Friday, January 13, 2012

Relationship vs. Religion

Living from the Inside Out 

 Jesus didn't come to make us religious - to carry our Bibles, to "look" the part on the outside, to speak Christianese (Christian lingo) that no one else can understand, to act superior, to sit in judgment, or to earn our way to God. 

He came to restore a broken relationship - the one between you/me and the living God. We have a sin dilemma that separates us from God. It's our fault. We chose it. Christ fixed it. I couldn't have done it. You couldn't have done it. Only he could.

Relationship is about Jesus Christ - and it's personal. It's about embracing Jesus, drinking him in, depending on him, and doing life with him day by day, moment by moment. It's about what Christ has done in my life - the saving of my soul and the changing of my person. It says I am who I am because of his goodness and the work he has graciously chosen to do in me. It's about Christ living in me and through me to love and testify to the truth in a hurting world.  

I can tell you relationship has changed my life. In the beginning I believed in Christ, but didn't realize God wanted a relationship with me. I was about as broken as they come . . . carrying around a whole lot of junk . . . a complicated mess and completely disgusting in so many ways. Things I had done that I thought were unforgivable did not keep him away. As I began to live in relationship with him, he took the nasty, shame-filled, damaged condition of my heart and poured himself into it. His brilliant glory outshines the darkest places in me. He has healed my hurts, given me a fresh start, and set me free. 

When we realize who he is and what he's done, the only response is to say, "God, take my life - all of it." 

This is relationship. It's what God desires with us. 

Relationship is essential to living from the inside out.

Desperately dependent and grateful for all he's done . . .