I have repeatedly tried to get it out just right, to get this "Off my chest" and I just can't seem to hit the nail on the head just so, I want to express my thanksgiving, my appreciation, I want to magnify God, and I can't find the words, but practice makes perfect and it can never hurt to try so here it goes again...
I don't have all the answers, I don't have it all figured out, but there arfe some thing I do know, really, there is ONE thing that I know, and that is that GOD IS Good! He is! Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is Good? I have! I have NEVER found the perfect Church, the perfect Pastor, the perfect family, the perfect example, the perfect friend, ther perfect 'religion,' the perfect Nation------But I HAVE found perfection. It isn't in the walls of your Church, it isn't in the love of your earthly family, it isn't in the knowledge of your education---it IS in CHRIST! I do not need a perfect Church, because I have a perfect Lord who uses our imperfections to help us grow, I do not need the perfect family because I have a Heavenly Father who knew me before I was conceived! I do not need a friend who never fails me, because my Best Friend can't fail! I don't need religion because I found God! I don't need your approval because I am accepted in His Beloved!
Have you been looking for a Church to save your soul? No wonder you're discouraged and upset, Church is a place to share your love for God with others, it's not meant to replace Him! Are you looking for fulfillment in your friends or lover and constantly being let down, betrayed, hurt? Understandable. You're asking a finite human being to help you with a problem that requires an Infinite Saviour to fulfill! There is only one answer, it is HIM! You and I, we are up and down, up and down, up and down, we can't count on anyone, not even ourselves. There is only One, Who is the same yesterday today and forever. There is only One who is Faithful. He is worthy of worship and praise. SO many human beings steal worship and praise, but are they worthy of it? Every politician or star that has ever been adored and admired is only a human, and can NEVER be worthy of the admiration so many give them. We make demi-gods out of celebrities, who are EXACTLY the same as us, they are not worthy of our adoration and worship---but is worshp wasted on Jesus Christ? No. Because He actually IS Worthy! He is worthy of ALL our praise, admiration, love, honor, respect, worship, gifts, trust, prayers, and devotion! No one else can compare to Him in Wisdom, sacrifical love, glory, Righteousness, Holiness, Beauty, Power, Compassion, Justice, and Wonder! It is high time that we give honor where honor is due!
To know Him is to love Him. Those who are baffled and bewildered by our Bible-thumping, it is because you've never met Him. He is not a statue on a cross, or a stained glass window, He is not a man in a robe who asks you to kiss his ring, He is not politician, He is not a celebrity, He is not a genie, or a santa clause, or some other cheap, fake caricature that we create to get what we want, He is the Almighty Creator, the One whose Mind conceived of our very existance, the one Who indeed said, "Let there be light" and there was light! And He is Light! And Truth! And Wisdom! And Life itself. HIS breath made Adam a living soul! His Word spoke the world into existance, His POWER holds the universe together! By HIM ...ALL things consist and in Him we move and have our Being! He knew YOU AND ME before we were born, He allows us to breathe, our hearts to beat, the sun to rise and give us light and heat and life! Without His mercy-where would the sun and the rain that give us food come from? If for one day He stopped the sun from faithfully rising and stopped the water cycles, we would all perish. So, even the lost of this earth are experiencing and benefiting from His grace and mercy every day!
I have experienced soooooooooooooo much religion in my life, but I have learned, repeatedly, to ignore religious muckety-muck and just know God. He is all that matters. If you run into some crazy lunatics who try to use the Bible or religious lingo to further their own agendas, don't sit there and get a bad taste in your mouth and then blame your own bad lifestyle on them---just shake it off and get ot know GOD for YOURSELF. NO ONE else can have a relationship with God for you, and no one else's behavior can be used as an excuse for your own walk.
I have been mistreated terribly in my life by reliigous lunatics, but ya know what? Who Cares! I do not let it effect me, as a matter of fact, I pity the people who treated me like trash, thinking they were serving God the whole time! What a sad awakening they may be in for if they don't repent! SO many peope walking around and strutting around acting like they know something about God, wouldn't know Jesus Christ if He walked up and shook their hand. Sadly, a lot of people that were once in authority over me, in the name of Christ, may not have even known the Lord themselves, NONETHELESS, EVERY Bible verse that they made me memorize as some form of punishment-worked to my advantage as I learned what the Bible was actually trying to teach me! So I THANK God for it!
I used to be soooo bitter about the Christian school I went to, because some of the people in authority were just plain old MEAN, even cruel. It made me so angry, I felt so victimized, but ya know what. I don't care anymore. And if any of them are sorry for their behavior, I forgive them. Did they do it JUST to hurt me? Who knows. Probably not. God will be the Judge, not me. I am done harboring that burden. I am letting it fall of my back and thanking God for anything that He used in that experience to teach me about Him and His Word.
More recently I have noticed that if you TRULY just follow what God reveals to you instead of religiosity, you WILL find MANY people from both sides of the aisle, will have a problem with you. Too BAd! The super strict, old school Baptists think I am liberal and the super liberal hippy-Christians think I am a legalist. But I couldn't care less these days. In the secular world, what is considered "Hip" or worldly as we would call it-is enforced thru peer-pressure, in the religious world, there are certain pseudo-religious rules and lingo and such that are also considered "Hip" and enforced by peer-pressure. Well, I REFUSE to exchange one form of peer pressure for another, so you will find that I am not going to be hip witht he secular or religiou world, and you will find that neither was Jesus. Jesus believed the law, yet the Pharisees hated Him. No one defended Him on the day of His crucifixion-not the religious or the secular, and it is the same with those today who follow after Jesus. You won't find yourself too popular in secular or religious, but WHO CARES!
The "High Priest" at the time condemned the TRUE HIGH PRIEST. And today, the same type of thing happens.
Christians spend so much time kissing up to each other and giving each other flattery and playing politics and using the right lingo---and if u don't use THEIR lingo they'll tell u ur talkin "Worldly" lol Well, God bless them and God bless their lingo, I don't have a problem with it, but I can't say I'm fluent in it either. I never could seem to master the pseudo-pious language or pray a flowery enough prayer, but it's all good, I think Jesus understands.
So, to rap it all up-if you don't know HIm, get to know Him-He is awesome and He loves you. If you do know Him, keep it ALL about Him, don't get rapped up in religious lingo, politics, gossip, or any of that. Go to CHurch for the right reasons, and don't be one of those people who depends on a Pastor to "Feed" you. Preaching is meant to enrich your diet, not to be the only time ya get into God's Word. If you spend time ALONE with God, you'll find that forty mins or so you are listening to your Pastor-you will get a lot more out of it. Peace.