No Substitutes

Often times, when I have no clue what to write on my weekly blog, I search through my notes and papers to find a great Bible verse that particularly touched me or a saying I may have heard from another source.  God always leads me to just the right one.  As I frantically searched for this week’s topic, uninspired by my own thoughts, I came upon a lone piece of paper with these words scratched on it.

“Church is supposed to be a transformational tool to grow closer to the Father – not a substitute.”

Hmmm.  How true, how true.  But how many regard their relationship with God to be their time spent at church? We are subtly led to believe that we should be at church as much as possible throughout the week for whatever class, service, or activity that is presented. (Not a bad thing, by any means.)  Too many people hold their time in church, though, as their standard of Christianity, their justification for being called a follower of Christ.  They are more comfortable keeping Christ in the church and never taking Him home to be a part of their lives.

Many believe that if they go to church on Sunday and live a good life the rest of the week that is all they need to do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.  (Heard that from various people – love it.)  I would go out on a limb to say that a lot of Christians share this viewpoint that church equals a relationship with God.  As I look back at my church experiences in the past, my most active time of church involvement was also the most immoral time of my life.  Yow!

Thank you God for coming into my life and showing me the truth.  Church should be a tool that leads us to the Father and His plan for our lives.

John Bevere once stated that he believes we will not be judged for how many souls we help save, rather, we will be judged on whether or not we fulfilled our purpose that God gave us.  Each and every one of us is here on Earth for a reason.

We need to learn how to depend on God for everything.  We need to figure out our purpose for being here, something we can only know through a close relationship with our creator.  Anything less will leave us unsatisfied and incomplete.

And so comes the part about marriage.  God also gave us marriage to draw closer to Him, not as a substitute.

We will fail miserably if we allow our marriage to become the god in our lives.  It can never live up to those standards.  We certainly go into marriage believing it can, but the sad news is that it won’t.  It’s difficult for two people to live together in the sacred bond of matrimony. “Happily-ever-after” comes with trials and tribulations of its own, and half of couples in these times now quit when the troubles get too burdensome.
God made marriage so we would need Him.  Your chances of surviving marriage, without God, are a lot less than with Him.  Sure, you say, the divorce rate is just as high among church goers.  (Please re-read paragraph four).  Most Christian marriages don’t include God as a vital part of their relationship and that’s why the divorce rate is no different among them than secular marriages..

The bottom line is that we need God in our lives – in all we do.  Especially in this crazy world we live, a world that seems to spiral downward more each day.  I don’t know how I would face it without His guidance and protection, and His promise of eternal life in heaven.

Do yourself a favor.  Seek His face.  Include Him in every step you take – in your life and in your marriage.  You will find peace and satisfaction and completeness. (Plus a whole lot more!)

If you’ve never asked God into your heart, here is a simple prayer to do so.  When you pray it to Him, in sincerity, He will give you the promise of Heaven.  Then He will show you what He has planned for your life.  All you have to do is ask and allow Him to lead you.

“Dear Lord Jesus – I believe that You came – and died in my place – for my sins.
You then rose from the dead – to give me new life.
Come into my heart. – Forgive me of my sin – and set me free.
Jesus, in the authority of Your Word – I believe that You are now in my life. 
Please change me – and help me to live – in a way that is honoring to You.   

Show me your plan for my life.  Amen”


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