O.K. so technically Ask Johnny and Kate Week is over, however I have a few more inquiries to answer. Like this one:
As individuals, what scriptures have most resonated with your being, and been touchstones in your life and relationship with God?
Kate is not around right now, but hopefully she will answer this one as well. There are so many passages in the Bible that have profound meaning to me. Let me just list a couple that have had the most impact in the past few years.
Let’s start with James 1:26-27 in The Message:
Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
This forever changed my idea of religion. I had grown up being taught many rules, regulations, rituals, and patterns of behavior that God required of me. Never once was I taught that true religion or real faith is to reach out and help people who need help. It was liberating.
Another from James in the 2nd chapter has had a huge impact on my practice of the Christian faith. James says, “Faith without works is dead.” He also says that a man is justified by works and not by faith only. Believing is not enough, you must put that belief into practice.
The story of the sheep and goats from Matthew 25 helped me to define what works are. In that story the sheep who feed, clothed, cared for, and visited the “least of these” were allowed to enter into the Kingdom.
I absolutely believe in grace. God has given us the free gift of eternal life in Him. Yet at the same time this free gift should have an impact on our lives. We should change and become more like him, or more like the people he wants us to be. Grace should impact our lives in the here and now, and not just in the by and by.