Jesus And Religion

Jesus And Religion

Jesus came to say "My story is bigger than religion."
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As you see the title, you begin to form an opinion on what you think this post is going to be about. "Oh," you think, "she's going to go there," or maybe you looked at the title and thought, "Wait what.. I thought Jesus and religion was the same thing??" You could be super intrigued about what you think I'm going to write, or maybe you almost clicked the x button when you read the title. The good news is that you haven't even read the meat of this post yet! So I advise you to keep reading.

To set things straight, I'm not writing to answer that age old question, "does Jesus hate religion?" because honestly, the best answer I could come up with is "kinda, sorta, not really, idk." I'm not here to answer what I think Jesus hates and loves, because I'm not Jesus. I do not think that Jesus hates religion, nor do I hate religion. What I am going to say though, is that religion has been distorted to say things that Jesus did not establish. I think we all hear Jesus loud and clear when he says "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17 ESV) but something that we still have trouble with is sticking to the true religion that Jesus brought us.

Let's start at the beginning. Today, religion begins with how much we love God, but in Jesus, we begin with how God loves us. We try and make our outside self look pleasing to God and putting in good deed deposits hoping and saying to ourselves "one day I can be good enough.." But Jesus came to say "it's not like that." Jesus is only about what God can do for us, because here's the thing; Christianity isn't about making ourselves aesthetically pleasing to God or hoping one day we can be worthy of His love, Christianity is about receiving the love that has already been poured out on us.

Today our goal in religion is to get to God, but in the true religion established by Jesus it is clear that Jesus is on a mission to get to man. On that Christmas night in Bethlehem when the baby was born, God showed a whole different way - not of us getting to Him, but of Him coming to us.

And finally, religion is about our requirements, what we have to do to get to heaven, how many good deeds we've completed; but Jesus is summed up in "done" and "it is finished." Religion ends with the unknown, with a huge gamble wondering if in the end, are you sure that what you have done will be enough - enough to be forgiven, to go to heaven. But Jesus has stirred in our hearts saying "there must be more than this" and Jesus ends with eternity. Jesus says that our forgiveness and our salvation isn't based on our good deeds, our merits, our lack of sin, but our salvation has already been won by the ultimate sacrifice and has established eternity in our hearts.

Jesus came to say "my story is bigger than religion."

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Bible Verses To Bring You Comfort

When times get tough and are stressful, here are some bible verses that can help.

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As a typical, insanely stressed out college student, I know that it is that point in the year that everything seems to hit you at once. The stress and anxiety from school and other things going on in my personal life sometimes just make me want to curl up in a ball and pretend it will all just solve itself. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. I have found that the only comfort I get during all of this is from God. Reading a bible verse everyday when I am at the point of wanting to quit, brings me peace and helps me continue on.

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you." Isaiah 43:2

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." Psalm 94:19

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"

Psalm 34:18

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

I hope that you can read each of these verses and feel comforted by the One that truly loves and cares for you. Pray to God about anything and everything because I promise, He is listening. He is there to take care of everything and His support and love are never ending. He will always be there for you, no matter what. Times might be tough right now but always remember that stress isn't permanent but God is.

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