Religion vs. Relationship -- By Janet P. Eckles
The best part of speaking before any group is what happens afterwards. Often folks stop and chat with me. This past week, that very thing happened.

A man shook my hand. "I was touched by your message," he said, "and I just want to know how you deal with the fact that the disease with your eyes is hereditary?"

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Well, I have a disease. It's hereditary, and I can't let go the worry and total fear my child will inherit it. I'm afraid of the future."

He paused. "And I don't have any religion...don't believe in much of anything."

I wanted to give him a huge hug and whisper in his ear, "You don't need a religion, you need a relationship with Jesus to set you free from that worry and fear."

Forgive me for being presumptuous. But if you are one of those who believe that religion is the answer, here are seven truths to ponder upon:

* Religion offers rituals, Jesus offers a personal relationship.
* Religions can change; Jesus is the same today, tomorrow and forever.
* Religion works to win grace, Jesus becomes the grace we can work under.
* Religion doesn't offer forgiveness; Jesus became the forgiveness for our sin.
* Religion offers no miracle; Jesus delights in performing them.
* Religion doesn't take you to heaven; Jesus took the blame so we could enter it.
* Religions bind us; Jesus sets us free.

When we spend sleepless nights, we wring our hands about the uncertainty of tomorrow, and mistakenly, we go by the way of religion, that's why Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

What rules your life these days—nothing in particular or a religion or a relationship with Christ, the Savior?

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Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.