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Does the title of today’s Thought surprise you? One day in the office, a co-worker said to me, “I hate religion.” He was surprised by my response when I said “so do I.” Knowing that I am a Christian, he naturally assumed I was “Religious.” I told him that “Religion” is just “Man’s” way of understanding or attempting to connect with God. Unfortunately though people are hurt and oppressed by “Man-made” rules and then they blame God for what people say or do to them. Mark Twain once said:
That is so true! He gets blamed all the time for what people do in “His name,” but what God really desires is to have a personal relationship with us, through His Son Jesus, where we include Him in all aspects of our life. I truly believe that you can “Hate Religion” and be a Christian too! Or maybe a better way to describe myself would be a “Christ Follower.” I may say that I am a Christian, but above all else, I desire to be more and more like Jesus and that only happens through me pursuing a relationship with Him and God daily. Hence the name of this blog…“Daily Dependence.” I read somewhere this amazing quote that expresses how I feel perfectly…
So the question I have for you is…
Do you have a “RELIGION” or do you have a “RELATIONSHIP?” There is a huge difference!
This contrast between religion vs. relationship is critical to understand. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NLT) of the Bible, The Apostle Paul talks about what Jesus did to have a relationship with us, he said,
“For I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”
God’s rescue plan for you and I was to send Jesus, His One and Son just in case we would decide to have a relationship with Him. Imagine getting this text from God?
It would be pretty great huh? But I would submit to you that we have that in the form of the Bible which is God’s love letter to you and I. He desires a relationship with us not empty religious rituals or just following some “made man” rules. When you have a relationship with someone it is out of love not coercion or obligation. And to prove how serious God was to have that relationship with us, He sacrificed His Son as payment for our sins, who He then rose from the dead 3 days later (which is commemorated on Easter Sunday,) so that IF ANYONE believes in JESUS they will be saved from the consequences of their sins and will have eternal life in heaven, (see John 3:16).
Romans 10:9-10 (NLT) says:
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
The relationship I have can be yours too, all you need is to pray a simple prayer and ask for forgiveness and acknowledged that you are a broken sinful person (which we all are, especially me,) and tell God that you accept Jesus as the payment for your sins; or another way of saying it, that you accept Him as your savior. If you are ready to start a relationship with the God, our Heavenly Father and His Son, below is a prayer you can pray to start you on the journey. The words you say really don’t matter, there is nothing special about them, but the emotion and belief in your heart does. Make this your prayer today:
God take this broken, sinful person and change my life. I confess I have made mistakes and acknowledge that I am in need of a Savior. I want a relationship with you. Please forgive me. I believe that Jesus came to die for my sins and that He is the bridge that brings me to eternal life with you forever. Today I accept the free gift of eternal life and know that I can never do enough good deeds to earn that salvation. In Jesus Name I pray! Amen!
If you earnestly prayed that prayer you are a new creation, (see 2 Corinthians 5:17!) God will honor that prayer of surrender and will do incredible things in your life!
Please contact me DailyDependence@gmail.com if you have any questions about your new life in Jesus Christ, I would love to discuss your decision more. God Bless!
If you are interested, here is another post that further develops this Thought called: