“Religion” gets a bad rap. I understand why. Throughout history, there have been terrible acts of violence and hatred that have been committed in the name of religion. And even if we forgot history, our present-day news lets us know that religion is still used as a cover for evil actions.

But we can also see that the problem is not with religion itself, but with how people choose to follow their religion. Or abuse it.

It may just be an issue of word choice to some, but I am convinced that there is something greater than religion: relationship. It may only be a minor difference on the surface, but for me and many others like me, it’s all the difference in the world. A great relationship is something that makes life richer, more enjoyable, and makes me a better person than I would be without it. Having a deep and developing relationship with God magnifies those qualities. A healthy relationship with God doesn’t make me a threat to others, it instead makes me a benefit. Loving God and being loved by God changes the heart, and a heart that beats alive with the love of God leads to a life that blesses and benefits others. I understand that doesn’t mean everyone will agree with me, or even that I will agree Your Heart Matterswith them. But it does mean that my life will at times imitate God, and will be a means of doing good.

This Sunday at Liberty Hill I’ll be talking about a “Passion Beyond Religion” as we continue to focus on our series “Your Heart Matters.” Join us at 10:30 AM for our worship service, or 9:30 AM for Sunday School, and see why believe there is something to a relationship that is better than religion!

Grace Received,

Pastor Joe Payne