Don’t Call Me Religious

Whatever you do,

don’t call me religious

 

And you might be confused

because I go to church regularly

and I talk about God

and I read my Bible

 

but please

don’t call me religious

 

Because I’m not

 

I am a Follower of Jesus,

the One who said,

 

“I am the WAY

the Truth

and the LIFE…”

 

not ONE of the ways

ONE of the truths

 

He is my LIFE

 

And all the religions of the world

are full of people

 

working their way to God

or to something other than God

 

While I place all my faith

with evidence

on my God who came down for me

 

Religion is ritual

and repetition

and redundant

 

My relationship

with the Lord of the Universe

is new

freeing

and vibrant

 

Religion constantly has its focus on

“What can God do for me?”

 

Relationship with God has its focus on

God

 

Please,

whatever you do,

don’t call me religious

 

for my Jesus

who took on human flesh and humanity

 

reserved His harshest words

for religious people

 

They might have looked pious on the outside

but they were not God-alive on the inside

 

they were dead inside

 

We need Jesus to cleanse us from our sin…

 

Uh oh, I said it,

SIN

 

Who wants to hear that word??

 

But we all know we struggle with it!

Sin, like cancer, eats away at us

 

And God had a plan all along

to save us from the bondage of it

 

He would step into our world

and make the payment for OUR sin

 

by sacrificing His perfect self,

unconditionally loving us

all

along

the

way

 

But He didn’t skimp on words

while He was here

 

and He wanted everyone to know

 

that the Son of God does not stutter

when He says,

 

“NO ONE comes to the Father

except through Me.”

 

No one

 

Not a single

religious

person

 

who is trusting in themselves being religious

to get themselves to God

 

For there is no good deed that wins God’s favor

 

No amount of charity work

or chants

or  going to church

or bowing 10 times…

 

It has always been about God,

not what He can do for me

 

This is not about self-centered religion

but a God-centered life

 

committed to His glory

 

What a free

and abundant

and wonderful way

to live

 

Thank you, Jesus,

for setting me free of

RELIGION

 

~  Susie Stewart

 

Pass this on to everyone you know.  The message is for the whole world.  

 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

~  John 14:6 (NIV)

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

– Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

 

You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.

– Matthew 23:27 (MSG)

 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

– Romans 10:9 (NIV)

 

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He himself is fair and just, and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.

– Romans 3:22-26 (NLT)

 

Photo by Andy Stewart

Dirty Little Secret

You have a dirty little secret

 

Your life that people see

is not what they don’t

 

Your outward

is not the same

as your inward

 

God and people

are not truly honored

behind closed doors

 

Lies and deception

are disguised as piety

and truth

 

And people are hurt by secrets

especially the one doing the hurting

 

Because what you don’t realize

is that the one who truly has

a dirty little secret

 

is the enemy of your soul

 

He has you in his grip

and you thought you were in control

 

of the facade

 

Nothing is truly secret

Except the way you are being deceived

 

– Susie Stewart

 

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light.

– Luke 8:17 (GW)

 

Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!

– Luke 12:3 (NLT)

 

For God will judge every action—including everything done in secret—whether it be good or evil.

– Ecclesiastes 12:14 (VOICE)

 

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.

– Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)

 

* Disclaimer — This is not written about anyone within the walls of our home. Friend, if your life inside your home does not match up with your life outside your home, if you are putting on a facade, if you are being deceived by the enemy into not living out God’s grace and honor toward the people you are closest to, please wake up!  Your enemy prowls and looks for those who he may devour.  Don’t be deceived, God is not mocked.  Bring all into the light and let God’s Spirit cleanse and mend.

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

7 Days A Week

 

 

Sunday best

Dressed

 

Outer Core

Impressive

 

Inner sanctuary

Ragged

Calloused

Dirty

 

 

Weekday shabby

Dressed

 

Outer core

Forgettable

 

Inner sanctuary

Lovely

Sincere

Honorable

 

7 Days A Week

A heart

knowing God is observing

not

the outside

but the in

 

And that

is the focal point

of existence

 

– Susie Stewart

 

People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

 

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

– Jeremiah 17:10 (NLT)

 

…Grant forgiveness according to each person’s heart, for You know the heart of every man. You, and only You, know every heart

– 1 Kings 8:38-39 (VOICE)

 

Sitting across from the offering box, He was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called His disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”

– Mark 12:41-44 (MSG)

 

And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.

– 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NIV)

 

…for He knows the secrets of every heart.

Psalm 44:21

 

Photo by Susie Stewart