Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cause It's More than a Story...It's LIFE...

   For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life.  He did not send his son to condemn the world, but to claim it as his own.  
John 3:16-17

  Sometimes things in life are so familiar to us that we forget the magnitude of their meaning.  For instance, I love my family...all of them... but, because they are always there and I know they always will be....I admit...sometimes I take them for granted.  It's not that I mean just sort of happens....And then after a while, something happens...or I'm caught in a special moment...and I'm reminded of how completely lucky I am to not only know them, but to be able to call them mine.
  I think the same sort of thing happens with my faith sometimes too.  Since I've pretty much gone to church since the day I was born....I've heard the gospel preached approximately a hundred million times (Exaggerate much?!).  I know how in the beginning God created....then man God sent His Son ...and one day He's coming back.  I've heard the stories....I've read the scriptures...I've seen the movies....and it's all become so familiar that I sometimes forget the magnitude of what it means.
  Today I was sitting in church listening to my pastor preach on what the Gospel is and why it's good news....and I was completely not engaged.  As his sermon drew to a close and I bowed my head to pray...I realized...something was wrong with this picture!  If I truly believe this story....if I know, that I know, that I know, that Christ defeated death on the cross and that through Him I have eternal life....then that should be the most exciting news in the world to me...not something I'm struggling to pay attention to!  It sincerely was one of those moments when I truly had to stop everything...and ask myself, have I emptied the cross of it's power by taking it all for granted?!?! The answer is yes... I have taken the cross for granted....although not intentionally.  I think sometimes we just hear the stories so much...that they stay just that...stories...instead of becoming life to us.
  So after service I went straight home to get on my face before God....there's just something so comforting to me about getting alone with God, in my own's the only time I feel completely free to be real before God, without worrying about what other people think!  And...well... real is what I got!  I confessed to God how I often think more about what I can do for Him, than what He's done for me.  I repented of the parts of me that still believe that I somehow need to earn God's love and approval.  I asked for Him to remind me of the reality of The story....His story!  And you know what?!?! He did.....and I was overwhelmed!!!  Sitting there thinking about What God's done for this world, through out the ages....and then narrowing it down to all He's done for Me over the course of my life....How could I ever take Him for granted?!?!  I've got nothing but gratitude and praise!

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