I grew up believing I was saved, I loved god as a little child and knew Jesus loved me. There was no doubt who He was or who He was to me. Then when I was nine I was threatened with hell if I didn’t say the “sinner prayer”, reciting specific words. My life with Jesus was all downhill from there, my perception of God as the loving father died. He became a vengeful judge. Thanks to the teachings of Joyce Meyer and the concepts in John Eldredge’s books I am learning to know God all over again; as the loving father and Jesus as my best friend and lover.
Churches, people and society use religion to get people to come to God as a means of behavioral control, manipulation and order.
Billboard saying such as “Jesus saves”, “Jesus saves from hell”, “Jesus loves you” has become cliché. We love everything from kids, family, puppies to chocolate, movies and money. We need to show how stories from the bible relate to our lives today. Focus on such thoughts as “Jesus saves us from ourselves”, “you are beautiful to God”, “let Jesus love you”, because most Christians don’t even get these basic concepts. They can’t get that intimate because they can’t see Him as anything other than the one who allows every bad thing that happens on earth and in our lives. They don’t understand how much all the evil in the world actually breaks His heart.
Intimacy with Jesus should be like falling in love, you should be excited to spend time with Him. We (people in general) get more excited over a sports game or going shopping than they do for the One who loved them so much as to give up everything, give up His throne in paradise to live in the winter of our world just to win us back.
It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. It has a powerful effect upon our lives, but when transformation comes, it is always the aftereffect of something else, something at the level of our hearts. And so at its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire.” — John Eldredge, “Desire”