Monday, November 12
Not About Religion
Throughout the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) Jesus repeatedly places the needs of people (physical and spiritual) above following the rules of religion. That's why he chooses to heal the crippled man even though it's the Sabbath--because God isn't focused on, interested in or keeping tabs on how good we are at keeping manmade rules ("So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, 'It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed'" [vs.10]). God's primary concern is people and reaching them with His life-saving message of love.
When I worked for Back to the Bible a number of years ago, we had a ministry aimed at young adults called "Not Religion." The tag line for that ministry was, "It's not about religion...it's about a relationship." I LOVE that phrase and use it often as I talk with people about what being a Christian really means.
"'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him'" (John 3:16-17).
How do you explain being a Christ-follower and what that means to people? How might you use or draw on the phrase "It's not about religion...it's about a relationship" as you interact with someone who's negative or adversarial about Christianity? Tami
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