What is the real “good news?

          untitledFar too often we are prone to think of our relationship to God in terms of whether or not we will make it into heaven or be banished to an eternal existence in hell. Our understanding may be tainted with the idea of our position with the almighty Creator and our view of the “good news”  is limited to the view of our “standing”  with Him. As much as we might want to think of this as the “good news”  it really isn’t. The truth is that God himself is the “good news” not the things He has to offer.

          The stark difference is in the direction of our thinking. When we focus on our standing and how it might eternally benefit us, we our thinking foremost on ourselves. God loves each of us unconditionally in spite of our condition and desires to have a relationship with us as His children. Who among us would want our children to value us only on the basis of what we can give them. “Mom, I really don’t want a relationship with you but I do want you to cook and clean up after me”. Imagine how such actions must grieve God’s heart. We are instructed to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Jesus said that this was the greatest commandment. ( Matt 22:37)   Unfortunately this love doesn’t come without constant and continual effort on our part. How often have any of us come to daily devotions as a sense of obligation rather than a longing to spend time with Him for the sake of spending time with Him? When we make the effort to come into His presence something unexplainable happens. Our demeanor changes, His peace comes upon us and we are renewed spiritually.

          When we are apart from Him we cannot even begin to sense His presence or recall the wonderful experience of being there. His peace is a gift that He is willing to give over and over again. Sometimes we rely too heavily on church alone to gain a spiritual renewal. Our frequent gathering together is very important. During the past couple of weeks we were unable to have church services due to blizzard conditions. I truly miss the time of fellowship and prayer and praise we regularly enjoy on Sunday. I look forward to those times, we usually arrive early with an eager anticipation of the service to come. Sadly, in almost every church across America a large number of people lumber in during the first fifteen minutes of the service. At the beginning of the service only a remnant of the group is in place anxiously awaiting the start of worship. This I believe is a picture of the condition of our hearts and how we have come to reduce the “good news” to a status quo and an obligation. As an alternative we need to seek His presence every day and seek His peace and renewal as a way of life. As a result perhaps we will run toward Him at every chance, especially on Sunday desiring to be in His presence. Why not run toward our “heavenly Dad” for the sake of being with Him rather than reducing our relationship to the mere gifts He has to give?

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