Message 6: The HUGE Difference Between A Religion And A Relationship

WANTED: The Legends That Forged Our Faith

By Pastor Chris Brown, November 20, 2021

The HUGE Difference Between A Religion And A Relationship


How God started then… and now:

1 Samuel 3

God’s epic plan of does not depend on the state of a or .

What we need to know about hearing from God:

Ecclesiastes 5:1-3, Romans 5:8-11, Romans 8:5-17, John 15:1-5, John 15:26-16:1, John 16:7-11

Mary & Martha: Luke 10:38-42, The prodigal son: Luke 15:11-32

God will to those who are willing to .

God will only speak to those who , and I .

What Eli could teach but couldn’t do:

Be .

Don’t be .

Be willing to (RESPOND).

Be a humble (SERVANT).

Not listening to little creates big .

There is a huge difference between doing things and being with the .

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Food for Thought for the week of November 21, 2021

  1. We heard in this weekend’s sermon that Eli was no longer listening to God, while Samuel was. Like any relationship, there can be roadblocks that we may or may not be aware of that erode and even cut off our ability to hear what God is saying. What potential roadblocks do the following verses describe?

Proverbs 21:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Mark 11:25 New International Version (NIV) 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

James 4:3-4 New International Version (NIV) 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

1 John 5:14 New International Version (NIV) 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Are there any obstacles that may be hindering you hearing from God?

  1. As we heard this weekend, Martha missed a great opportunity to learn from Jesus because she was so focused on her responsibilities. Unfortunately, life's distractions often cause us to focus our time on less important tasks. What priorities do the following verses encourage us to engage in and not put off until a more “convenient” time?

Psalm 46:10 New International Version (NIV) 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Matthew 5:23-24 New International Version (NIV) 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Luke 12:13-21 New International Version (NIV) 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Looking back at what you wrote above, is there anyone you need to talk to or any action you need to take in order to make these priorities more a part of your life?

  1. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it’s fitting to pause and remember all that we have to be thankful for. Our foundation of thankfulness best flows from knowing and remembering the benefits we receive from God. Read Psalm 103:1-19 and write down the benefits we receive from God that can result in our thankfulness.

Psalm 103:1-19 New International Version (NIV)

1 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Now take some time and think specifically of what you can thank God for in regard to family, friends, co-workers, opportunities and possessions.