With God it’s personal
A popular recent video on Youtube and Facebook featured a young man poetically expressing the difference between dry religion and vibrant Christianity.
You can watch it on the video player to the right or by clicking this link and going to youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY.
God wants you to know Him
One of the most interesting lines is when he explains that all religion is man’s search for God whereas Christianity is God’s search for man.
The Bible says that God planned for you, created you and wants you to enjoy relationship with Him. Christianity is unique because it centres on how God takes the initiative to make this relationship with Him possible.
All of us (especially in the church) put things in God’s place, live for self and not for him and act in ways that hurt His creation. This is a problem because God is perfect and where He is is also perfect. We are clearly not. This means we can’t get close to him however hard we try (think Adam and Eve having to leave Eden once they put themselves first). Simply being ‘good’ is never good enough. The standard needed is perfection.
Jesus is the answer
God hates this separation, he made us for relationship and enjoys it! He shows his care and presence through our miraculous universe and in Jesus impacts history in a way that can be tested, examined and believed. Jesus lived a uniquely perfect life which met God’s standard. His life was so attractive and shows us what God is really like; caring for the last least and lost, powerful, strong, life-giving and transformational. Jesus challenged dry religion which told people to earn favour with God. He hated it because it mean’t people rejected that God was offering it as a gift. It was still all about us and what we could do and not about God.
Innocent, but punished
Jesus was punished as criminal yet had committed no crime. The Bible makes it clear that it was the rebellion of the world he willingly took the punishment for. What’s more amazing is that many years before all this happened it had been prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible. Jesus’ birth place, family line, miraculous birth, betrayal, manner of death, abandonment by his friends and resurrection are all there to be examined and investigated. Jesus forgave and restored his disciples who had all left him putting self and safety first. He transformed them to into courageous, world changing individuals who like him loved the last, least and lost with a powerful, strong and transformational love. He offers to do the same and draw near and fill the life of anyone who asks him. That’s what the church is and should be, it’s what we try to be at Cornerstone and what makes this faith thing exciting: God in us changing the world! Why wouldn’t you want to be part of something like this?
Why go to church?
Yet, surely if God loves you and does everything needed then you don’t have to go to church? Can’t you have a relationship with God on your own? Well yes… but also no! As with most things in life, doing things together makes it easier. A God of relationship didn’t design us to be on our own.
God doesn’t want you to just go to church he wants you to be church. To be His people in relationship with Him and with each other. Doing this (makes faith fun) and will help to grow your faith as you play a part in helping others to grow. At church you can be strengthened by the teaching, cared for in all the ups and downs of life, meet God in prayer and worship and transform the world through acts of love and kindness and by sharing the news that God wants relationship with the people He made.
We meet every Sunday at John Hampden School in Thame and would love to see you.
We can support each other and help each other to grow in faith. He has things for you to do and going to church is a way of God talking to you. He lays things on your heart. He puts some people in leadership to help us to understand the Bible, which is God’s word to us.
Welcome God into your life and you will see changes.