By Gloria Wessner
That might sound weird coming from someone who writes about God, but it’s true! I don’t want to be bound up in religion, which traditionally is understood as being boring, impersonal, duty-bound, can be full of rituals yet unfulfilling. What I want and need is a living, breathing and dynamic personal relationship with someone bigger and more capable than I that loves me – not some religion. I need a relationship that has love, mercy and grace to depend on in living my life – not rituals, traditional sayings, warm fuzzy expressions, nebulous auras and famous celebrities’ sayings. These have many helpful sayings and suggestions, but they do not provide the ‘nuts and bolts’ help in determining personal choices I need to make whether big or small on a daily basis.
That kind of relationship does exist and is available to every one of us.
“Then Jesus said, ‘I am the bread that gives life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6:35 NCV)
As the above piece says, Jesus not only gives me life if I believe in him, but he also promises that I will never be hungry or thirsty again because my needs and wants will all be fulfilled by him, himself.
“A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I (Jesus) came to give life—life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10 NCV parentheses mine)
“…and you have a full and true life in Christ, who is ruler over all rulers and powers.” (Colossians 2:10 NCV)
Not only would I have that kind of relationship as I live my life on earth, but I’m also promised that kind of relationship when my life here is over:
“…but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.” (John 4:14 NCV)
This relationship, offered to us by God, and his message of love to us is timeless and relevant to every generation that has lived or ever will live:
“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” (Luke 21:33 NLT)
Religion cannot fulfill what people are looking for, but a living connection that is real with God can. He created us to have a vibrant connection with him (often noticed as an emptiness in oneself, but only God can fill it), so when we allow him and ask him into our life so he can cleanse the wrongdoings (called sin in his word) in our life we then belong entirely to him, and he will help us to live the way we were meant to live – with him and for him.
We will want to live that way because at that point a person realizes everything Jesus went through to make this relationship possible (the creator of the universe who comes to earth as a baby; lives, suffers immense physical pain when he never did anything wrong, dies, and rises again from the dead). He still lives today so he will always be around to help us throughout our life.
“You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ “(Acts 2:28 NLT)
“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b KJV)
Perhaps you’ve already tried religion, and you’ve learned from experience that it isn’t the answer you’re looking for and has left you feeling empty. Perhaps you’ve been trying self-help books or different philosophies, but it isn’t giving you the full meal deal you were looking for in your life. I would encourage you to write to me if you would like to consider a possible relationship with God. Not religion but a relationship. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you.