Week 3
Day 21
Religion vs. Relationship
Read Ecclesiastes 3:11

Ecclesiastes 3:11

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

The Deception of “Religion”

All people are born atheists (no understanding of a God or gods). But in nearly 5/6ths of the world’s cultures, a small child will be exposed to some form of belief system that attempts to address what all humans know is true – that we have an eternally big void in our soul that can’t be filled with things that are finite. By analogy, that void exists in every person which in turn creates a “demand for religion,” much like a drug trade exists throughout the globe because there is a huge population segment that has a demand for drugs. Religions would simply not exist if we were “simple” animals without souls created by God.

Even the writer of Colossians, Paul (formerly Saul), was extremely religious; but when he met God face to face his entire life and perspective changed. Paul realized that people had taken ideas about God and molded them into an agenda that was actually “anti-God” like “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13) yet “Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples” (Acts 9:1). Once Paul began his “journey” with God, his entire understanding of the Scriptures changed, and he began to experience the “God of the Bible” instead of “his religion” (Judaism).

Write two or three religious “traditions” that you have observed (example: kneeling and saying a memorized prayer).

Some Yes / No questions:

If we do the above traditions enough, do you think God will be obligated to listen to us or show us favor?       Yes     No   Is “head knowledge” a guarantee of a relationship?       Yes     No     Do religious traditions deepen our relationship with God?      Yes     No 

Explain your answers:

Why do you think Paul has a strong distrust in the “elemental spiritual forces of this world”?

Memory Verses
Primary Verse:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7
Secondary Verse:

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:11
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