Sermons relationship versus religion and spirituality

Sermon: Spiritual vs. Religious | Trinity Lutheran Church ~ Madison, Wis.

sermons relationship versus religion and spirituality

They have also fought over what kind of experience is properly spiritual or . Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermons on the Song of Songs, opens with reference to the . relationship that underlie competing conceptions of spiritual or religious life. Does your religion honor God or does it offend Him? of others, and by our uncompromising moral and spiritual stand in regard to the world. What is the difference between a religion and a relationship with God? and Hinduism, focus on metaphysical thought patterns and spiritual “energies.

You sit there in prayer and you say repetitive words and you know the heart is not right. You cheat yourself out the presence of God.

I did my duty. Prayer is not a choir. We have become content with throwing words around. But do I ever pray?

Religion Vs Relationship With God: 4 Biblical Truths To Know

And do the wishes of my heart go with the words I say? I may as well kneel down and worship gods of stone, as offer to the living God a prayer of words alone. For words without the heart the Lord will never hear, nor will He to those lips attend whose prayers are not sincere.

Lord teach me what I need, and teach me how to pray; Nor let me ask thy grace, not feeling what I say. Are you willing to wait for more of His presence? Do you cry out all night to know Him? You say the right words, but is your heart right? God wants you to understand His love. We often think that God wants us to do something for Him.

He wants your relationship with Him to be characterized by love and not duty. Do you have a genuine love for the Lord? I know of many Pharisees who say they know the love of God but they live as if they are in chains. Their life is filled with a false sense of condemnation and hate.

Why live like that?

Religion Vs Relationship With God

Maybe you are a pastor and you fear the Lord, you obey Him, you do things for Him, you pray to Him, but do you genuinely love Him? We treat God like a loveless earthly father. When your father is loveless or he never tells you about his love for you, then you feel as if you have to do more to gain his love. Does this sound like your relationship with God? Have your grown bitter over the years? The only reason we can love is because God loved us so much.

Have you ever sat down and thought about that?

sermons relationship versus religion and spirituality

The love that you use to love others and the love that you use to love Him is from His great love for you. We will never understand His great love for us.

He loves you, not based on what you can do for Him, but because of who He is and what He has done for you in the finished work of Christ. Sometimes we have to just stop for a second, be stilland sit in His presence. When you go to prayer from now on, ask the Holy Spirit to help you to understand His love.

Pray for more of His presence.

sermons relationship versus religion and spirituality

When we are in fellowship with God and our hearts are aligned with Him we will feel His love. Examine yourself, renew your mind, and truly seek Christ daily. Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Signup today and receive encouragement, updates, help, and more straight in your inbox. Jesus and his friends continue to deliberately ignore the rules, AND Jesus lectures the religious leaders about being hypocrites. Who gets to call whom a hypocrite? Some rules are expendable. Some are central to our well-being. This is the heart of the spiritual versus religious conversation, I think: Not every Bible verse carries equal weight.

Ever wonder why we stand up when the Gospel is being read? The tricky part, of course, is determining what other parts of Scripture are near the Baby and what parts are peripheral. Here The Baby himself all grown up nowJesus, takes a firm position, announcing in both words and actions that Biblical teachings dealing with purity are less vital than relationships with God and others. Deuteronomy and Leviticus contain a lot of the ritual purity laws like the one Jesus is breaking here, and they also have many other rules about not wearing clothes made from two different kinds of fiber, not planting two kinds of seeds in one field, men not cutting their beards, and so on.

It seems Jesus is unconcerned that believers adhere to such rules. What he IS concerned about is that faithful people refrain from slandering each other or becoming envious or deceitful or greedy. In general, Jesus seems to advocate for a spiritual religion or a religious spirituality.

He encourages thoughts and actions based on authentic and significant relationships with God and with others. Jesus argues not for purity but for mercy, not for the holiness of one group, but for the inclusion of all groups. If we err, I think this story of Jesus suggests that we err on the side of encouraging love and compassion, not guilt or shame or fear. When there is fear in a relationship or a religion, it tends to cast out love. If we do whatever we do out of a sense of obligation or fear, we are slaves to expectations.

Maybe they are our own expectations of who God is and what God demands, or maybe they are the expectations we or others have for what Christian conduct looks like.

If we worry too much about following all the rules, we lose track of the main thing. But the main thing is love. Cultivating loving relationships—with God, with ourselves, with others, and with all of creation—is what Jesus advocates.