Religion doesn't have a very positive reputation these days. It seems we are constantly hearing religion can be evil, dead, and foolish. But it doesn't have to be--not if we understand that the real issues of life and true path to God go beyond religion.
5. Doing Religion Right
FEB 12--Never allow service to substitute for relationship. As we conclude our Beyond Religion series, we focus on our ultimate motivation.
- How can you tell if you are serving God out of servility or love?
- Would you consider yourself more at home in heaven or on earth? Why?
- In what ways do the choices you make and the way you live your life demonstrate a desire for God’s glory to be made more evident?
- In what ways have you seen God’s power at work in your life? Describe some of the ways you have depended on his power to do ministry.
4. Foundations of Relationship
FEB 5--Relationships come in many different forms, but they all share a common thread: if you don’t intentionally invest in a relationship, it will not grow and flourish. No relationship is automatic. We have to invest in them, feed them, and build them. Do you want an authentic connection with God? Do you want to build a great faith? Then you have to establish the foundations of your relationship.
- Which of these three elements of loving (time, connection, surrender) do you struggle to give to God? Why?
- What are you doing to intentionally develop your knowledge about God? How do you know if you are developing a right understanding?
- Does your life reflect an authentic expression of what you know about God?
- In what ways do you want to grow/change in your relationship building with God?
3. Elements of Relationship
JAN 22--A marriage is one of the most life-changing relationships a person can choose to enter. It changes those that enter it in soul, mind, spirit, and body. It is no wonder then, that God chose to use marriage as one of the word pictures describing our relationship with Jesus. Join us as we consider a few of the key realities of what it means to be in relationship
- Describe when you accepted the offer from Jesus to enter into a relationship with God.
- Would you say that you are living your life like you were keeping a covenant between you and God?
- How exclusive is your relationship with God?
- In what ways has your relationship with Jesus changed you in the last five years? Last year? Last 6 months? This week?
2. Religion vs. Relationship
JAN 15--Somehow, even the most meaningful religious practices have a way of becoming empty and even destructive. What can we do to make certain that our faith does not get bogged down by an empty religion? Love is the answer!
- Is your faith defined more by religion or by relationship with God?
- Would you say you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? If not, how do you think a deeper love for God would change your life?
- Describe some ways you seek to experience God. Do you find this easy or difficult to do? Why or why not?
- Do you feel like an understanding of grace increases or decreases your likeliness to choose disobedience to God? Why or why not?
1. Empty Religion
JANUARY 8--When religion gets a bad wrap, it is often from those of us who consider ourselves religions. Check out what Jesus had to say to religious people about the way they lived and expressed their faith.