Sunday, November 25, 2007

What's It Really All About?

I ponder this question a lot to myself, during my Bible study and my prayer sessions with God: What is this Christian walk really all about?

Why do we do it? Why is it so important for us to be close to God? What, really is the point?

Well, here it is in a nutshell: We become Christians to save ourselves from a life of sin and hell. After we commit our lives to God, we experience many things (both negative and positive) that go into shaping us into the strong men and women of God He would have us to be. Once we've become those people, He uses us to minister to other people.

That's pretty much it. Along that journey you are confronted with the two most important commandments: to love God with all your heart and to love others as you love yourself. You usually get to learn that in the formative stages of your Christian development. And you go through a lot of trials, tribulations and problematic situations designed specifically to teach you virtues like love, patience, longsuffering, humility, etc. Whatever your issue is, God has a remedy in the form of a situation especially tailored to effect maximum change in you.

But it is all for a purpose. We are meant to be in fellowship with God. We feel incomplete without His presence in our lives. As we develop our relationship with Him, He teaches us about love and expects us to share that love with other people. Once we have developed to a certain level in our spiritual walk (and that level is different for everybody), we should be helping another person in some form, shape or fashion. We are to use the gifts He has given us for the benefit of other people.

And that's what it's all about.

Don't believe me? Here are some scriptures for reference:

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.(KJV)

Jam 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.(KJV)

1Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.(KJV)

1 Corinthians 12:5-10 There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do. The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. (CEV)

And, here is a good one:
2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (KJV)

So what do you think it's really all about?

Monday, November 12, 2007

God's Thoughts of You

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

I think a lot about the above scripture. In this scripture, God is talking through the prophet Jeremiah to His people who have been captured in Babylon. They were not to be released for another 70 years and were losing hope, hurting and feeling lost and bereft without their God. In Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah offers advice and comfort to the Israelites and reminds them of these most important words of the Most High God - "I know the thoughts that I think toward you...thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end." What does that mean - an 'expected end'? The Contemporary English Version of the Bible translates this phrase to "a future of success." Isn't that amazing - God was promising the Israelites that they were in His thoughts and telling them He knew what the future held for them - success and, by association, spiritual and financial prosperity.

And that's what you can take away from this scripture today - that you too are in God's thoughts and He has an 'expected end' for you. He means good things and not evil towards you. He wants future prosperity and success for you. That you are not forgotten, overlooked or alone.

Just remember - God is thinking of you - right now - and His thoughts towards you are good.

God Bless