Friday, September 7, 2012

4 books!

Why do some people turn to God?

Some people want to find meaning in their life - so they turn to God.
Some people want to escape eternal punishment - (hell) - so they turn to God.
Some want the promise of heaven - (paradise) - so they turn to God.
Some want to escape pain - so they turn to God
Some want to belong to a bigger family - so they turn to God.
Some like the culture of Christianity - so they turn to God.
Some want blessings - so they turn to God.
Some hate the consequences of sin and evil - so they turn to God.

Most people want something - so they turn to God.

Is God just a means to get what I want? Is God just a tool to serve my hidden selfishness?

If I look to God to find meaning in my life - aren’t I really just looking for meaning? If I look to God to escape hell - aren’t I really just looking to escape hell? If I look to God to grant me heaven - am I really just looking to get into heaven?  Etc., etc., etc, -  I think you get the point...

About 15 years ago, someone asked me why I share the gospel. My responses sounded like I was selling something.

I thought the gospel (good news) was what you received from Jesus. I think there’s a major flaw in that type of thinking...

Here’s some of what Jesus received:

hate. name calling. taunting. beating. torture. pain. betrayal. abandonment. doubt. condemnation. humiliation. a sentence of death that led to a cross.

It wasn’t just the cross either. People took up stones to kill him. Some wanted to throw him of a cliff. He was in constant danger and was questioned and ridiculed throughout his mission.

What’s my point?

Most people look in the bible to find out how to get their “thing” instead of getting to know Jesus. It’s curious that Jesus often didn’t get the very things we demand of Him in today’s culture.

Hmmm..

What if Jesus Christ Himself was the good news - He was the gospel? What if He was the blessing? What if the Church turned to Him because He was good enough - not for what we get from Him, but for who He is?

What if we took the “me” (what’s in it for “me”?) out of the equation - and just looked at Him?

What is God like? What is Jesus really like? What did He do? What did He say? How did He behave? What’s the big deal about Him? Why did the one who loves so well get condemned to a cross? Why do so many people pledge their allegiance to this man? What makes Him different?

What’s absolutely amazing is that many followers of Jesus don’t know Jesus very well. Sure - they know the cross story, and a few other prominent stories - but - for the most part - many don’t really know the Jesus in the New Testament.

I wonder why that is?

4 small books. 4. That’s it. Four.

Matthew
Mark
Luke
John.

What’s God like?

God tells us!

I mean - seriously. The most complex, imaginative, creative, all powerful, wonderful, unbelievable person to ever exist - revealed in 4 books. All the Old Testament points to Him. All of Paul’s writings reflect about Him.

And we end up looking at everything but Him!

It’s no wonder that C.S. Lewis commented about humanity being content with mud pies when we’re offered a holiday at the sea.

Once again - I point to myself in the post. I often find myself asking “what’s in it for me?” I often forget Jesus and look for the “things” I want.

One of my prayers: God, help me to see You as You are - and not as I want You to be - open my eyes!

4 books - He replies. haha

Have a great day!

Jer