Does religion lead to a relationship with God?

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It’s something I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Why? Well, like many other people, I was raised in a religion &, after leaving it, I visited many churches & I must say, I met a lot of very nice people, I formed strong bonds with them & made some really special memories with them & continue to do so, however, last year I stopped going to church. I certainly shocked myself as I never thought I’d actually ever stop attending church. I found church wanting. I never found God’s presence wanting. I said goodbye to religion but not to my relationship with God.

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What made me decide to leave church? What was the real clincher? You know, I started to think heavily on Jesus words, 3 statements he made that clearly made sense to me & stirred my heart. Jesus said: ‘ I AM the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE;’ ( John 14 verse 6) so, why am I searching for truth in religion instead of Jesus? Why am I searching for a way to serve God in the religions of this world when Jesus said that he is the way? Where can I get life? Not in a building but by seeking God’s presence and believing in His son’s ransom sacrifice which opened the way for us sinners to have life eternal. You see, I get lost in a church and found in Christ. I wonder what I’m nodding to & agreeing with in a church, when Jesus said that the Father is looking for such ones who will worship Him in Spirit & Truth. ( John 4 verse 24)

How do I worship God in Spirit & Truth? I believe it also means to seek God’s presence & to seek God’s truth through prayer & His word, the only living book on the planet.

I still don’t know what I think about the church system as a whole as yet, but I do remember someone saying to me that she thinks corporate worship is important & all I could think was… I don’t like corporate anything.

The command in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24 & 25 is ‘ Not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together.’ I agree. but I believe strongly in Jesus words that ‘ Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, so too, AM I.’ If I’m eating a meal with Christian friends I’m serving God &, you know when you have FOUND God because there is JOY.

So, I’m walking this journey right now & the amazing thing is that it doesn’t feel wrong. Will I go to church again? I’ll wait & see where God leads me, IF, He leads me THERE.

I do know that Jesus invites us to accept him as our Lord & Saviour, we can pour out our heart to him & he won’t condemn us because God is GREATER than our hearts ( that might condemn us) GREATER than peoples tongues &, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. In short. He’s got the facts! Now, isn’t that wonderful! &, even if the facts point at YOU, He can gently take your finger & kiss away all that ugliness in an instant.

 

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What does it mean to live in peace?

In life, there are pathways to choose, mountains to climb & summits to reach. Living in peace has everything to do with being at peace with God; as Moses did, scripture tells us that “He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”- Hebrews 12 verse 27.

 

In life, there are mountains to climb. Obstacles to overcome within and without. We only add to the height of the mountain if we climb in bitterness. What is bitterness? It’s a sourness of the heart. Ever accidentally poured sour milk in your tea? Well, it’s the same as filling our hearts with sour thoughts against another, it’s like drinking tea with sour milk, continually! There is very little space left for the Holy Spirit to rest comfortably in because the Holy Spirit is saturated in peace, born & clothed in love.

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Therefore; to choose wisely, to walk, climb and reach our goals, to create a wholesome, healthy and healing way of life, we need to be at peace with God. In doing this; we become holy as Hebrews 12 verse 14 reveals: ” Make every EFFORT to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” What happens if we don’t make that effort? Verse 15 points to what anxiety  we bring on ourselves: -” See to it that no bitter root ( remember that sourness of heart?) grows up (like a cancerous root, it grows ( and sours us within) to cause trouble and defile many.” It results in trouble & trouble defiles not just yourself but many.

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If you are feeling sour at heart the remedy is to make every Effort to live in peace. And, even if that peace is not reciprocated, you made an effort & God appreciates that effort and now you can move on & live  in PEACE because you have been given a ‘fresh bottle of milk’ for your cup of tea. The trouble has left your door. The other person needs their time to come to this revelation. And, remember, as far as it depends on YOU, so you don’t need to be best mates, besties or hang out again as you once did! Scripture says, “As far as it depends on YOU” be at PEACE. What that means is you harbour no ill will and you remember the good times because if you were once buds there were good times! photo-1530124828273-4200e7285b2d

In life and life is time, we are always moving hopefully forward; don’t stay back there in your past; live in peace with God. Partake of His holiness by being at peace with others.

God bless you all. If there is anyone out there who desires to be at peace with God, please accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, let him know in prayer that you want that. Ask him to forgive your sins and he will! no matter how terrible your stuff ups were, even if it was a minute ago you did something you are ashamed of, Jesus blood covers that sin. He won’t put you on probation for it, his forgiveness is complete, yes, we sometimes have to reap the consequences of our  bad choices but Jesus is there to plead your case and help you all the way by forgiving you and NEVER keeping that sin before you again! photo-1516332547958-464d29107b05

Now that’s good news!