• Today's Daily Devotion
From “Religious” To “Christian”
MY RELATIONSHIP with God is important in understanding who I am and how I handled being shot.

FROM “RELIGIOUS” TO “CHRISTIAN”

Captain Bob Kolenda

Overland Park, KS, Police Department

MY RELATIONSHIP with God is important in understanding who I am and how I handled being shot.

About seventeen years ago I found I was “religious but lost.” I’d been raised in a “religious” home, went to church schools, and knew all about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I rarely missed attending church on Sundays, but during the week I don’t think anyone who knew me or worked with me would have thought I was very religious. I can’t say I was “bad,” but certainly “good” wouldn’t have fit, either.

I had been led to believe the only people in heaven would be those of my faith. My wife and I were married in my church and attended there for a while as a couple, but then she quit going; she said it didn’t meet her spiritual needs.

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One day she came home from an aerobics class at a different church and asked me if I would attend a couples’ Bible study with her. To her surprise I said yes. We had one child and another on the way, and I thought we should do “something religious” together.

The only Bible I owned was a huge coffee-table edition, while Cindy had a Living Bible. I knew many of the stories from the Bible, but had never read or reflected on them. As we attended and studied together, my heart and eyes were opened. I discovered songs we sang in church actually came from the Word of God! I started going to that church with her, but mine was so ingrained in me I continued there also.

Through Bible study I gradually came to understand that being a Christian means having a personal relationship with Jesus. Romans 10:9, 10, made a big impact on me. The words “believe in your heart” made me realize my belief hadn’t been in Jesus, but in my church membership. Finally, one day I prayed to receive Christ and accepted him as my Savior. I did not have a “lightning bolt” experience, but things in my life changed. My language improved, and I walked away from crude jokes instead of being the one who told the best ones.

I was 30 years old when I went “from religious to Christian.” Did it make a difference? You bet! The strength God gives me sees me through both the good and the tough times in my life. Without it, I’m not sure I could have handled being shot as well as I did. God’s promises do give us strength!


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