Ritual or relationship?

“Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” [Jesus said] His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:16-17).

Jesus had zeal. But what is it? Is it emotionalism? Unbridled fervor? Extremism? No, no, and no.

Zeal is a deep and abiding passion and concern for the things of God.

One of the ways to cultivate godly zeal in your life is to remember that our religion is more relationship than ritual. Sure, there are certain customs that are important: they remind and teach us about God.

But ritual for the sake of ritual is dead. One of the reasons for Jesus’ anger in the temple was because people were forgetting what it was all about—or, more importantly, WHO it was all about.

Let’s take a look in the mirror.

What about our worship? Is it about our relationship with God, or ticking a box? What about our Bible reading, prayer, or service projects? Are they about our relationship with God, or ticking a box?

In 1 Samuel 16:7 God said to Samuel: “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Rituals can be good. But they’re not God. Focus on the relationship.


–COLDEST NIGHT. My family and I are a part of the team for Westminster Church raising funds and awareness about youth homelessness. Click here if you are able to give to our cause!

–Sermon: “Ritual or relationship?” (February 13, 2022). Click here.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV. 

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