Preparing for Next Week’s Message
This reading plan will get your heart and mind set for the next message on May 8, 2016:
- SUNDAY: Romans 12,
- MONDAY: 1 Corinthians 12-13,
- TUESDAY: 1 Peter 4,
- WEDNESDAY: Ephesians 1-2,
- THURSDAY: Ephesians 3-4,
- FRIDAY: Ephesians 5-6,
- SATURDAY: Colossians 1,
Reflecting on the Most Recent Sermon
Sermon Series: May 2016 Sermon Title: Religion -vs- Christianity...Does It Really Matter?
Delivered On: May 1, 2016
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! ([bible]Isaiah 1:15[/bible])
Ask God to take you past religious observance to a passionate relationship with Jesus. Thank God that He did not come to set up a religious system but to save real people from sin and invite us into a friendship with Him. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill and invade every part of your heart and life.
Ritual and Routine or Relationship? - Pay attention to what you do in the course of the coming week in terms of your faith. What are you doing that has become a ritual or routine and is not really an expression of personal faith? How can you move away from this attitude and move toward a genuine relationship with Jesus? Also, take note of what you do that is deep and personal in terms of a connection with God? How can you grow this and build on it?
Small Group Discussion
What comes to your mind when you think of the word “Religion”? What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christian”? How are they similar and how are they different?
Read: Isaiah 1:10-20 How does God feel about the religious expressions of the people? Why is God not interested in their offerings, festivals, and even their prayers?
How can wrong religious devotion actually lead a person away from true faith in Jesus? Why is religion, alone, never God’s plan for His people?
Read: Matthew 16:24-25 How can religion become very compartmentalized? How is true faith in Jesus something that should invade, fill, and guide all areas of our life?
What happens when we try to keep Jesus isolated to the “religious realm” and not let Him into the other parts of our life?
Read: Matthew 4:18-22 When Jesus called people to himself, what did He call them to do? How were the lives of the early disciples changed when they said “Yes” to following Jesus?
How has your life changed since you said “Yes” to following Jesus? How does your life continue to change as you seek to walk closer and closer as a follower of Jesus?
Read: Ephesians 2:4-9 What are ways we can be tempted to treat faith like a list of things to do (or not do) and works we should perform? Why can this be dangerous to true and growing faith?
When we receive God’s grace and know we are loved and forgiven, how can this actually inspire us to live more for Jesus?