Thursday, November 19, 2009

religion v. relationship

This week we had the honor of hosting a new ministry at The Community.  It is called "The Table" and is seeking to lead young adults into relationship with Christ.  During the event we had a live Q&A discussion and one of the questions has continued to cross my mind since.  It was the question of what is the difference between religion and relationship.  You should have heard the answers.

Here are some points that hit me this morning from Luke 6 (from The Message), and I will throw in some thoughts along the way:

Then he said, "The Son of Man is no slave to the Sabbath; he's in charge."

Jesus is in charge of the day of worship.  Point for me is another question.  Do I go to church because I want to or because I think I have to?  Jesus emphasized our need for Him and not for laws.

Then Jesus addressed them, "Let me ask you something: What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?"

I can imagine what the religious leaders had running through their heads when Jesus said this.  All kinds of laws dictated what could and couldn't happen on the day of worship.  Jesus said that it is better to live out our faith rather than to do nothing.  Our relationship with Jesus leads us to help others.

26 "There's trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.

Ok.  It is time for another question, and this one is tough.  Do I do what do to be seen by people or to please God?  Ouch!  But I have to say WOW.  Relationship is about knowing and being with God.  Religion is about doing and trying to be right.

48-49 "If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss."

How do we apply the word of God?  Religion teaches us to know and do what is right.  Relationship allows us to live out what God has taught.  It leads us to worship Him in humility and serve others.  Relationship allows us to build on a foundation that lasts.  Religion keeps us tied to a system or to a set of laws.  Relationship with Jesus gives us freedom to live life to the fullest.  Religion ties us up so we always have to wonder if we have done enough.

It is time that we build our relationship with Jesus and let all the other pieces fall into place.  What do you think?


[+] Please Pray

Joan Norman will be having more surgery next Tuesday as DR's don't think they got all the cancer. Again, pray for Joan's complete healing.  Frances Johnson's mom will be having surgery on Friday.  Lorrie Anderson is at home recovering from eye surgery.  She is Cody Anderson's mom.  He went on our mission trip with us this past summer.

[+] E-DEVOTIONS: written by Michael Harrison, lead Pastor, The Community Fellowship;  reason to encourage you to follow Jesus; archived at Michael's blog, http://e-devotion.blogspot.com ;  subscribe, unsubscribe or contact  mharrison@thecommunityfellowship.org.

1 comment:

Alicia Fisher said...

I know for me, when I was young and even today I find myself at times with this thought process. I would do things that I knew I needed to do because Jesus instructs me to, rather then doing them because I wanted to. Sometimes what begins as pure and simple obedience ends up as pure and simple delight. God has a way of growing us up when we are doing things out of obedience and helps us to end up taking pleasure during our obedience. Thank you, Michael for reminding us to check our motives behind our obedience.

Alicia Fisher

happy birthday, Julie

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