Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And Then Some

i have attended at least nine different churches in my lifetime. each one very different. one thing that stands out to me is the variation in worship. i have seen churches experience revival. growth. expansion. church-plants. church-splits. authority conflict. leadership scandals. among other things, one thing is consistent: the hypocrisy.

but i have realized that God loves the hypocritical church. He loves those who betray Him. the ones who are two-faced. the ones who don't practice what they preach.

this is a very difficult conclusion to make: that God is pleased with their offering. their worship. He blesses them. He heals them. He answers their prayers.

how do i know this? because i'm a hypocrite. i've betrayed Him. i've worn masks. i've failed to practice my own doctrine. yet i see the Hand of God over my life. i can count many blessings in my life.

why do we worship? why can we worship? because we've been justified in Christ by our acceptance of His sacrifice. (Galatians 2:16). we will never be more justified than we are right now. therefore, come as you are, lay your burdens down, worship because of what He did, not because of what you want Him to do. we don't prompt God to take action. we respond to God. if we desire earthly (sinful) things, we prompt the devil. because we have already conquered it (sin), we can easily access it. go back to it. likewise, if we experience God, we can easily go back to that experience. because we know what it looks like. make your election sure (2 Peter 1:10). God chose us. it's our responsibility to respond. we've been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). therefore, if we desire a blessed life and relationship with God, it's not an option--it's a requirement.

there's nothing like a hypocritical message to teach you not to judge. do not define the character of a christian by the struggles in his life, but by the fruit he bears.

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