If you have been reading the last couple of weeks, I hope that you've been challenged to think a little more about your faith in God and who Jesus said He was.
A post for those of you who don't necessarily follow any one religious philosophy: you might wonder WHY so many Christians, along with other religions, try so hard to convince you to be a believer like them.
You might wonder: is it for the money? Do they want me to tithe to their church? (nope) Could it be because they want the numbers? Just one more member to affirm them (not really)... You might suspect that they are trying to control you, trying to brainwash you (man, I hope not).
You may wonder what's in it for ME? If I convince you to become a Christian, do I get a better seat in Heaven? (I really don't think so). I can understand the question "I'm happy, I'm fine, why can't they just believe what they believe and leave me to believe what I believe?"
The answer: because we believe we have found something worth sharing. Because the Bible encourages us to tell the world about Jesus. Not to control, extort, brainwash, or win special favor in God's eyes, but rather because we genuinely Love God and therefore, love His creation, people, YOU.
If I had never seen the power of God at work, I would not feel compelled to tell others about Him. Just like Jesus disciples, those that started the first Christian church, they were so excited about what God had done in their own lives, they wanted other people to have those same experiences. I know that God exists because I have seen Him at work in my life and in the lives of others. I have seen Him answer prayers. I have heard Him speak and direct and correct me. There is no way that God isn't here and involved.
If you are a Christian who is reading this right now, and you find yourself as a "secret" Christian most of the time, I must ask you: How can you stay silent? Hasn't God worked in your life? In what ways have you seen His power? What prayers has He answered? How has being a Christian changed your life? You really should have a good answer for those questions, or you aren't doing it right.
One of my favorite scriptures is this: "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
In other words: "I am compelled by the Love of Christ to tell everyone about Jesus, because I know that He died for everyone. Since He died for everyone, those who claim to be Christians should be excited to live for HIM!" (That's an AJ paraphrase).
One more thing:
I am sorry that the Love that compels us seems to make some of us yell hate-filled messages. I am sorry that so many of us seem to forget that we are compelled by the LOVE of Christ, not the judgment of Christ.
In closing: forget what you've heard and seen, try to not judge the message based on the messengers and hear this: the God of the Universe, the God who created the Sun and gives source to it's light. The God who started the world spinning in just the right orbit, with just the right tilt to give us day, night and the seasons. The God who created us from our toes to the intricate detail of our eyeballs. THAT GOD.
The Creator God loves YOU. He knows every hair on your head. He knows every thought you've ever thought or will think. He knew you before you were born. This big God who is all powerful and knowing, who is strong and compassionate. The ultimate King and ruler. God.
He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. It's true. No matter what you've done. No matter who you are. He came for you. He chose YOU. So what are you going to do about it?