“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
–James 1:26-27

Remember when schoolchildren used to talk about the three R’s? They were Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic. But instead of thinking about school, I want to look at the three R’s found in man’s religion. They are repitition, ritual and routine.

Let’s take a journey and explore these three R’s one by one. The dictionary defines repitition as a recitation or recital, especially something that is memorized. In other words,empty repitition is something mechanical, something you could recite in your sleep. When Jesus taught his disciples how to
pray, he told them not to use meaningless words and phrases over and over again. Unfortunately, many people ignore this and chant the Lord’s Prayer and other ready-made statements to God without thinking about the meaning of what they are saying.

That kind of scripted praying will only temporarily fill a void in their lives. This leads us to the next r, which is dead ritual. Ritual is defined as stereotypical behavior, which is performed in but not limited to religious circles. Ritual takes the empty recital that Jesus spoke about to the next level. Ritual for its own sake is dangerous, and equates to nothing more than superstition that will soon ensnare you.

While we all get caught up in our daily routines, there is much cause for concern if our time with God becomes nothing more than a habit. If our meetings with Him become too mechanical, then we will stop listening to what He is telling us.

We are robbed of his wise guidance, not to mention the life, peace and joy that He has promised us.
Has the time you used to spend with God lost its vitality? Does your walk with Him seem empty and dull? Then you may want to check out next week’s blog article, which will tell you how to have a meaningful relationship with our heavenly father.

In the meantime, I encourage you to discard your old beliefs about religion, and take a fresh look at what the Bible has to say on the subject of a true and lasting relationship with God.
As savior and friend, God is calling out to you today. He wants you to come to Him if you haven’t already done so, and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. If you have confessed that He is Lord but you have drifted away, re-dedicate your life to Him. As you draw closer to God, you will find that empty religion is replaced by a dynamic and personal relationship that spills over into helping your fellow man, and the rest of your life.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext.874157.