Hospital waiting rooms are never a fun place to be but recently as I waited in one I picked up a magazine that was about three years out of date. Inside there was a full page chart outlining “10 risks worth taking”. It was a guys magazine so some of the risks were quite predictable: disagree with your boss, attempt a 40 yard pass, visit a war zone on holiday etc. However it was risk 7 that stood out.
Committing to a religion. Not what you’d expect from a lad’s magazine because they usually just push the notion that ‘you can be your own god.’ Satisfy yourself with technology, women, bigger biceps and a monthly subscription to their publication. Religion is usually mocked as the kill joy that frowns upon you having multiple sexual partners (which the article a few pages earlier has advised). Risk 7 is actually explained as not being any risk at all. It’s an insurance policy risk – pick a religion – doesn’t matter which one because any deity will look at you more favourably because at least you played the game. “Take the religion risk to cover your own back” is the advice of the magazine.
On Sunday at Carnmoney as we explored Jesus relationship with Scripture we discovered that our faith is built on revelation not speculation. We don’t need to have a stab in the dark and hope we get the right religion. God has made it plain to us through the Scriptures and through His Son Jesus exactly what is required. (you can listen/watch Sunday’s message in full by clicking here) The kind of pick n mix religion promoted by this lads’ magazine is exactly the type of confusion the Colossian Church was facing.
Get your Bible and read Colossians ch 2
Paul talks about things like ‘full assurance, God’s mystery is Christ, no one may delude you with plausible arguments or empty deceit.’ Our culture has so much in common with this first century church. Human beings have a spiritual appetite, a hunger that human relationships cannot satisfy. God alone can fill the emptiness which He placed in the human heart. Religious practices and harsh treatment of our bodies cannot. We are made in God’s image and have been given a desire for a relationship with Him. Jesus alone satisfies this desire, Jesus alone cancels our sin, Jesus alone cancelled the record of debt we had with God, Jesus alone disarmed the rulers and authorities – it is Him we need to commit to! Self made religion has no value in stopping the indulgence of flesh (vs23)
VERSE TO REMEMBER
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10