Friday, October 09, 2009

The Benefits of Loving God

This is an oldie but goodie, and I thought now is a great time to re-post it. Enjoy!

I've been having a lot of spiritual conversations lately. Who God is, what He is about, and why being a 'Christian' shouldn't mean having to following a certain doctrine or religion. And I've been having these conversations for years - why bad things happen to good people, the believability and credibility of God, the hypocrisy of Christians, why one religion is better than the other and, my favorite, how black people in America are only 'Christians' because of being brainwashed by the white majority society.

I'm noticing something strange - it's like we all still believe in God, but we are no longer certain of exactly who He is. Traditional beliefs are falling by the wayside, being replaced by humanistic, general divine-consciousnessness, and dubious 'spiritual' beliefs. Who is God, really, we ask ourselves? Could He also be Buddha? Can He be found in nature? Can we reach Him through internal dialogue? Or are we ourselves gods? We can't agree on what to call Him. Or how we should worship Him. If we need to go to a church, synaogue or mosque at all. If He is a man or a woman. Or if He is one of many gods.

Let me be clear about my beliefs: the God I believe in is the God of the Judeo-Christian Torah/Bible. The One who parted the Red Sea, brought plagues down on Pharoah, sent His son Jesus Christ and made a way for all to find their way to salvation. I am clear on who He is and who He is to me.

In light of these conversations, I very simply wanted to lay out the reasons why loving God (being in fellowship with Him, attending worship services, talking to other believers) is a good thing:

1. He Will Never Let You Down

God is a God of Truth. If He (or His Word) tells you something, it is true. If He promises to do something for you, He will. If He says something will not happen, it won't. If He says something will happen, it will. He will not forsake His children. He takes care of those who claim Him as their own. He doesn't lie, pretend or bluff. He will never let you down.

2. He Will Be There For You During Hard Times

Note - I didn't say He would prevent those hard times;I can almost guarantee you those will come. But, if you are a Believer, God will be there for you during those hard times. It might be through the intervention of a friend. Or getting eight hours of sleep when you didn't think you'd be able to sleep a wink. Or the day you wake up and realize you are healed of that old relationship, or the passing on of your beloved mother. The day you got a new job - or held on to one you desparately needed. God will be there for you during your hard times.

3. He Will Never Give Up On You (Unless you choose to completely walk away)

He has promised to love each of His children and He does - always. No matter how we behave. No matter how much we keep turning away. No matter how inconsistent or fickle you are. Yes - if you choose to live your life apart from Him, He will allow that. And the Bible does tell us that if we choose not to acknowledge Him in anwy way, He will give us over to this way of thinking. But He will never stop loving you. And hoping that you will return. God will never give up on you - only you can choose to completely walk away.

4. He Will Forgive You Your Sins

He knows what you've done. He knows where you've been. And He is still willing to engage in a dialogue with you - to work it out. To take you back into His arms. To help you get through whatever drove you to Him in the first place. He loves you. He won't give up on you. And He will accept you when and if you are willing to return to Him. God will forgive you of your sins - if you allow Him to.

5. He Has Prepared a Fabulous Place For You

Yes, I know the Karl Marx quote that says, in part, that ' the opium of the people.' And how Christians are often maligned for thinking they are all going to go to a 'better place' after this mortal life ends. Where there will be no more tears and no more pain and no more sickness. But, just think for a moment - what if there really is a heaven? What if there really is a place better than this one? Where there will be no more tears and no more crying, no more wars and no more pain? Wouldn't you want to be there? Or are you more comfortable with the idea of lying in a cold, empty grave and going on to eternal oblivion? It's your choice - but I promise you this - God has a fabulous place prepared for all those who choose Him.

For simplicity's sake, I did not put in scripture quotes for each of the above points, but if you'd like them, let me know and I will get them to you.

What have your experiences been with loving God? What do you love most about Him?

On another note, have you ever wanted a career with more meaning? Christian Counseling Degrees available online, so you can pursue your new career in the comfort of your own home!

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