It’s a Relationship, Not a Religion
Jesus wants to be your friend, He wants to have a personal relationship with you. Many think to believe in Jesus requires a lot of things from us. Many think the church requires step by step measures we need to fulfill. Remember, we are saved by faith, not of works (refer to Ephesians 2:8-9). The only requirement is to confess, invite and receive Jesus into your heart. That’s it.
When we accept Jesus into our hearts, He accepts us in all of our brokenness, in all of our imperfections. We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘the will is strong but the flesh is weak’, well, Jesus said that. “…The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Because our flesh is weak, even when Jesus is in our hearts, we will stumble and fall. Jesus accepts us as we are, He will keep picking us up every time.
Here’s an example of Jesus picking us up when we fall. We’ve all heard the story of Jesus walking on water but the disciple, Peter, also got out of the boat and began walking on water towards Jesus:
‘But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”‘ (Matthew 14:30-31)
Peter began thinking, lost faith, fell and Jesus picked him up. Our mind (soul) will come against our spirit (heart) all the time. We will also fall, repeatedly. Jesus will pick us up every time.
It’s all about having a personal relationship with Him. If our behavior changes and we become closer to Him and more obedient to Him, it’s because He has given us clarity on the true reality. We may change our behavior but that’s because we want to, not because we have to. Believing in Jesus is not a religion, it’s having a relationship with Him.