I’m laying down all my religion! Why would I, a Christian, and Jesus follower, who’s given all their adult life to ministry, say that?
Why? Because religion binds people up; it stifles, it restricts, it constricts, and quite often separates us from the one who we are seeking.
The gospel – the good news of Jesus is not complex. It is simple. It’s something to rejoice about. It’s worth reaching out for. It’s worth giving up anything else this world has to offer. For once you find the truth of the simple gospel of Jesus it’ll set you free.
It’s about knowing God. About knowing Him as a friend. About knowing Him face-to-face, and living in closeness to Him.
It’s not about boxing God into our limited understanding or comfort zones; or about rules, laws or can’t do’s. And it’s definitely not about religion! For religion peddles fear, condemnation, and constrictions. It holds systems of control, and judgment. It produces pride, and security in what we can do, rather than in what God wants to do and has done. Religion often looks down on others, and more often than not is disapproving of those who are truly seeking freedom in Jesus.
It’s can often look like the world’s system, and to be honest it’s pretty yucky! For it has turned more people than I would like to count away from the simplicity of Jesus’ love for them. It’s turned God seekers into bound up individuals, and it has conditioned us to think of God and who we are, within a system, which sadly perhaps doesn’t represent heaven at all.
Jesus’ love is perfect. He doesn’t seek to control, or constrict anyone. For His love brings such freedom and life, you literally feel like you can soar like an eagle. His love heals our hurts, calms our fears, and brings such peace and bliss. The systems of the world, and even of religion seek to squash that joy, and freedom. But don’t mistake that for who Jesus is. For that is not Him!
He destroys the works of the devil. He accepts us, when we have been told we aren’t good enough, He reaches out to us, where others have turned a blind eye. His message of love, when shared has changed the world. It’s a message of pure love, acceptance, and glorious freedom.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
To be honest I’m still getting a hold of just how simple the gospel is. I’m continuing to detox from the systems of control and religion. But I love God, and when we love Him he says he will lead and guide us. It does mean we may have to let go of mindsets, of hurts, of pride, of attempting to control so that everything is in nice little neat boxes. It does mean choosing everyday to trust Him, and flow along with Him wherever He leads.
But I highly recommend it, because it brings so much happiness and peace. There’s a lot of joy in it, and so much less “work”. I have never felt so relaxed, even though I have lots still to keep me busy. The toil has gone, the drama has gone, and instead I’m learning to rejoice in the simplicity of it all.
If you are thinking it’s all too hard, that the weight of life is too heavy, or you feel like you’ve always being controlled, or told you don’t measure up, then today lay it all down, and reach for the simplicity of Jesus’ good news to you. The good news that you are loved; that you are accepted, and that you can know God and the wonders and mysteries of Heaven right now. It’s not about what we can do, it’s about how much He will do, and has done for each one of us already. We only need reach out and receive it.
There is so much more. Don’t settle for what the world, and man has been serving up; look to Jesus and seek the simple truth of the gospel. When you do you’ll discover a whole realm of possibilities, and a love that will change everything. If you look you’ll also discover people whose heart is the same, who you can call family.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
I pray that “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
We have a saying in our house that there is a song for every occasion. This song says it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcJV7j5D3PU
Prayer: Jesus please reveal to me the simple gospel. Forgive me where I have settled for, and bought into the systems of the world, and even religion. I reach out for you Jesus, and your truth that sets me free. In Jesus Name Amen.