relationship, not religion

by Pastor Mark Jordan

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)

This is one of my core verses, and I love how The Message version states it. We all get burned out on religion, don’t we? We experience rules, regulations, and all kinds of things that restrict living. But that isn’t Jesus’ way. It isn’t? you might ask. No, not at all. Yes, there is a call to holiness, and a call to be set apart, but this isn’t for the sake of oppression, but freedom! Jesus wants to teach you how to learn freely and lightly, rolling in the unforced rhythms of grace. But this doesn’t just happen, and I guess you’ve recognized that by now. Jesus states that you have to keep company with him, get close, and learn.

If life isn’t about religion (and be honest, does that surprise you?), it must be about something else. It’s relationship! Jesus doesn’t want to put all kinds of ill-fitting things on you, but to show you the power of abundant living that only He can give you (John 10:10). This is why Jesus invites you to work, walk, and rest with Him. He wants you to know when and how to live life, even in the midst of the burdens and burnout. How about that for an invitation?

Jesus doesn’t want your religion, He wants your relationship. This is a game changer, I know, and it should be. So get away with the Lord, learn from Him, and begin dancing in those unforced rhythms of grace. It WILL change your life!

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for the times I make faith about keeping rules when in reality it’s all about keeping a relationship. I want to learn to work, walk, and rest in you, dancing through life in the unforced rhythms of life. I know the only way to experience this kind of life is with paired up with you, so I seek that kind of relationship that gives me life in abundance. Amen.