Tuesday, June 2, 2009

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

By our very nature, we all want to feel good about ourselves and we desire to be praised. In general, it goes against our human nature to desire to hear criticism or to put someone else above us. For the most part, none of us like to be wrong, corrected or have our weakness revealed.

Deep inside, we think we're pretty good.

God's Word say's otherwise... "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) Jesus said "None are good but one" (Him). We're also reminded that our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

When it comes to religion and spiritual things, I've noticed an interesting reaction on Facebook and Blogs from time to time that sort of fits into the above condition of human kind.

If you post something in a public forum that talks about "God is love", people really seem to like that. Whether it's a feel-good, Hallmark-card verse taken out of context like "I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) or a simple reminder that Jesus wants us to be happy (which verse is that?). People like to hear things that make them feel good inside (who doesn't?).

However, if you post anything that reveals other attributes of God besides "He is love", like, He is just or His wrath is upon those who reject Him or that the unsaved are children of satan, or unless we confess & repent of sin and trust in Jesus, we're going to hell, most people generally don't want to hear about that sorta' stuff. If you dare point out heretical teaching of popular preachers/teachers/authors, you are quickly hit with the "Don't judge" card.

"You're being judgmental!" "Legalist!" "Religious whacko!"

In order for God to be love, He must also be just. He cannot simply forgive all sins just because He's a loving God; those sins must be paid for. We are unable to pay the great price for them. Christ did this. Salvation must start with recognizing our sinful condition and our wretched state. Not pretty but true and necessary. Paul spends the first 3 chapters of Romans exposing how wretched, sinful and lost we are before He gets to the "God is love" part.

What we want and what we need are often two very different things. Doesn't matter if we're 3 or 30. In order to really "get" the God Is Love thing, we need to first "get" that we are NOT deserving of this love simply because we're a pretty good person. Ouch. Secondly, we need to see that as a believer, we must be willing to "Die to self" and submit to Christ alone as our Lord and Savior. Let Him run the show.

Christianity is not like Burger King... "Have it your way" is what got us into this sinful mess in the first place. Coming to Jesus is a release from the slavery of sin into the freedom of salvation & redemption. If we're really honest with ourselves, the truth hurts. We often can't handle it. However, I believe deep inside of every human being there is a desire to know the truth no matter what.

We can spend our lives trying all we want to find happiness or to be a good person. We might even get what we want now & then. When it comes to eternity, "trying" isn't good enough. The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ and He doesn't want our efforts. He wants our hearts.

You may not get what you want in this life but you CAN get more than you deserve in eternity but it will cost you. What are you willing to give now in order to really live forever and to avoid getting what you deserve later?

Trying doesn't work when it comes to getting the one thing in life that changes everything.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." ~ John 6:35