Archive for the ‘religion’ Tag

WHY DO WE WORSHIP A GOD?

Have you ever thought about it? Is God deserving of our worship? Can someone other than God meet our deepest needs?

Let’s explore these ideas. What deep, primal needs does God satisfy for the believer? Everyone needs to be accepted. God does not turn anyone away. He lovingly beckons all to join His family of believers, the Body of Christ. And He takes us as we are. Humans handle this differently. We want people to change to suit us. God doesn’t require us to get rid of those bad habits first. He only requires us to believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, to come to Him on our knees in confession and repentance, and to obey Him. Obedience, then, is not a burden, but an act of love on our part for a loving Father who knows what we need for happiness. Not continuous bliss, but a journey ripe with relationships that satisfy, including an intimate relationship with our Creator. As we draw close to Him, He embraces us, imparting peace, grace, and a certainty of eternal life with Him as long as we remain true to Him.

Another of our needs is love. No one loves us more than God. His love is unconditional. We don’t have to love Him first or obey Him to earn His love. He just loves us. Period. Even though we are flawed and sinful, God extends His arms to embrace us, soothing us with His compassion, leading us on our journey. If we abide in Him, this journey will lead to Heaven.

Who wouldn’t want to love and worship a God who satisfies our every need? Sadly, only those without love. The next time you encounter a lost soul without love, extend to him or her behavior that speaks of love and compassion. Just a smile and a few well chosen words can do wonders. Then lead them to God. Tell them what God has done for you. Many will accept a relationship with a God who satisfies needs others can’t satisfy.

Why do you worship God? What has He done for you? Share if you’d like.

Modern Day Miracles?

We all know God worked many miracles throughout the Bible. He parted the Red Sea and comsumed Elijah’s soaking sacrifice with fire from heaven. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Peter healed the lame man by the power of God. And many of us expect to be reunited with dead loved ones in Christ after God raises them from the dead. God’s power is endless. But what about today? Right now. Does God work miracles among a sinful and unbelieving people of today? I think he does if we let him.

Let me share a personal experience. Ten years ago I was still a heavy cigarette smoker, having defiled my body with this destructive habit for some twenty-two years. Cigarettes had gradually become my best friend. I came to a juncture. I knew either I would smoke myself to an early grave or I would free myself from this habit and live. But the problem was, I didn’t really want to quit smoking. It was just too pleasurable. I was helpless, it seemed, until I turned to God for help. I realized He was my lifeline. Everything else had failed–going cold turkey, nicotine patches, Nicorette gum.

I cried out to God in prayer. I put faith in Him 100 percent. I told Him I knew He could take care of my problem. I couldn’t fathom how, but I believed He knew how. And I asked Him to take away my desire to smoke.

About three months later I was stricken by a stomach ailment that landed me in the hospital. Since smoking was not allowed anywhere at the hospital, I knew I had to just tough it out. After a day my stomach problem had me feeling horrible, yet. Another day passed and I hadn’t even had any nicotene withdrawal symptoms. The doctor found a remedy for my stomach and I was set to be discharged. That day I knew God had given me this chance to quit smoking. It was a gift I took and I haven’t smoked since. It has been ten years and my desire to smoke also vanished. Clearly this was a miracle. God is so good.

Do you believe God works miracles today? Please feel free to comment or share a miracle God worked in your life or in the life of a loved one.

A GOD TO TURN TO

I’m sure most people wonder, in times of personal success, “Why do I need God, anyway?”  We tend to ascribe our successes to having the smarts and working hard.  We feel self sufficient.

But what about those inevitable times we experience pain, personal loss or failure?  Many of us blame others for our misfortune, then feel sorrow for ourselves or hatred for those we blame.  Some will consequently indulge in numbing activities like getting drunk, watching large doses of TV, or addiction to work.  Some of us try to replace our sorrow with pleasure by engaging in drug use, promiscuous sex, binge eating, or gambling and the like.  It sometimes becomes difficult to step back from our addictions and identify the real problem that needs to be resolved.  A professional counselor or trained church pastor can often help us identify the problem and bring solutions.

On lesser yet troublesome matters, maybe you, like me, need to forgive ourselves for not being perfect.  When you think about it, it’s really silly to believe perfection is always realistic.  After all, none of us is at the top of our game all the time.  To gently tell ourselves, “It’s OK.  I don’t have to achieve perfection in everything  I do.  I’m flawed and limited,”  is OK.

The only perfect entity is God.  And when it comes to understanding our weaknesses, it is only God who can fully relate, through His Son, Jesus, who understands our weaknesses, frustrations, and sorrows.   Jesus lived a life colored with human inclinations because He is fully God and fully human.  He lived a life molded by simplicity and privation and touchd by deep sorrow.  He can relate to a broken, discouraged human, comfort any type of sorrow, and mend us by His eternal love for each one of us.

Do you ever not know what to say to God—how to pray?  I suggest talking to God like you would a friend.  Many people I’ve talked to have this type of rich, rewarding relationship with Him.  Jesus is knocking at your door.  Opening it may be a humbling experience.

Yes, we do need God.  He created us with an inner craving for Him that can’t be filled by anyone or anything else.  We may feel self sufficient, but He gave us our abilities and we should stay close to Him even in our successes.  To give the glory only to Him brings us blessings He is happy to shower on us.  He will reward the person who acknowledges Him as our benevolent Creator and Sustainer.

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