You go to church every Sunday, but outside of the music, you feel like it’s a waste of your time. And to be honest about it, if it wasn’t for your kids you’d stay home. You’re afraid to voice your concerns to anyone because they might get the idea that you don’t love Jesus. You do love Jesus, and you love people, but your walk with Him seems more like a religion than a relationship. You’ve got questions but you’re afraid to ask them. And when you work up enough courage to ask them, the pastoral staff has to schedule an appointment for you during normal “business” hours. You know, like a doctor’s office, or a dentist’s office, or to get your car serviced. And thank God for doctors, dentists and mechanics. Without them, we’d all be sick, toothless and walking everywhere we go.
If, on the other hand, you’ve got it all figured out then reading this is a waste of your time. You’ve got your favorite minister that you watch regularly. You’ve got their books and other “resources” to help you understand truly what Jesus is saying to us. After all, they spend their time writing books and preparing their presentations and going from city to city peddling, I mean marketing, their understanding of what Jesus wants you to know about Him. Why on earth would Jesus bother to talk to YOU, when He’s got them on television and on the internet to tell you what He wants you to do? That’s exactly what a religion is all about. It’s about people more knowledgeable than you who can hear Him better than you. And “Praise the Lord”, they’ll tell you what He wants you to do. All you have to do is purchase their newest DVD series, newest book or buy a ticket to see them when they come to your area. And that’s exactly what religion is all about. It’s a business and business is booming!
That’s not what we’re called to. We are called by Him to have a personal relationship with Him. It’s a real relationship, not religion. It’s a relationship built on His love for us. He proved it when He was nailed to that cross. And when we forget that, we’re headed down the road to just another one of the world’s “great religions”.
God is an intelligent Creator. YOU are His intelligent creation. Common sense would tell us that an intelligent Creator would have an intelligent way to let His intelligent creations know how He thinks and acts in every situation. That’s right, in every situation God wants YOU to know what He thinks and what He wants us to do in order to overcome any situation or circumstance that we often find ourselves in. Think of it this way, You’re a parent with kids. Your kids may not believe you’re smarter than them. You know the way things work better than they do. That’s just a fact. They may not agree and that’s understandable because they’re kids. Let’s say you’re a manager with people under you. You’ve been with the company longer than those under you. You know the way the systems work better than they do. They may or may not agree. Doesn’t really matter what they think about this situation. If they knew more than you did, they would be your manager. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand this.
Obviously any good parent, or manager, would want those who look to them for guidance to understand the instructions that you’re giving them. You would want them to understand exactly what you’re saying to them. Unfortunately, we humans have a bad habit of not being very good listeners. When we were kids and a parent was telling us what they wanted us to do, they had our attention for about 2.4 seconds. At the 2.4 seconds point we discovered that what they wanted us to do was boring. It was so boring, we didn’t even want the idea in our minds. So we would stare at them, nodding occasionally to give the impression that we were listening and allow them to think we were really going to do exactly what they told us to do, whatever it was. We really couldn’t remember because we stopped listening 2.4 seconds after they started talking.
When we become adults our attention span is longer than when we were kids. At least somewhat longer. Well kinda longer, unless you’re an adult male. Then it’s pretty much the same 2.4 seconds. Men have the tendency to stare at whoever is talking to them, nodding occasionally to give the speaker the impression that they’re listening, throw in a couple of “yeah, yeah” to complete the illusion. But they’re not. Now if you’re a man reading this, and there’s woman close by, the smart thing to do is to play it cool. You know, say something like “it’s such a shame that some men do this” or “some men are just so insensitive”. You know something like that. But since I’m a man who’s writing this, a word of caution is in order. Don’t overdo it. They’ll know if you do. They always know. It’s kinda freaky, but they do!
So since we humans are not very good listeners, there is a much better way to get our thoughts and ideas to one another. It’s called “writing it down”! If my wife hands me a list of things that need to be done, such as mow the grass, wash the car, take out the trash, etc. I better have a real good, and I mean real good, explanation as to why the written tasks were not accomplished.
And that’s exactly what GOD has done. He’s put His thoughts, viewpoints and solutions to all our problems in a book. It’s called the Bible.
If YOU can read and understand these words in front of you, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what gender you are. It doesn’t matter your education level, or lack of, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter your race, your financial situation, your health, your job status, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter your political views, or if you’re a hooker or you’re a minister, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter what you’re hooked on or what you have gotten others hooked on, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter how many lives you’ve taken or how many lives you’ve saved, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you’re doing now or what you’re planning to do, YOU can understand the Bible. It doesn’t matter if you were raised in a church or never been to church in your life, YOU can understand the Bible. As a matter of fact, the less you think you know, the better YOU can understand the Bible.
And YOU better know, because YOU are going to stand before Him someday at some time and tell Him why YOU lived your life the way YOU did. There are two things in your existence that you will not be able to avoid. The first one is death (that may come as a shock to you, but you are going to die sooner than you want to) and then standing before Jesus and explaining why you lived your life the way you did.
How would you like to live the rest of your life providing real solutions to real problems to the people in your life? We are not talking religious solutions. We are not talking intellectual solutions. But real honest to God answers. Concrete solutions to their problems. YOU can do that. You know why? Because YOU can understand the Bible. And once YOU understand that YOU can understand the Bible, YOU can understand God. And He’s got all the answers. Real, honest to God (no pun intended) solutions.
Aren’t you tired of hearing people’s problems and not really knowing what to say in response? Doesn’t it tear you up inside when someone tells you all the hurt and pain that they are going through and you don’t know what to say? Jesus wants YOU to be His light to others who are going through more pain and suffering than you are. And you can be because YOU can understand the Bible!
Want proof? Just listen to what your heart is telling YOU right NOW as your mind is processing these words.
Think about what you have read and just listen to your heart, not your head.
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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