I went to church for the first fifteen years of my life. I memorized Bible verses. I attended Sunday School. I acted in the church plays. But I am not religious.
I have a relationship.
You see, religion is a list of rules and regulations that determine if you are good enough to get to heaven.
Religion is a one-way street. You do, do, do. And the more you do, the more you have to do to ďpleaseĒ God.
A relationship is a two-way street.
Romans 3:23 says ďAll have sinned and come short of the glory of God.Ē
There is nothing that you can do in your own strength to qualify you for heaven. The only thing that qualifies you is accepting Jesus as your Saviour. It isnít anything that you do. It is what Jesus did by taking your sins on the Cross. It is what Jesus did by laying His life down so that you may have a place in heaven.
His shed blood on the Cross puts me in right standing with God. As a result, I have the opportunity to develop a relationship with Him.
Instead of praying, begging and pleading, I talked to Him as I would a friend. Then I listen, which to me, is the most important part. When I listen, I hear Him speak. It may not always be a voice. Maybe it is a thought that pops into my mind out of nowhere. Perhaps it is a feeling or an impression, but I know that when I listen, God will speak.
I donít do things because I have to. I do things for God because I want to. I love Him and out of love comes obedience and the desire to want to do things for Him.
A relationship with God doesnít just happen. As in any relationship, you have to work at it. You have to carve out time in your schedule to spend time with Him. The more time you spend with Him, the more solid your relationship becomes. The more your love grows and so does your need to obey Him.
Remember, though, that a relationship is a two-way street. You canít do all the talking. You have to listen. If you donít, you will never really know God.
thats awesome! i was not raised in a religious family, i was raised in a secular jewish one. So when I came to know the Lord, and my Messiah, I learned (slowly) that He doesn't want my works, He wants my heart, He wants all of me. He wants to be my friend and what a friend I have in Jesus!!