So just like every working mother, I am a crazy lunatic in the morning. Running around trying to dress myself, dressing and keeping on task a very active and easily distracted 7- year-old young man, making sure everyone has lunches made, my two teens are up and ready to start their day and helping my husband (who works from home mind you) with whatever it is that he believes I just do a little better than he….
So fitting in me time with God, ends up being a worship/prayer session on my 25 minute commute (which I can’t complain about because it actually sets the tone for my day) and doing my Bible reading for the day at the 20 stoplights between my home and the office.
Today was no different.
As I was singing Third Day’s, Glorious Day this morning I was talking with God about which miracle He wanted me to write about first. I was going through the many I have in my thoughts and instead of confirming a specific one, God took me on another journey as we conversed.
Yes, I converse with God. I ask or He speaks and I listen.
He reminded me of what I spoke to the youth about last Sunday. “I have a friend who…believes all religions lead to God”. Ok, where are we going with this, God, I thought we were talking about the miracles you have performed first hand in my life.
His plans are above mine though and I am (usually LOL) always so willing to change course with Him because I know it is going to be SOOOOO much better than what I planned, so I asked Him to reveal what He wanted to say.
As I was talking to the youth on Sunday, I was explaining that counterfeit religions, although they appear to be GOOD and SIMILAR to following Jesus, there are certain differences that makes them different. They cannot ALL be right, each religion believes that they have the answers to eternity and they all desire the same thing:
Holiness = Wholeness
even Atheism desires these things, atheists just want to live the good life, make a difference and die at peace knowing they finished and left a mark on the world.
So how do we find the truth? Let me pose this consideration with you, the same one that I posed to 20 teens on Sunday….All religions other than Christianity are WORKING to reach God. That is right, they are doing good deeds, trying to be a good person, working towards perfection, trying to be good enough. Trying to have their heart outweigh the feather on the scale, trying to be good enough to reincarnate to a higher class, trying to be good enough to make it to Heaven, trying to be good enough to leave a legacy.
So why is being
NOT GOOD ENOUGH???
Heaven is perfect, right? That is the definition, holy, perfect, impure…..because God is impure. If you have a vat, making white paint….and you add even a small amount of black…so small that you cannot even see it….will the white paint be WHITE? No! It may be close, but it will not be WHITE. This is the same with living with God…in order to reside in Heaven and be in God’s PERFECT presence, we have to be PERFECT!
Now I ask, have you ever met someone perfect? I have many acquaintances and friends that are “good people” but I mean, never did anything “wrong”. Never got mad at some one in a store or over the phone (basically being their judge), never lied, never had a lustful thought over someone they were not married to, never were jealous, desired something someone else had, were never ungrateful….you get my drift. You don’t have to do REALLY bad things to be IMPERFECT.
So now I ask you, all of the other religions are trying to be “good people” and do “good things” for what? TO HELP THEMSELVES REACH GOD! Yes, there are some that just innately do good deeds, but it is because they feel good about themselves after they do it. Again, they do it to HELP THEMSELVES!
As a Christian there are two fundamental differences that no other religion on the Earth shares:
1. God came to pursue us in our damaged state we didn’t have to do anything to reach Him; He sacrificed His son, Jesus, who was perfect (death is the consequence for imperfection or sinful nature) on the cross and Jesus was resurrected because DEATH WAS NOT DUE HIM….He was perfect!!
2. Christians (should) do good works to Glorify God and express HIS goodness, they have nothing to do with our salvation (we have already received it once we accept Jesus as our perfect savior!!!)
We do not have to do anything in order to receive our gift of Heave and reconciliation with our Creator, God. Now, sounds like the easy road, huh??!!
No! I assure you, as Christians, it is a daily struggle to do what God says is the right way. We are just as imperfect, damaged, unworthy, rude, jealous, etc. as non believers. BUT, with God’s help, and He promises never to forsake us, we are a new creation after we accept Him and His spirit lives in us and will direct our steps towards holiness.
We do good works because we love God, and want to show the world the unconditional love that was shown us as a sinner by that same God, NOT because we receive something in return.
So as I was talking to God this morning, and as He guided me in what to write and I agreed to write what He asked, He confirmed this message as I pulled up to the stoplight at Hwy 192 and Crabapple Road and read the next scripture on my daily reading:
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, SO that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:16 NLT
Coincidence? I think not.
There are no coincidences for God! How wonderful to serve a God who loves us regardless of what we do/don’t do, and to know we do not have to ‘work’ for our salvation. Praise the Lord for He takes us as we are and makes us new!
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