Yesterday I pointed out the imperative for all believers to “LIVE OUT” their faith by pulling JESUS out of religion and putting him in our heart so he can drive how we think and act.
That prompted many positive comments and several requests from our global online tribe to elaborate on what it meant to “pull Jesus out of religion.” So let’s do that together right now.
As I mentioned yesterday, the Christian RELIGION is not the pathway to God. A RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is the way we STOP focusing on knowing about God and START surrendering, obeying, emulating, and following Christ.
One reason why “religion over relationship” is dangerous can be seen in how most people associate religion with church.
There is nothing in the Bible mandating membership in a church—EVEN THOUGH GOD DEFINITELY WANTS US THERE.
Church is not the building or the process. Church is people FOCUSED ON JESUS.
My friend and pastor Tim Timmons connects this point to the VINE (Jesus) and the BRANCHES (all disciples of Christ—US) John 15:1-10.
Tim puts it like this: “This all happens in the name of Jesus with nothing added. Not Miracle Grow on the leaves. Not mulch on the roots. Just Jesus. Every person Jesus encountered, touched, healed or raised from the dead was convinced that Christ alone is enough.”
He’s right. Jesus is enough. But to live that out, we need to reject the urge to be intoxicated by the 21st Century with its Artificial Intelligence, Driverless Cars, Selfie Sticks, Passenger Space Travel, Blockchain Technology, Remote Surgery, Smartphone Supercomputers, Robots, and Cryptocurrency.
NOTHING, in the end, matters more than having a relationship with Jesus.
I ask God to remind me every day that he is the vine and I am a branch. To keep me perpetually connected to him so I will bear fruit through him and for him. All and always to his glory.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Have you checked in on your relationship with JESUS lately?
“Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:4-5