With or Without God
I have been reading through the Psalms recently in my personal Bible reading. In the Psalms, you see David go through an emotional roller-coaster. At one moment, he is praising God, and you can almost hear the words shout off the page. In the next, he is crying out to God because he is devastated; you can almost feel his tears as he penned the prayer.
I identify a lot with David. Though I am not a king and have a household of multiple wives and political intrigue, I have found my life needing the extremes of God’s attentions and help.
In Psalm 37, David writes these words:
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Ps. 37:5, 6 NIV)
A few verses later he says this…
23 If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Ps. 37:23-25 NIV)
David was convinced that having God in his life would completely change the outcome of his future. That putting his life in God’s hands and trusting Him would bring a reward. God would make His goodness shine like the sun. David was convinced that when we walked in God’s ways, God was pleased... and our steps could be firm, even our stumbles would not result in disaster… He would hold us up. Even our children would not need to fear when we walk in His ways.
I don’t know how those without God live. It’s not that I don’t watch TV, or have friends that are not God followers. I see how they live... I just don’t know how they can live life without some form of confidence and assurance that there is something more out there. Maybe I have been too long in church. I’ve had my moments of doubting, but for the most part, I have always been sure that God was with me and that He was doing something with my life that mattered. He would hold me up. He would provide. He would come to my rescue. He would hear. He would hold.
Those who live outside of God’s assurance… how do you live with the uncertainty? How do you sleep at night wondering if it really will be okay? If it just depends on your best, will your best ever be enough? Enough to provide? Enough to assure? Enough to make up for mistakes?
I think this is why Easter and Christmas to me are so vital in our church calendar. It’s not all the extra time it takes to put together those services. But they allow us to talk to people who are living outside. They actually come inside, on our grounds for the day. It allows us to interact with them and show them a life that can be fuller, deeper, and more certain. We have a chance to tell them something about God that they may not know.
God has a way for them to live and a reward He was not just dying to give them... He died to give it to them… What if for one moment, they could begin to grasp that
God’s love for them is bigger than an ocean (Romans 8:38, 39)
God’s ways for them will increase their life (Duet, 30:16)
God’s word could actually illuminate their path and reveal their future (Ps. 119:105)
God’s compassion could give them a forgiveness that is larger than East is from the West (Ps. 25:7-10)
God’s grace gives us a never ending comfort and hope (2 Thes. 2:16-17)
God’s mercy can bring something to life within us (Eph. 2:4,5)
So... the Easter and all of what we do as a church is so important. If they are to know the goodness of God for them, someone will need to tell them. In this place they will hear it.
Encourage them while they are with us.
Those who do not know Him do not know what confidence we have in this life. How could they, unless we show them. I hope you will not just join us for Good Friday, Easter and The Easter Carnival, but I hope you will find ways to be a part of what God is doing those days. Through volunteering, serving, inviting, and just being friendly with people, someone might just get a glimpse of some of the best that God has to offer. In us. Through us. In more than just words.
I am looking forward to Easter and beyond. What God has done in me, He wants to do for every me.
See you on Sunday,