Saturday, January 29, 2022

Religious? No. Relationship Yes.

Religious? No...Relationship Yes.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all. 1 TIMOTHY 2:5–6 

Don’t think of Christianity as a religion, a ritual, a routine, or a set of rules. It may have elements of all those things, but it is primarily and essentially a relationship with the living God through Christ our Redeemer. As quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Rich Gannon enjoyed his share of fame and fortune. But the high point of his life came while playing backup quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings. “I went to chapel, and I heard a speaker give his testimony. I felt so guilty inside,” he said. “I was a young, strapping athlete who had basically everything. But I felt I wanted something he had. I knew what he had was that inner joy and peace that a relationship with Jesus brings.” It’s a relationship with Jesus that brings joy to our lives. Someone said that religion is man seeking God; Christianity is God seeking man. Becoming a Christian isn’t primarily a matter of doing good works, but of coming to Christ in simple faith and asking forgiveness for sin. When you receive His forgiveness, gained through His shed blood, your sin is washed away and His righteousness takes its place. If you’ve never done that, why not today? Why not now?

My Dear Reader, think and consider carefully not your past, but your present and future.  

Life is more than all that you see, hear and do. 
Life was meant to have a purpose. 

Jesus came to fulfill His Father's will for mankind. To seek and save people. To show the way by being the way. To illuminate the dreadful darkness of sin, to show you and I that living is possible if done in the right context. 

You and I, only through a right relationship with Jesus, can discover what living is about.  It's not politics, not entertainment, not leisure. It's not about making money or even health, wealth or prosperity. There are many sick people who have a greater relationship with Jesus than what even the likes of Billy Graham had with Jesus.  

Jesus so loved you that even if it were only for you, it would have been reason enough to leave Heaven, be born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit. To live a sinless life, be tortured, nailed to a cross, just to take your place. To make it possible for you to have that relationship with His Father. To be able to not be condemned to Hell for all eternity. Even if it were just for 1 person, Jesus would have done it. 

Regardless of how it's portrayed in movies or television. 
Regardless of how it's seen on so-called Churches on television or internet. 
Regardless of how it's pushed and promoted in the sports world or LinkedIn. 

Happiness is truly never found outside of a right relationship with Jesus.  

Nothing you experience or can live for will compare.

No amount of money or accolades, of riches and honor, will compare to the embrace of the one who took your place when the Court of God had originally pronounced you "Guilty on all count!".  You cannot comprehend that kind of freedom without asking Jesus to come into your life, forgive you of your sins, and to be your Lord and Savior.  

Nobody on the outside of that relationship can comprehend what it's like on the inside of it.

Anyone can pick up a Bible to read it and maybe get something out of it, they may even get the context right.  But once you come to Christ, and He is now your Savior, the Bible comes alive.  It's been said that the Bible is the only book you will ever read where the Author is always present. 

All over this world are people trying to convince people of a better life through worldly things and ideas.  Through changes of our physical makeup to our psychology.  Convincing people that if THEY change this or that, happiness will come.  Then when they do, suicide typically follows. The let down is that great.  You cannot change or remove the way sin affects you on your own. 

You need what Jesus offers in order to deal with sin. He casts your sin as far as the east is from the west.  Now, try to make those two meet.  It's impossible. Our sins, after we ask for forgiveness, are remembered no more.  

Life and living are different after we receive that free gift of Salvation. 
Don't try to clean up your life before coming to Christ.  It's not your job. That's for God to do. 
Don't let the embarrassment of things that you have done keep you away either. 
Don't let the intellectual things you don't understand about God stop you as well. 
Jesus promised that you would get help in understanding straight from Him through the Spirit of God. 

Be assured you will have good days and bad days after coming to Jesus.  He's still there for you.  He will always be there for you. Talking to Him can be done anywhere, at anytime. 

Jesus wants to be your friend, not your overlord.  He wants to enrich your life in ways you can't even understand today.  All that you see the world enticing you with is going to go away.  Everything that believers in Christ Jesus enjoyed and lived with 100 years ago are gone. What you are today, with the speed of innovation, will be gone in 10 years.  A right relationship with Jesus is forever. 

Sports, movies, television, internet or politics or personal agendas all will go away in time. 

Living a life of purpose is only possible with coming to Christ for salvation. 
He loved you enough to die for you, loves you still more to not leave you the way He found you, and promised to come back to get you. To forever be with Him in person. 

To sort of twist an old country song, look for relationship in the right place. Don't look for it in a world that is living for itself.  You just won't find it.  It isn't being religious. Honestly anyone can do that. There's billions and billions of people in Hell who were religious. What we want and what we need is a right relationship with Jesus.  As Dr. Jeremiah asked: Why not now?

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