Before attempting to muddle through such a profound questions, we must first ask, “Who is God, and is He real?”
True or False
We come to God when:
- WE want more money
- WE want things to work out OUR way
- WE want to gain more stuff
- WE want revenge against someone
- WE want what WE want
We also call upon God whenever we are:
- In some sort of a bind
- In need of something
- In trouble
- In marital turmoil
- Bullied or hated
- Under attack
- Someone or something hurts us
- We are scared
- In despair
We pray to God, giving Him thanks and praise when we are:
Our primary purpose for attending church is because:
- the Bible say we are supposed to
- I like to see and visit friends
- I like to listen and sing along with the Praise and Worship Team
- I enjoy the pastor’s teachings
- I desire to praise God’s glorious grace
Proverbs 3:5-6: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek His will in ALL you do, and He will show you which path to take.
We must notice in this passage of God’s message to us, we are to seek Him under all conditions, but more accurately, we are to seek Him according to His will and NOT ours. Jesus Christ confirms this during a prayer session with the LORD our God in the garden at Gethsemane; while lying flat on His face.
Matthew 26:39 (Jesus): 39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Jesus Christ knew full well the excruciating pain He was about to endure on the cross. He asked God to re-consider what was about to happen to Him, but only if it was what God wanted. Yes, Jesus did ask God for a personal favor, but because of His love, trust, and perfect obedience to our Father God, Jesus Christ was prepared to do whatever God required of Him; even to suffer relentless torture, public ridicule, and ultimately, a most hideous death on the cross. Jesus was all about God’s will and not about His will. For Jesus, everything was all about God first!
One of the most predominant reasons why we as Christians prefer Christianity of convenience; a watered down gospel of Jesus Christ; and a lackluster perspective of God’s will over our own wants, needs, and desires is because many Christians do NOT truly believe God to be alive and among us right now at this very moment. If this were not so, we as Christians (followers of a real and living Jesus Christ) would live our lives in love and obedience to God’s perfect will and purpose.
Psalm 118:24: 24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 34:8: 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Our actions speak louder than our words. We may be able to fool other people by what we say, or by how we act in public places, but make no mistake, we cannot fool God. God made us, therefore He is watching us. He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves. God knows the motives behind our ever action. He knows what we do when nobody else is watching, and what we portray to others in public places.
Luke 12:7: 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
In the wilderness, hopeless, Hagar, encounters the angel of the Lord. He encourages her, and gives her direction. At the end of her conversation, she gives God a name—El Roi (the God Who Sees).
- When we are tempted, God sees
- When we struggle with life’s uncertainties, God sees
- When we feel as though everything is against us, God sees
- When we cry, laugh, and sing, God sees
- When we experience sleepless nights, God sees
- When baby takes their first step, God sees
- When we are hard at work, God sees
- When we stressed, relaxed, or simply just being, God sees
- When we are stricken with disease, God sees
- When we unselfishly serving others, God sees
Psalm 139:1-18: 1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
God’s Word continues to speak to us most gloriously about His love for us:
Job 28:24: 24 For He looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens.
Job 34:21: 21 “For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do.
Psalm 33:13-15: 13 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. 14 From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.
Matthew 6:4: 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
2 Chronicles 16:9: 9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”
When, as Christians, will we cease to take matters into our own hands? When will we learn from our past mistakes? When, as Christians, will we finally realize this life is NOT about US, NOT about what WE can own, NOT about what WE can gain, but rather:
- How we can graciously and mercifully serve others
- How we can get to know our living Holy Father God better
- How we can more fervently praise God’s glorious grace
- How we can press deeper into God’s Holy Bible
- How we might be most pleasing to Him
- How we can pray to God without ceasing
- How we can share the love of Jesus Christ by how we live (what we say and what we do)
In closing, let us repent (metanoia: change our minds) and turn from being a Christian of convenience to becoming a Christian of God’s purpose and will. Let us ask God how we might best serve Him through intimate prayer and meditation. Let us choose to live each day of this life, His way. Let us submit to God in ALL things in ALL circumstances, for ALL people. Let us know that God is alive, watching, experiencing, and collaborating with us in every aspect of our lives. If we give ourselves wholeheartedly to God, God will provide ALL that we can ever need.
Ephesians 3:20: 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
As Christians of purpose, let us know that God will provide (Jehovah-jireh), let us stand firm in the glorious name of Jesus Christ, and never again allow ourselves to be shamed by being referred to as “Christians of Convenience,” but rather as, “disciples of Jesus Christ.”
For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.
1 What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you,
2 for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you.
3 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.
4 What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple.
5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.
6 You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength.
7 You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations.
8 Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
9 You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so.
10 You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges.
You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops.
11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
They all shout and sing for joy!
May almighty God bless you always.