The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the religious elite, who used the people’s love for God (or fear of God) to control people, limit their freedom, and empty them of the relationship with God that was intended. When you practice religion, your relationship with God is degraded to a mathematical formula. Do this, then do this, don’t do that, and presto. . . you are right in the eyes of God. This is TOTALLY missing the point! God wants so much more. He wants to have a real relationship with you. He wants to show his love to you and He wants you to love Him.
As I think of why Jesus came to die for us, I realized the reasons why He did not come…. He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. He did not come to be served but to serve. He did not come to point a finger of judgment but extended a hand of help. He did not come to live but he came to die…for you and me. Jesus did not defeat death so that I may become a Pharisee. So when I say I am Christian I am not boasting in my perfection but in my flaws, because in my mess I have a message, in my tests I have my testimony and in my disappointments I have received HIS-appointments! And in Christ I am made whole. The following poem describes, who I am!!
When I say… ‘I am a Christian’, I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean liven”
I’m whispering ‘I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.’
When I say… ‘I am a Christian’, I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble, And need Christ to be my guide.
When I say… ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak, And need His strength to carry on.
When I say… ‘I am a Christian’, I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed, And need God to clean my mess.
When I say… ‘I am a Christian’, I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, But, God believes I am worth it.
When I say… ‘I am a Christian,’ I still feel the sting of pain…
I have my share of heartaches, So I call upon His name.
When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner
Who received God’s good grace, somehow! ~ Maya Angelou
You’ve probably seen this video by Jefferson Bethke, it’s a powerful spoken word that explains Jesus > religion, be blessed:
Ask yourself the following and be true to self, you know the answers, voice them.
- If you were to fully live your life, what is the first change you would make?
- What are three things you are doing regularly that don’t serve or support you?
- What do you really, really want?
- What’s one change you could make to your life that would give you more of that?
Keeping It Simple & Straightforward