Heartbroken by Religion

18 March, 2018 Rev Dr Noel Due

#5 and final in series: Create in me a clean heart.

READING:

Isaiah 53:2-12

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Mark 11:12-19

THEME

Religion. It’s everywhere. And it’s deadly. The argument of some—that religion is a curse, the cause of wars and many other forms of suffering, and that humanity is best rid of it—is understandable.  Likewise, it’s no wonder that people are far happier to describe themselves as “Spiritual but not Religious” than to align with any formal religion, let alone any one denomination. It’s appealing to mix and match: a tot of Buddhism and a shot of Reiki, over a bed of crushed Sunday school memories, shaken not stirred; what could possibly go wrong?  The problem is that humanity loves religion. Sin loves religion. What the New Testament calls “the flesh” (as opposed to the Spirit) loves religion. Because religion is a fast track to power. Not only do you get to manipulate others, you can claim the authority of ‘god’ to do it! Humanity invented religion and feeds on it.  Jesus came to destroy it; indeed, that’s what Easter is all about. So today we hear God’s promise when you are heartbroken by religion

THEME VERSE

No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord, ’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  Jeremiah 31:34

 

REMEMBER THIS WEEK 

Religion puts you and your efforts at the centre of your relationship with God; it’s you doing your best for God.  The gospel puts Jesus at the centre of your relationship with God; it’s God doing his best for you.

View

Heartbroken by Entitlement

11 March, 2018 Pastor Mark Schultz

#5 in series: Create in Me a Clean Heart

BIBLE READING

Mark 10:17-34

THEME

“Mine.” It’s one of the first words most of us learn to say…and some of the hardest to forget or at least use less. Having a sense of entitlement can easily be mistaken as natural, and even healthy.  After all, aren’t we constantly told that “we’re unique”, “we’re special”, and “we’re number one”? And besides...you deserve it. This sense of entitlement is established and upheld by the belief that we are the centre of the universe but as we’ll discover today, that sense of entitlement will break your heart. For once you believe that all you have is a result of all you’ve done, there’s no room left in your heart for the Father who made you for himself, who created you to feel his delight and live from his pleasure at providing everything you need for life here and for eternity. It’s a heart condition that only Jesus can fix and he comes to heal all those who are heartbroken by entitlement today.

THEME VERSE

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

 

REMEMBER THIS WEEK 

Jesus invites you to unburden yourself of whatever entitlements that you are clinging to that stop you from relying on and delighting in God. For when Jesus is your treasure, you will lack nothing.

FAITH TALK

1.   In what areas of your life are you discontent?

2. What do you think you need in order to live an abundant life?

View

Heartbroken by Pride

25 February, 2018 Pastor Mark Schultz

#3 in series: Create in me a clean heart.

BIBLE READINGS:

Isaiah 53:2-12

Mark 8:27-38

THEME

Pride.  It’s a disease of the heart that presents itself in different forms and to differing degrees and is obvious to everyone but the person who has it.  Yet the truth is, pride infects us all.  The issue is not if pride exists in your heart; it’s where it exists and how it is being expressed in your life.  It's something that we as Christians need to be particularly conscious of as it always leads to a broken heart and tears.  Proverbs 16:18 tells us “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” James also reminds us: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble” (James 4:6).  Pride is a particularly dangerous sin - where other sins lead us further from God, pride attempts to elevate us above God.  So today we discover how pride is more strongly rooted in our lives than we ever care to admit.  We also discover how to find healing when we get ahead of ourselves and are heartbroken by pride.

 

THEME VERSE

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”  Mark 8:34-35

 

REMEMBER THIS WEEK 

Your worth and value will never be measured by what you do or achieve but by what Christ has done for you.

Jesus surrendered his life that you might have life

Jesus became a dis-grace that you may receive grace.

Jesus humbled himself that you might receive the greatest honour. 

Because Jesus gave himself wholeheartedly for you, how can you not give up your own agenda, and give yourself wholeheartedly to him?

View