This is Not About Religion!

I have been reading a great book by Phil Strout called, God’s Relentless Pursuit: Discovering His Heart for Humanity. I highly recommend it!

Phil writes, “God blesses us so that we may bless others. He loves us so that we may love others. He reaches us so that we may reach others. As John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard movement, often said, “We get, to give.” What we receive from God is designed to be given away.”

Have you ever seen what happens to water when it is poured into a container and just sits? By definition stagnant water becomes “stagnant” once it stops flowing or when it is confined. Stagnant water can easily become contaminated, an incubator for many kinds of bacteria and other parasites, and a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that transmit all kinds of diseases. Have you ever been around stagnant water? It can have a foul smell. Often you will see algae in various forms or the water can even become coated with scum. The bottom line is that stagnant water is not attractive and no one would be willing to consume or even play in it.

For me religion is like scum covered stagnant water. It is people who have been confined or bonded together by a set rules or obligations. These groups can easily become contaminated and often focus on ideas and practices that take away from the main point. They primarily look to hold onto everything they have and keep it for the group. I have never found religion or religious people attractive and not to sound to judgmental – they often are wrapped up in “stinking thinking”. What do I mean by “stinking thinking”? They often have negative things to say about people, the world, ideas, or anything that they see differently. The truth is that religion is not tolerant. Either you conform to the religious views or ways, or they will reject you. Now I understand that Christianity is classified as a religion. If you just take the rules, sacraments, and obligations of Christianity – without the relationship with God – than you truly have another intolerant religion.

However when I read the gospels, I see that Jesus is all about relationship. Throughout the Gospels, we read story after story of how Jesus intersected with people – and their lives were changed forever. Jesus came to teach us a way of life not religion. He came to show us that God has blessed all of humanity so that we can be a blessing to others. This is the coolest part about experiencing the blessings of God. We are actually meant to share them with everyone we know. It has to flow and be given away or it will become stagnant in our lives. As Paul reminds us in Romans 15:13; we were created to not only receive the blessings from God but that we will overflow with the blessings and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God is pursuing you right now. He desires to bless your life to the point that it overflows on everyone you know. This has nothing to do with you besides you being a vessel that has the pleasure to participate with God and to pour out God’s love and grace on others. Don’t be a stagnant person wrapped up in religion and religious self-importance. God is on a mission! Let’s join with Him to be a blessing and transform our County and the world with the Father’s love, message, and good deeds.

Let’s be a BLESSING to others!