Posts Tagged ‘religious’

Gospel means Good News. The Gospel of Jesus or Jesus’ Good News is that He is God and that He loves you! We who know and understand this are asked to share this message with no strings attached. Unfortunately too often what is heard from us is “god loves me and he would love you too if you were like me.” This is not the Gospel. People are desperate to know they are loved and the world is persistently presenting overwhelming evidence that they’re not. We have to be different; we must present the truth of God’s unconditional love, not just in word but also in action.

Freedom is scary; in fact it’s so frightening most of us choose to remain imprisoned. Rather than join God in the moment and trust Him with our future we cling to what’s familiar and what we believe we control even when it’s painful and unhealthy.  Freedom is more than available, it’s God’s desire and we are presented with the opportunity to choose it constantly. So instead of entertaining the same old thoughts, living according to other’s opinions and staying in our well worn rut; take a chance! Follow your heart, live and love in the now!

Jesus said, “Follow Me” many times. What do you suppose He meant? I ask because it seems like we’ve decided He meant for us to get others to follow us. This is far from His intent as He warns in Matthew 23:15, “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.”

Our desire should always be to draw others to Jesus using only the implement of love. His love, the very love that filled your heart should be shared or taught without religious baggage and devoid of go-betweens. “Make disciples” is better read, “Teach (share) My love”.

It’s been far too long since I sat down to write you. You’ve been in my thoughts very much and I’ve prayed for you often.

Well over two years ago I was inspired to encourage you through this blog with the idea that if I could tell you just one thing, what would it be? Well today it’s that there is so much more! More what? Would be a good question but we’ll answer that later. Here are some other questions to consider first: Do you have the feeling that there’s something lacking in your life? Do you feel less “spiritual” than many of those around you? Could God be more “real”, more present to you? Do you get pressure to religiously perform up to others expectations but when you do it’s rarely fulfilling? If you answered yes to any of these questions don’t be discouraged. God is inviting you to put all of that behind you.

Each of us spends far too much of our lives looking for love in all the wrong places. The more that we are looking for, the more that we know is out there for us, is God Himself. He truly is everything we need and He wants us to quit trying to manufacture a relationship with Him or maybe more importantly to quit manufacturing the appearance of a relationship with Him.

Slow down, get quiet, cry out. He loves you so very much. He truly can be everything you need and even more so everything you want. Let Him! Don’t remain in the shackles of whatever keeps you from Him, it’s a position of your own making. He wants to meet you today right where you’re at and pour His peace and freedom all over you.

You are loved; don’t believe the evidence to the contrary.

One of the most radical things about Jesus, the thing that really set the religious folks off was His interpretation of scripture. Man had twisted The Word to fit his own agenda and Jesus came to set things straight, after all it’s His Word. It’s a shame history repeats itself. Fortunately the simplicity of Christ’s teaching can be as clear today if we’ll trust in Him. Don’t let religion complicate.

I’ve known two kinds of Christians, those that love and those that love to be right.

“What I like about Jesus’ message is that we don’t have to study Him anymore to know Him. That’s what the religious people at the time were promoting. Collecting information about someone is not the same as knowing a person. Stalkers are ordinary people who study from afar the people they’re too afraid to really know. Jesus said that unless you know Him like a child you’ll never really know Him at all. Kids don’t care about facts, and they certainly don’t study each other. They’re just with each other; they do stuff together. That’s what Jesus had in mind” – Bob Goff, Love Does

There are many who keep God at a distance out of fear. They may be afraid that He’ll ask them to do something they don’t want to do or send them somewhere they don’t want to go. I’ve even heard some say they’re fearful that if they get too close He’ll take them to Heaven before they’re ready. This is not God. He doesn’t want us to be afraid. He’s not asking to be our boss so He can order us around at His whim. His desire to be involved in our lives is not for His benefit at all. He completely wants what is best for us. You see God doesn’t have some need to “be first in our lives”. There’s no scorecard. We don’t end our day checking off the list: prayer – 1 hour, devotion – ½ hour, served lunch at the mission – 2 hours… slept 7 hours, dang God didn’t come in first. What He wants more than anything is to be involved in all of our life. Certainly study and prayer but also work and play. He wants to be included in our laughter just as much as in our tears. We needn’t be afraid. What He has for us is so much more than what we want for ourselves.

Here’s a great podcast that touches on this: The God Journey

Do you ever have those times when God seems a little distant? You know something is not like it could be so you start to worry about it and put a plan into action. You determine to read more and pray more and before you know it you’ve taken the relationship completely into your own hands, religion has taken over and you aren’t any closer than when you started. I wonder if God might want to say, “slow down, rest, come back over here I haven’t gone anywhere. Don’t try so hard, Let’s just be together today”?

If we’re going to emulate anyone in the story of the man that had two sons it should be the Father. His love for the lost never wavers, His patience with the religious is unfailing, He desires for us to know that all He has is ours and He rejoices when we are with Him. Let’s be like the father to everyone and not camp in the role of either one of His sons.