Day 7: ISM

Read Acts 17:16-23

“What is religion?” my mother‐in‐law asked. “It’s an ISM,” I replied. Responding to her quizzical expression, I explained. “You know: BuddhISM. TaoISM. HinduISM. AtheISM.” All religions provide us an ISM: an Identity, Security, and Meaning. Think about it:

What defines your identity? How do you know who you are or who you’re not? If your sense of self comes from your position at work, whether you can have a baby or not, your education or your accomplishments, then you have found your Make

How do you know you’re ok now and forever? Is it your portfolio? Do you feel secure so long as your bank account has large numbers left of the decimal? What about when you’re on your death bed? Whomever or whatever you look to so that you feel safe—to have peace of mind—is your security. That’s your Provider.

Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What motivates you and fills your life with purpose? Maybe you live for fitness. Maybe you just want to have fun. Or love may be what you’re searching for. Your reason for existence reveals your God—your Meaning in life.

In today’s scripture, we read Paul’s sermon to a very religious group of people. They worshiped idols, but don’t we all? We all look for our Identity, Security, and Meaning in all the wrong places and too many faces. In every human heart is a God‐shaped void that only Jesus can fill. We are all “religious,” but only a relationship with Jesus will fill the void. Only Jesus will show us who we are, how we are ok, and why we are.