Sunday, July 26, 2015

Glory {Art} Art Scripture Challenge #13, Religion

The Study
God has been putting the word "religion" in front of me for several weeks now. It first started with a quote from Bono that said:

"Religion is what you have left when the Holy Spirit has left the building."

Then a few days later, I was preparing my lesson for church to lead the K-5 service. This stood out to me:

"Religion is about our attempt to reach God. The Gospel is about the truth that God 
reached out to us. God is not about religion, He is about relationship." 

There's that word againreligion. In both of these quotes, we see that religion is about us doing something, following rules, and not relying on the indwelling Holy Spirit that fills each and every believer. The Holy Spirit is how believers experience God. It makes Him known to us, to know scripture is truth, and to be able to apply it. He expects believers to follow the Spirit's leading. That honors God. Here we see how the apostles followed the Holy Spirit's leading when Matthias became an apostle.

Acts 1:24-26 "Then they prayed, 'Lord, You know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.' Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles."

I hear people say or I see on message boards "Well, I am not religious." I think the word religion can have a lot of negative connotations, and it does not necessarily draw people to Christ. As the quote said above, God is not about religion; He is about relationship. He is not about a list of rules. Yes, He wants us to obediently follow Him as His Word leads us but it's not about following a list of rules. We have a relationship with Him, and we serve Him and obey Him because we love Him not because we are following a list of rules. Our joy is in our relationship with Him not by following a religion. He created each and every person on this earth. The power of God's indwelling Holy Spirit and our relationship with Him completely transform us not a religion.

Genesis 1:27 "So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them."

Psalm 139:13 "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb."

Colossians 1:16 "For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him."

He puts a desire within each person to have a relationship with Him but not all people respond. We respond to Him by accepting Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins and believing that God raised Him from the dead. His blood was poured out so that our sins are forgiven. We cannot experience a relationship with God unless we have received this free gift. Even Paul, who was a Pharisee, learned belief in Jesus instead of obeying a list of rules. Our outward religious acts do not save us. He wants to have that relationship with you. He loves you. To read more about accepting His free gift, please click here. Have you experienced religion or a real and personal relationship with Jesus?  

John 1:18 (NLT) "No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us."

Romans 3:25a "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:9 "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

1 Peter 3:18 (NLT) "Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit."

"Going through the motions of religion won’t ever satisfy. It’s only when we bend down low, open our hearts in complete surrender, and say, 'Jesus, it’s You. Only You. There is no other. There is no other possession or person or position that can ever fill the deep soul place shaped only for You.'" Lysa TerKeurst

So, will you be so bold as to begin saying you have a relationship with Christ instead of calling yourself religious or a Methodist, a Baptist, etc.?

The Art
For my art today, I decided to create four Scripture Art Cards. I have not made any in a while, and I have missed it. My little book full of these cards is coming together so nicely. I pray the girls will enjoy having it someday. I used two scriptures from above plus two of the quotes. These were the most meaningful to me, and I thought they would be great for today's art.

Feel free to join us on the Facebook page where some people will be sharing their creations. We also have some discussions that will be going on there too about the study. If you don't use Facebook and want to share your creation here, do so below by using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous studies and art tips, please see this post here.

Product List (click product tags for more information)
View blog post for supplies


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Patter. Our Sunday School lesson this very morning was on Rev. 2:1-7, and though the Ephesian believers had some admirable qualities, Jesus had something against them: they had left their first love!

Relationship, not reliosity! Living in truth, not labeling.

These are just beautiful---Jennifer in Ohio

Michelle said...

I often say that to people, I don't remember where I heard it but to me it truly is Not about religion but a lasting relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Thanks for sharing.

Team Clark said...

Thanks so much for this reminder that relationship with Him is our priority, our duty is that it shine through to the world. Your cards are amazing. :)

A-M said...

The green of your artwork is so lovely fresh looking.
Thank you for this theme and teaching. I enjoyed searching for the scripture I have used on my artwork.

Jonia said...

Patter what a blessing you are to me an what great art work you do and I love that you share how you do it with us. As I finished mine today and posted it, the Lord just showed me so much and I am thankful that I am willing along with you and others to listen and be obedient. Keep on trusting my sister and bringing us devotions from your heart and God's.

Pres James said...

HI Patter!

I am so excited to have run into your blog! My daughter and I went through your tour. It was fun!

I am now looking at this article about religion and relationship. I think that I will share it with others, one friend in particular. I'll let you know how that goes!

I also wanted to mention that the site you lead to is no longer working:

To read more about accepting His free gift, please click here.

I wonder what else you would recommend?

Blessings to you and yours,
Pres James -

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