Are You Religious Without A Personal Relationship With Christ?

There is a tremendous difference between being a religious person and a person having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many who convert to Christianity believe they are required to live by a long list of do’s and don’ts, abide by 1000s of years of traditions and laws monitored by a God Who is waiting to punish us for any misstep.  Do you adhere to a religious philosophy that makes you feel that it is your job to work your way to heaven? You may realize the Jews had 613 laws that they had to obey.  Plus they had different sacrifices and festivals that were required.  Rules and laws, many believe, are because ordinary people do not understand how they should live. If that is you, you will miss the joy that a relationship with Christ and God can bring under the New Covenant of grace.

Mark 12:30 – 31 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  If you are capable of doing these two things all of the other commandments will be met.  If you love others you will not take advantage of them by stealing, coveting or the others.

Some people have never felt loved or feel capable of loving.  Yet, we are commanded to love God and others.  God would never command us to do something we could not do.  Scripture tells us we must develop this love relationship with Christ.  This is only possible when we learn to love.  God knows we cannot love Him and others unless we first love ourselves.  It is amazing how many struggle with loving themselves.  They see themselves as lacking confidence, feeling unworthy or not truly being accepted by others or belonging with others.  This is why it was so necessary for Christ to die that our sins could be forgiven and our guilt erased.  Is it possible to develop a decent relationship if a person lacks any of those three factors?  Having a personal relationship with Christ will give us confidence, give us that assurance that we are worthy and assured us we will be accepted into the family of God.  There is no greater joy than knowing you have been accepted to live in eternity with God’s family.

God, knowing the frailties of man, made believers many promises, such as:  Romans 8:31 – “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  A good relationship with God will change our personality and how we see ourselves.  He gives us His Spirit to help us do whatever God calls us to do.  He then tells us not to worry because no matter who or what problems we encounter, He will be with us and for us.

Romans 8:38 – 39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Scripture tells us that once we develop a personal relationship with Christ and God nothing can ever separate us from their love.  What must it be like to never have felt unconditional love asking nothing in return?

What is it that God wants from each one of us as Christians?  He is looking for and preparing a body of believers that will live with Him through eternity.  What is the number one requirement to enter that final destiny?  The answer is love through our personal relationship with Christ.  He wants our love toward Him and the same love to others.  Can you visualize living in an eternity where everyone had that kind of love for God and for others?  How do we obtain that kind of love and a relationship with Christ?  It will only come through the Holy Spirit’s help.

The Bible repeatedly says God is not interested in our works but He cares about what is in our hearts and our attitudes.  Is His love really in our hearts?  If so we have learned there can be no hate or a lack of forgiveness.  What God requires can only be obtained by allowing the Holy Spirit to change who we are.  This is why we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to be ignored or we fail in enhancing our personal relationship with Christ.  We must let the Holy Spirit become very active in our daily lives. He is our contact with Christ and God.  If we are not seeing supernatural occurrences from time to time we probably have not made the Holy Spirit our partner or developed much of a relationship.  So shouldn’t we expect the Holy Spirit to be manifest in most everything we do?  He will if we pray and ask for His help. He will not force Himself onto us.

Philippians 4:13 – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Start each day with prayer asking specifically for the Spirit within us to guide in everything we do throughout the day.  When we are driving to and from work we can pray, without closing our eyes that he will bring the same love God has for us so we can return that love to Him and to others.  The last thing each day, take a minute and thank the Holy Spirit for being active in our lives.  After a time we will begin to realize and recognize that God’s Spirit lives within us and is actively changing our personality and behavior.  We will then begin to realize that we as Christians have been given a unique advantage in living our lives.  We too will learn there are many blessings that God wants to give to us through the Holy Spirit within.

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