Jesus died, so I could live.

I really struggle, do you? I struggle with that title. I mean, did God really come down in the form of HIS Son to die for me, taking my place? I think I have “heard” this and “believed” this for so long that I have come to take it for granted. If I am completely honest with myself and with you, I am too familiar with the old old story. And it fights to ruin me every day of my life. It hides itself as COMPLACENCY, but it convinces me that it is named “Not-being-pushy-with-Jesus.” It tells me not to care (which is really APATHY), but it convinces me that it is named “Those-people-deserve-it” or “They-made-their-bed-now-they-get-to-lie-in-it” or sometimes “That-is-somebody-else’s-problem.” I have been in the church most of my memorable life. Sunday after Sunday. Sunday school class after Sunday school class. Youth group meeting after youth group meeting. I have been on every trip in the book when it comes to being a child, teen and youth. I have heard sermon after sermon. I have sung the hymns week after week. I have sang new song after new song. I have taken communion close to 2000 different times (This is just an approximation!) Maybe you have heard the phrase “Been there, done that”. This has been the epitome of my Church life experience – I have been there, I have done that! And maybe that is just it! Maybe I have allowed my walk with Jesus to be too often about being there, being that, and buying a shirt to prove my point. But when I read the Bible, I don’t see this as the way I am to live. In fact, I NEVER see this as God’s call for me. It is so much more than religiosity. Yet, I am guilty of living in religion rather than in relation to my Savior. This is what we have been preaching and teaching, but I believe I have fallen prey to religion. When I am in religion, I can check in and out. When I am in religion, I can show up sometimes and sometimes not. When I am in religion, I can love people when it is easy and when it isn’t I don’t love. When I am in religion, I can serve or not serve, but expect others to serve me. When I am in relationship, my life is a continual pursuit of HIS love. When I am in relationship, I listen to HIM because I am in the relationship. When I am in relationship, I am always available because that is what a relationship is. When I am in relationship, I am constantly thinking about HIS thoughts never checking out! Sometimes, what I need is to get back to the basics. Remember and think upon the simple things and be amazed by them. Yes, Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so! And this is EXACTLY what we are doing for Easter. John 3:16 – why not bring someone to hear the simple message again for the first time!