Believe it or not there is a dark side to our faith. Though we are created to experience a relationship with God based on trust, we filter our faith through the broken lens of our human experience. The resulting disconnect creates an institutionalized or religious faith that becomes toxic instead of life-giving. Jesus challenged the toxic faith He encountered in the religious system of His day calling people to reject hypocrisy and once again embrace relationship. Learning from Jesus’ engagement with the religious establishment (Matt 23:1-36 – Woes to the religious leaders), we will humbly consider where our faith might have become toxic and discover ways to reject lifeless religion and reconnect with Jesus. Below you will find videos of each message as well as the weekly reflections.
DECEITFUL PROMISES REFLECTION:
Identify and reflect on one area of your life where you know you continue to misrepresent the truth to others or God. Make a commitment to live or tell the truth the next time you are tempted in this area to be deceptive. Pray and ask Jesus to give you the courage to live honestly.
RELIGIOUS REPLICAS REFLECTION:
Take a moment to consider: Who are you allowing to influence you? AND
How are you allowing them to influence you?
Remember: Both good and bad leaders can influence you to becoming a religious replica.
BAIT & SWITCH REFLECTION:
Consider what defines your faith … a set of rules, a political position, personal preferences, or an active connection with Jesus. Ask Jesus to help you identify what you need to acknowledge and surrender so your faith can be changed from toxic to genuine.
TOXIC FAITH REFLECTION:
This week, consider where your faith might have become toxic. Has it become about performance, control, legalism or pride? Ask the Lord to reveal any toxicity and to lead you in practical ways of humility in your life.