying to be religious. There is, and has never been, nothing religious about Christianity! What God gave to the Church is exactly two things: the way of life that He wants us to live with Him; and how to live it with Him. Ironically, its the same two things that He gave to the Hebrews that came out of Egypt under Moises.
    Your are correct about knowing all of the right answers. Satan knows them all. You are correct about going to church. Satan goes to church also. He and his crowd are always there waiting to cause problems. You are correct about religion. Satan is the father of all religions and helped Nimrod get them started. And you are correct about having knowledge of and memorizing Scripture. Satan was there when it was being written. He even tried to have a debate with the Author of Scripture; which, of course, he lost! And we all know where he and his crowd will ultimately end up! Dios bendiga te (God bless you) Shana!!!

    1. Thanks, David for all of your wise words. I know you are doing great work there in Mexico. I love the idea that we don’t have to be religious; it means I can be real. Real is messy. Real is sometimes unattractive. But it’s
      really refreshing and liberating and it takes the weight away of feeling like one is not enough. God’s grace is really awesome.

      Keep up the great work!

      Shana

  5. Yes Shana, you always inspire me to want Jesus. Love you. AND PLEASE, never stop sharing your spirit – filled words with us.

  6. Yes Shana it IS me again!
    Thank you for running this blog one more time. If, in the future, our Abba father, gives you yet more to add to this blog please run it again with the additional comments. I’ve a cartoon series that I do in conjunction with Father.Heart T.V. They do the cartoons and I do the additional comments. I asked God to put His words into my heart for this series. And boy did He ever! There have been many occasions when those words spoke directly to me! Our God is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING in the ways He can teach one’s soul and mature the spirit!!! May God truly bless your place in His ministry and your family!!

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  • I like your thoughts, but maybe I don’t quite understand your point, so I have a question. I have always felt that the best way to develop my realationship with God and Jesus is to base my actions on biblical teaching, the truth if you will, because that provides the foundation for everything else to follow. In other words, you have to know the truth in your mind so that you can live it in your heart. Everyone is at different stages in their relationship with God and Jesus, and everybody’s relationship with God Is unique, but we all need to know the truth first. People begin to want Jesus when the time is right for them In their lives, not necessarily because I have influenced them to want Jesus. There are so many people who don’t even know the basics of the truth or simply don’t feel that it is important to them or relevant in their lives, but still call themselves Christians. My question is, if they don’t perceive how we live our faith as a way to lead them to want Jesus, then how can we help those people beyond praying for their hearts to be opened by the Holy Spirit? God bless you and thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post!

    • Hi, Melissa.

      Thanks for your question. It’s a good one. You and I are in agreement. What we do IS important, but only out of the overflow of our relationship with Christ. What I am saying in this post is that it all comes back to the heart. What we do does matter, but if we have relationship with Christ right, then we WILL automatically do good works. We won’t do good works for the wrong reasons. If we know what to DO, and do it with the wrong motives (for example, to appease God or to make Him love us more), then our motives are misguided. God wants our love (Matthew 22:37), not just obedience. He wants us to love Him and then our love for Him will be acted out. I hope that makes sense. Please post another comment if it doesn’t.

      Blessings!
      Shana

  • This is so true and speaks to me directly. I do try so very hard to have my focus on Jesus and having the personal relationship with him for myself. If I have this walk then I can show others. I fall short but there are times that I do not. Your words to help lead me closer to Jesus as my first choice for my life and let the rest fall into place. Thank you for listening to God and helping others with their walk.

    • Hi, Candy.

      Thanks for your comment. Amen. I like what you said about seeking Him first, and then the rest will fall into place. So very true.

      You are welcome. I’m just a fellow sojourner on the path.

      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  • Hi Shana!

    Wow!! I think this is one of the best one’s you have ever done. It is so profoundly true. It is easy for us to slip into “playing Christian”, and neglect the true treasure of seeking, knowing and obeying Christ.

    I love your phrases “Author of life” and “we are preaching a sermon with our lives”.

    Our goodness and morality are dirty rags without the relationship, blessing and love of Jesus.

    So appreciate your insights and ministry!

    Ron

    • Hey, Ron.

      Thanks so much. It is really easy to fall short on intimacy with Christ, huh? I think we’ve all been there and I am so grateful for His steadfast love that accepts us in spite of our wanderings.

      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  • Shana,
    What you have just written is what I have been writing, teaching, and experiencing for some time. I’ve observed in several of the congregations that I work with here in Mexico where I serve as a Missionary that a lot of “Scriptural/doctrinal” information is preached and taught in one fashion or another. But I’ve come to feel like a lone voice in the desert when it comes to the issues of God’s commands to Christians to take up one’s cross on a daily basis, follow Jesus, imitate Jesus, and imitate Abba Father !!! Scripture clearly tells us that if we don’t then we are not one of His disciples!
    I also tell Christians to quit trying to be religious. There is, and has never been, nothing religious about Christianity! What God gave to the Church is exactly two things: the way of life that He wants us to live with Him; and how to live it with Him. Ironically, its the same two things that He gave to the Hebrews that came out of Egypt under Moises.
    Your are correct about knowing all of the right answers. Satan knows them all. You are correct about going to church. Satan goes to church also. He and his crowd are always there waiting to cause problems. You are correct about religion. Satan is the father of all religions and helped Nimrod get them started. And you are correct about having knowledge of and memorizing Scripture. Satan was there when it was being written. He even tried to have a debate with the Author of Scripture; which, of course, he lost! And we all know where he and his crowd will ultimately end up! Dios bendiga te (God bless you) Shana!!!

    • Thanks, David for all of your wise words. I know you are doing great work there in Mexico. I love the idea that we don’t have to be religious; it means I can be real. Real is messy. Real is sometimes unattractive. But it’s
      really refreshing and liberating and it takes the weight away of feeling like one is not enough. God’s grace is really awesome.

      Keep up the great work!

      Shana

  • Yes Shana, you always inspire me to want Jesus. Love you. AND PLEASE, never stop sharing your spirit – filled words with us.

  • Yes Shana it IS me again!
    Thank you for running this blog one more time. If, in the future, our Abba father, gives you yet more to add to this blog please run it again with the additional comments. I’ve a cartoon series that I do in conjunction with Father.Heart T.V. They do the cartoons and I do the additional comments. I asked God to put His words into my heart for this series. And boy did He ever! There have been many occasions when those words spoke directly to me! Our God is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING in the ways He can teach one’s soul and mature the spirit!!! May God truly bless your place in His ministry and your family!!

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