Relationship vs Religion

March 14, 2021

By Gina Padilla

I read somewhere recently that we’re all God’s children, but God doesn’t have any grandchildren. Meaning that we are all God’s children by birth, but it’s up to us to choose God in order to be saved and enjoy our inheritance of dwelling with God for eternity. No one automatically gets into God’s family because their parents were great followers of Christ. Everyone must make the choice and develop their relationship with God individually. 

While growing up in faith can seem like an advantage, it is still up to each individual to repent from sin, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and walk with Him. The faith of the people around you doesn’t matter —developing your own faith does. You can’t stand on your parents’ faith. It’s your own faith and your own relationship with God that determines your inheritance. 

I was born into a traditional faith. I went to church every Sunday but never opened a bible. I knew about God and Jesus, but I didn’t really “know” them. Other than going to church, I never prayed unless I needed something. I didn’t seek God and spend time with Him every day. I believed Jesus died for my sins because that’s what I was taught, but I never really understood it. I didn’t really understand what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Honestly, I thought that people who were “born again” were a little weird. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s when I started attending a Bible-teaching church that I finally understood this concept and made a deliberate decision to repent and accept Jesus as my Savior.

You may not have been brought up with any religious background, but Jesus doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the pastor, the priest or the pope. The only person you have to know is Jesus. And Jesus is freely available to everyone. You don’t have to worry about getting on His calendar; you just have to make time for Him on yours.

Jesus wants a relationship with you. You can nurture that relationship through prayer, worship and spending time in God’s Word.

When you look at your relationship with Jesus, it is fresh? Is it vibrant? Is it yours? Or are you hanging on to family traditions and just going through the motions? Do you define your faith as a religion or a relationship? 

Jesus is very particular and He wants you to know Him, not just know about Him. He desires an intimate relationship with you. He doesn’t condemn you for your past, but He wants your present. By having your present, He’ll have your future.

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

John 17:3 NIV

  1. Dave VanEpps says:

    Sounds a lot like my life story and I’m sure those of millions of others. Thanks for sharing. I love how you don’t have to get on His calendar; you just have to make time on yours. Well said!

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