19 March: The Problem with Religion

In the 2011 movie The Adjustment Bureau, David (Matt Damon) was told that extreme circumstances would require a complete recalibration of his mind in order to get him back on the right path. Today’s chapter shows how the problem is actually with the heart…

READ MARK 7  Make notes, if you’d like, of what stands out for you. Feel free to use the “Leave a Comment” box below to also write some of your thoughts.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

By the time Jesus came out on centre stage, about fifteen centuries had passed since the time of Moses. During that time, the greatest minds in history had worked and reworked Moses’ Law. Every “loop hole” was found and stitched up with the strong thread of the “tradition of the elders”. [v1-5]  The situation was so airtight and they were so focused on keeping the stitching intact, that they forget what was inside – the actual words of the original message. So great was the problem that, 800 years earlier, God sent a message through Isaiah the prophet:[a]

“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain because their teachings are merely human rules.” [v6-7]

The Day Religion Became an Uphill Climb to God

The Day Religion Became an Uphill Climb to God

Using simple digestion, Jesus explained that the problem isn’t in the mind or the stomach, or even on the outside of the human – all of this is the central focus of all religions. As far back as the Tower of Babel[b], humans have been trying to get to God by building up a system to climb so that, at the top, they can look down on everyone and see how far they’ve come. The problem with Religion is that it focuses on what we do.

In a completely new and unique way (even today), Jesus explains that it’s not we do. It’s who we are inside. The issue is with our heart. So no matter how many prayers I pray; hours of mantras or in meditation; no matter how many worship sites or meetings I attend; my problem is within me. It’s out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All this evil comes from inside and that’s what pollutes a person. [v21-23]

But just like the deaf man [v31-37], if I could only be opened. [v34]  If only I could be unlocked to hear and to speak with Jesus, then I’ll finally be able to understand. If He has indeed done everything well – as those Jews said He did [v37], then: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without which man will not find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.”[c] …Read More… CLICK on “19 March – Additional Notes”

But what about your thoughts – can you tell me what today’s “breadcrumb” is? Leave a note in the “Comments” box below to tell me what you think of today’s chapter.

Wondering what to say to God? The rest of this page uses the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray.[d]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: 

   1.   Praise: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven …”

My heart rejoices in the Lord because there’s no one holy like Him. There’s no one besides Him and there’s no Rock like our God. [1 Samuel 2:1a,2]

   2.   Ask: “…Give us today our daily bread…”

  • The World: Pray for BIOT[e]; British Virgin Islands[f]; Brunei[g]
  • Your Country: Pray for your Police Forces
  • Yourself: Boldness in living for Christ[h]
  • Your concerns for today
Lord, may my petition come before You and may You deliver me according to Your promise. [Psalm 119:170]

   3.   Admit: “…Forgive us our sin as we forgive those who sin against us…”

I look forward, Lord, to the day when You’ll swallow up death forever. You’ll wipe away the tears from all faces and You’ll remove the disgrace of Your people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken it. [Isaiah 25:8]

   4.   Protect: “…Lead us not into temptation but delivers us from evil.”

Lord, You have been before all things, and in You all things hold together. [Colossians 1:17]

“For Yours Lord is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory now and forever. Amen!”

When Jesus was questioned, tested, tricked or in His hour of great need, He always spoke things that were previously written in God’s Word.[i]  Following these memory verses from ten topics, will help you learn 52 verses from the bible in a year! THIS WEEK’S MEMORY VERSE: Giving God’s Good News

Jesus said: “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” [Matthew 28:19]

[a] Isaiah 29:13

[b] Genesis 11:1-9

[c] Ecclesiastes 3:11 in reference to Mark 7:37

[d] Matthew 6:5-15

[e] http://www.operationworld.org/country/brii/owtext.html

[f] http://www.operationworld.org/country/briv/owtext.html

[g] http://www.operationworld.org/country/brun/owtext.html

[h] 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Galatians 2:20

[i] Matthew 4:4,6,7,10; 11:10; 21:13; and 26:24,31

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