We all would like to think there are many ways to get the job done. Truth
be told, sometimes there is only one way to do things right. We can have all
the appearances of following the rules but when we look under the hood we
start to see the differences. Don’t all religions basically teach the same
thing? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Racing is an interesting endeavor, it is said “we will race anything.” I
remember the peddle car race that was part of the John Blewett Memorial
North South Shootout at Concord Motor Speedway. One of the young competitors
brought his own piece. When I asked why, his dad let me know that he went
over the cart and made sure everything was lubricated and moving freely.
After all this is a race and you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. If we
are racing then our piece needs to be as good as it can be!
I scratched my head and began to understand there is no such thing as
“just a race”. Even a peddle car race has to have rules to keep the
contestants, or should we say parents, from taking steps to gain an
advantage. Rules attempt to make all things equal.
It is a great endeavor to level the playing field and the same is true
for life. Since life began there have been differences that indicate we are
not all the same. We all see things from different perspectives and
interpret things differently. We talked about that a few weeks ago. Not only
do we differ from each other, we differ from God.
Isaiah reminds us in 55:8-9;
"For my thoughts
are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So the questions remain; “Aren’t all religions equal?”; “Don’t they
all teach the same thing?” The simple answer is no. We will need to look a
little deeper though.
Look at the same questions as they relate to race cars; “Aren’t they all
race cars?” “Don’t they all do the same thing?” The simple answer is no, but
the explanation takes a little longer to explain.
There is a difference that separates Christianity from religion, any
religion. Many religions have things in common, rules for living, a divine
being, life after death in paradise and those that have gone before us and
inspire us to keep going. Essentially the same beliefs with different
We believe that religion teaches us to obey the rules, live a good life
and we will go to paradise, heaven, and live forever with everyone who went
before us and will come after us. Our goal is to be “good enough.”
Christianity separates itself from religion on that point. Christians
believe, as taught by Scripture, that there is not one of us who can be
“good enough” to be accepted into heaven and dwell with God for eternity. We
believe that all the rules and religion cannot make us right with God, there
needs to be something else, we cannot work our way into heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-9; God
saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for
it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have
done, so none of us can boast about it.
That is the difference between Christianity and religion, we cannot
do enough “good things” to cover our capacity to do bad things, sin. Listen
to what John said about it.
1John 1:5-10; This is
the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and
there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have
fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not
practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the
light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his
Son, cleanses us from all sin.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in
the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we
have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no
place in our hearts.
When we claim to be good we ignore our true nature, we ignore our
desire to make life as good as it can be for us and us alone. We are by
nature selfish. We try to do things for others to compensate for those
things we do for ourselves. It makes us feel good. It helps us deal with the
manipulative, selfish desire we have within us. Let me be clear, we cannot
be good enough.
That is what separates us from God, our incapacity to be good enough.
That’s what separates Christianity from religion, we cannot be good enough.
God knows that and made a provision for us to be forgiven.
Romans 3:21-25; But
now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the
requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the
prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus
Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet
God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this
through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God
presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God
when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.
Romans 5:6-8; When we were utterly helpless,
Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though
someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while
we were still sinners.
All things are not equal, Christianity is different from all other
religions, in fact it isn’t a religion at all. It is a gift from God, for He
accomplished for us what we could not do for ourselves. Don’t be naive, we
cannot earn God’s grace. No one can be good enough. Without Christ, His
sacrifice, death and resurrection spending eternity with God in heaven would
not be possible. Christ saved us from sin and death.
Now is the time, today is the day, salvation is found in no one else, no
other person, no other religion. We need to realize that and turn to God,
accept His provision and return to Him, our creator.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
PROBLEMS ON THE HOMEFRONT OVERCOME - As
I shared with you when I arrived home not only did the snow pile get bigger
but it created other issues. I had running water in the living room, no
running water in the bathroom and water running out of places it shouldn’t
in the kitchen sink! After a week or so the water is running in all the
right places, PTL. It will be good to see the grass again and dry pavement!
I can’t wait to get back out to the track and race.
NEW/OLD NAME - As it is said in racing, we travel in circles. With
the announcement that the sale of Waterford Speedbowl is official it didn’t
take too much time to get things rolling for 2015. Shaun Monahan has been
named GM and Scott Tapley was named race director.
The first order of business was to rename the track to its original name;
New London Waterford Speedbowl. With that in place I think the passion Shaun
has for racing at the Speedbowl and Scott’s even hand at dispensing
judgments the future is bright.
We are looking forward to being part of the future at the Bowl. Look for
racing there on Thursday and Saturday nights! Thank you Bruce Bemer for
keeping your word and returning racing to the Speedbowl.
Not much on the schedule until this snow decides to stop. Please remember
we are available to serve you. Let us know how we can help.
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals
and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at
http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter
what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that
God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586,
Tolland, CT 06084.
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Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful
Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord
make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face
toward you and give you peace."
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
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