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 me would be a “Christ Follower.”  I may say I am a Christian, but more than anything else, I desire to be more and more like Jesus and that happens through me pursuing a relationship with Him and God daily.  I read somewhere this amazing quote that put it perfectly…

 

So the question is…

Do you have a “Religion” or do you have a “Relationship?”  There is a huge difference!

 

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB) of the Bible, it talks about what Jesus did to have a relationship with us…The Apostle Paul said,

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

 

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 you and me, not empty religious rituals.  God wanted it so much that he sent His son Jesus to die 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 HIM they will be saved from the consequences of their sins and will have eternal life in heaven.  Romans 10:9 (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.”

The relationship I have can be yours too, all you need is to pray a simple prayer and ask for forgiveness for be 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.  Below is a prayer you can pray to start your relationship, 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 forgive my sins.  I want a relationship with you I am in need of a Savior.  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.  Please forgive all my sins.  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 Romans 10:9-10 and 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: 

★ “Back to the Basics” – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian…Part 2 ★ 

 

 

 

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Ron is head writer at Daily Dependence where you can find more articles on faith and developing a "daily dependence" on God for your life. In 1998 he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior in his mid-twenties and Ron is unashamedly a born again Christian. God was so merciful to use his then fiancé to model a different lifestyle then the one he was living who led him out of darkness and into the light. Since then, God has cultivated a real burden in his heart to minister to people in need, whether it is relational, financial or spiritual. Over the years Ron has consistently prayed The Prayer of Jabez (see 1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV) with an emphasis on God “enlarging his territory,” or another way to say it, to increase his influence on others not for personal gain but for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Ron's greatest joy is to be used by God to teach, encourage, and help people to grow closer to Him. To learn more about Daily Dependence you can visit his page: ★ Why I Do What I Do ★ At https://dailydependence.wordpress.com/about/
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