God Re-discovered?

As this COVID thing drags on the impact on our lives increases. A few felt it early on, when the sickness hit hard leaving their bodies weakened or when death visited their family. The rest of us were coping with the loss of normal social interaction, kids at home, work hours curtailed, or the threat to our business. We complained about being ‘stuck at home,’ or not being able to go to a restaurant, or seeing grocery store shelves bare, but we assumed that we would find ‘normal’ in a few week’s time. Several months in, with no end in sight, we are realizing that life has changed, maybe forever.

Every decision, right down to deciding where we will eat, how we will worship, and who we will invite into our home now carries the weight of wondering ‘is it safe?’  Things we once took for granted like sending our children off to school, going to church, or taking a vacation are now sources of stress. Our governing authorities are unreliable guides, imposing capricious rules, issuing contradictory information. Often our leaders are outright incompetent.  Added to the weight of COVID is the social upheaval we are now experiencing.

The future is a murky mess. The result?

Stress is UP. Marriages are strained. Communities are breaking down. And, quiet yet urgent questions will not go away. A lot of us are re-thinking the way we live, the choices we make, the foundations on which we have built our lives. Is there a nagging sense that “there must be more to life” than what you have been chasing after?

It is time to return to Jesus Christ. You knew I would say that, right? After all, I am a Christian pastor. True, but even my faith is being re-defined. Church programs, religious shows that masquerade as ‘worship,’ celebrity preachers that offer self-help sermons about human potential are being shown for what they are; “clouds without rain.” Serious Christianity, a dedication to Jesus Christ; to love of God and love for others, is making a return. Little groups of people hungry for God are re-discovering the God of the Word.  At our core we desire immortality, want to know hope, and to live a life that means something. There is no one on earth that can offer us that, no place we can buy those things. Christ alone gives us life eternal, peace that is anchored beyond our present trials, and true purpose.

Real Christian discipleship will satisfy our soul hunger. Let’s not confuse our ‘church-ianity’ with real Christianity!  Recent history shows that millions can ‘go to church’ without having their lives even superficially touched by the Gospel of Christ. (Think racism that remained rooted in churches long after civil rights arrived in America.)  Church-goers of the last 50 years lived the same way as non-believers with a thin veneer of religion glued on the surface of their lives. The prescription for ‘life to the full’ involves radical repentance for sin, deep commitment to Christ, and profound care for others. The pursuit of Christ and a life that is holy will be costly, difficult, and yes – will change us and the world in which we live miraculously. (That is not hype or oversell. It is the Gospel Truth!)

Here is a word from the Word. Though familiar, take time to meditate on Jesus’ words. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26, NIV)  

“Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. …

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:21-27, NLT)


Build My Life

(A great song that points us to real faith in the Builder)

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing

Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring

Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe

We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name

Jesus the only one who could ever save

Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe

We live for You

We live for You

Holy there is no one like You

There is none besides You

Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are

And fill me with Your heart

And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love

It is a firm foundation

I will put my trust in You alone

And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett

© 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)

Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing)

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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