Acts 17:27 NLT “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him though He is not far from any of us”
Do you know someone who doesn’t attend church because they believe it’s too “religious’? Or maybe society has portrayed the church to be more of a religion than relational? Or do you tend to shy away from anything that you believe is religious because you feel it comes with rules and regulations? God is not a religion. Jesus is not a religion. God’s purpose is for us to have a relationship with Him because we are His sons and daughters.
Last week my friend Facetimed me while I was in the middle of typing my devotional. He asked what the devotional was about and I started to go into detail about how God led me to sow a seed into my friend. Out of nowhere I heard an unfamiliar voice in his background say “Wow you’re so inspirational”. I responded “awwwww thank you” and then he introduced me to His friend. She over heard me sharing my testimony with him about my friend that inspired me to write last week’s devotional. He started to tell her how I am an inspirational person and I jumped in and said “But did you tell her that I wrote a book LOL?”. She was in awe and asked me if my book was religious. I responded “No it’s not religious it’s inspirational. If you want to call it ‘religious’ because I reference scriptures from the Bible to encourage and build the readers faith. I don’t consider myself to be ‘religious’. I’m a spiritual person who has a relationship with God. Now, I do go to church because that’s what I need to keep my spirit fed”.
During our conversation she opened up to me about how she grew up going to Christian School and would have to go to church everyday. Now that she’s an adult she does not like going to church and disclosed her reasons for not wanting to attend. I said “Wow! That reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw it says ‘Jesus is not a religion. It’s a relationship’. Some people hear the word religion and automatically think I can’t do this or I can’t do that. It’s all about having your own personal relationship with God. You don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with God”. As the conversation continued to flow, it led her to share the story about a very religious man who was stuck on his roof because of a flood. He kept asking God to send Him help, and each time God sent him help he was not able to recognize it. She said to me “You’re like the boat or the other form of help that God sent”. I smiled and received it as a compliment. Sometimes things happen in life that cause you to not want to attend church, but then God sends someone your way to remind you that God is what and who you need. It is your relationship with God that will help you through the good and bad times, ups and downs, and tests and the victories.
God created us to be in relationship with Him, but society has portrayed the church to be more of a religion which has turned a lot of people away from wanting to attend. Some people associate church with where God is, but in reality God is in us and we are the church not a building. I believe that the church building was created to have a place to fellowship with other believers to build your faith, spiritual walk, and relationship with God. The word “religion” comes with a notion that you are not allowed to do certain things which is associated with rules that should be obeyed. When rules are broken this is how people end up hurting other people because they fall short of the rules that religion says one should follow. Spending time with God, seeking His face, and learning more about Him is a relationship. God wants us to have a relationship with Him because we were created in His image. Whether you’re spending time with God at home or fellowshipping at church with other believers, it is important to remember that it’s not a religion it’s a relationship.