What gives you life?
Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). One way the thief robs us of the life God intends for us to have is religion. Religion is our attempt to earn God’s approval or attempt to live up to the expectations of others. The Gospel or Good News is we already have God’s approval. We are accepted. We no longer have to do anything to earn his approval. There is now no condemnation (see Romans 8).
Excuse me while I dance!
This one reality changes everything. You may wonder if we don’t have to do anything to get’s God’s approval or acceptance then what is going to keep us on the narrow road. Love! When you have been loved by God well and begin to understand that love you can’t help but love him back. Your motivation for everything changes.
When your motivation is right, everything is right! When you motivation is wrong, everything is wrong. Grace is the ultimate expression of God’s love. It encapsulates everything good. It changes our lives and the more we experience it the more it changes our lives.
Unfortunately religion and religious people seek to assert control over their environment and the people around them. How do I know? I did it for years. It wasn’t until I went through the journey that led to the writing of Detox that I realized this. I got born again. The first time I got born again it was from sin. This time I got born again from religion.
With this new birth my life is changing. I’m like a baby learning to walk once again without the props of religion. God is changing everything about me, expecially my motivation. He is changing the way I view him. He is changing the way I view my relationships. He is changing the reason I do what I do. He is even changing my relationships. He is closing old chapters and opening new ones.
Yesterday I spent my day with one of the most life giving groups of followers I know. I am so thankful for my new friends at ARC (Association of Related Churches). They are lead by Billy Hornsby and they plant life giving churches. It’s easy to plant life giving churches when you are life giving. I am so grateful for these new friends.
We all can experience the life giving presence of Jesus. That’s what he does. He gives us life. Jesus invites us to “come follow him”. This is our invitation to life. Following Jesus is something that is possible because he has given us himself 24/7 through his Spirit. God dwells in us and all around us. The Kingdom is full of life. We are invited into his Kingdom.
We believe, but are we following Jesus life giving way? If your life is complicated and weighted down by the yoke of religion why not Detox. That’s what I did. Read through the Gospels focusing on Jesus’ life giving ways. Maybe reading about my journey will help you alone the way. Pick up a copy of Detox for the Overly Religious. Most importantly get around life giving people. Connect with a life giving church. Don’t worry when you find life giving people and life giving churches you will know it. They will give you life. Last, but not least be a life giver.