As you know there are many things competing for our affections, time, energy, and heart! Many are appealing, but we believe the best way is the Jesus way. Today we will compare and contrast the way of the world and the way of religion versus the way of Jesus!

As we continue throughout this series, our goal is to define the different ways of life. Reference these definitions to help people recognize the three ways to live – the way of the world, the way of religion, the way of Jesus – and to discover the tools necessary to follow in the way of Jesus.

The Way of the World 

  • Definition: The culture and practices without God.
  • Example: The Way of the World says “do whatever you want and you’ll be happy.”

The Way of Religion

  • Definition: The culture and practices that distort God.
  • Example: The Way of Religion says “just follow the rules and you’ll feel worthy.”

The Way of Jesus

  • Definition: The culture and practices that glorify God.
  • Example: The way of Jesus says, “learn to live in God’s world God’s way and experience true life.”

Start Talking

  • Would you say you have anything “heavy”  in your life right now? Furthermore, is there anything in your life that you have been saying is just a “thing”, but you need to be honest with yourself that it’s actually pretty heavy?
  • Last week we talked about how there are three ways to respond to the heavy things in our lives: 
    • The way of the world (the culture and practices opposed to God) 
    • The way of religion (the culture and practices that distort God)
    •  The way of Jesus (the culture and practices that glorify God)

Each of these “ways” encourage us to respond to the heaviness of life in specific ways. The Way of the World encourages us to escape (to vacations, sweets, tv, alcohol, etc). The problem with this is that this “escape” ends, and all of our heavy stuff is still there. 

Describe a time in your life when you have chosen to “escape”. What did this look like? Did it help?

  • The Way of Religion encourages us to Hide our heaviness. Essentially, this way encourages us that if we look good on the outside, everything will be fine. What does it look like to hide our heaviness?

Read This

The way of Jesus offers us a different option to deal with the heavy things in life. Read Matthew 11:28-29

    • What stands out to you?
    • What would you say Jesus is encouraging us to do with the heavy things in our lives?
    • What does it look like to surrender what feels heavy to you to Jesus? How do you practically do this? 
    • Does it sound difficult to surrender to Jesus? Is there anything that keeps you from fully surrendering to Him?
  • Stephen encouraged us that on the other side of surrendering to God we will find His gentleness. This is different from what we find on the other side of escape. Have you ever experienced this to be true?
  • Furthermore, on the other side of surrender we will find a humble savior. One who allows is to be broken and in process. Why is this good news?
  • Lastly, we find that Jesus gives us rest when we surrender. Rest that is more than a circumstantial change, but rather rest found when our faith becomes bigger than our circumstances.  Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-11. What do we learn about Jesus in these verses? What encourages you about this?

What Now

  • When you think about the heavy things in your life, which way are you following (
  • Is there something in your life that you have been downplaying or dismissing, and you need to actually acknowledge that it’s heavy?
  • Once you have identified what feels heavy to you, you need to release it to Jesus and receive what He has for you. How can you do this? Do you believe that Jesus can help you?
  • It’s important to realize that surrendering does not necessarily mean that the heavy thing just goes away. However, it does mean that the transfer of the weight of it has moved from our hands to Jesus. When you feel the temptation to pick back up the heavy thing this week, remember this:  

When you surrender, the heavy thing still may be there, but it’s no longer yours to carry. God is stronger, and He can be trusted with it.

Additional Resources

Luke and Acts reading plan

Song: Bethel Music: Goodness of God

Song: Judah and the Lion – Over My Head