God is more concerned about your holiness than your happiness.
I don’t remember God making any promises to believers about being happy. That is unless suffering and persecution make you happy. God’s purpose for his children is not to make us comfortable but to make us Christlike.
God is just as concerned about how you live Monday through Saturday as how you worship on Sunday.
Many people live as practical atheists except on Sunday when they go do some religious rituals, give a bit of spare change, listen to a homily, and then rush out to a local restaurant and soon forget about God until next week. Some people who are God conscious every day still live under the illusion that Sunday “worship” is more important than going to work on Monday in their walk with God. When God calls his people to deny self, to present their bodies as living sacrifices, and to bring glory to him alone, he does not say what day of the week to do it. If you are a great worshiper on Sunday, doing it all right, but are a jerk at work or a poor sport at the ball field, sorry but you just canceled out Sunday’s activities for all practical purposes. Spiritual worship is done with complete openness and transparency, it is not a costume party.
Churches should not be in competition like businesses are.
Some people seem to believe that God’s will for their community or town is that their church, the one they attend, should be the largest, get the most attention, receive the most accolades from the media, and be the church in town. Nope, not so. God only has one people. There is only one body of Christ and likely some of them attend almost every church in your town and you are just not that special. It just might be that God, if he is able to favor one congregation over another, might just give the nod to the little group on the wrong side of the tracks that is more humble than the loudest bunch in town. Until we learn that every group of Christ followers are our brothers and sisters, and are just as valuable as we are, we have a lot to learn.
If we don’t love our forever family members we don’t love God.
Now we can pretend it an’t so, but it is. We can look down our self-righteous noses at people who claim Jesus as Lord because they have a different view of theology than we do, or because they have different worship styles, or God forbid because of their skin color…and when we do we have proven that we really don’t love God. We are in fact pretenders. Oh, we might be saved, but we are far from mature believers with those sorts of attitudes. Any group that makes the claim they are the only true church, an’t (that’s isn’t to those of you with earned degrees).
Living a life that pleases God is easy easier said than done.
When I give up God shows up. When I trust more than I try I just might be a disciple of Jesus. But oh how I want some credit! I don’t want the glory that is only due God. I just want you to think about what a good man I am, how devout, how humble, etc. to the point of nausea… What God has always wanted is people who just take him at his word and obey instantly, every time. That should be easy. But there is a part of me that rebels against that idea with a fury born of hell and the war in constantly on. That is except when I am in willing retreat, on leave, allowing my flesh to rule me. Have you ever been there? Are you now?
I am in no better position with God than the lowest, most rotten sinner, except for the worth and work of Jesus, and you are not either.
Jesus came to life a life I couldn’t live, die a death I should have died, pay a price I owed, and take the punishment I deserved. He met all of God’s demands for me, took all of God’s wrath against me, died for me freeing me from the law and its penalty, was raised for me so I can live a new life, and made me an adopted son of God with heirship, sonship, and relationship with the Creator God. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Will I ever do everything right? No. Will I ever stop doing some things wrong? No, not on this side of the grave. Without Jesus Christ I am completely lost, alone, helpless and hopeless. But in Him I am a victor! I am destined to immortality and not to wrath and the second death. And though safe and secure I can only say with the song writer “Nothing in my hand I bring, only to the cross I cling”.
This is the way I see it, what about you?