Monday, August 24, 2015

God Has His Reasons

Recently someone asked me the following questions:

  • Does God command us to worship him or is that just something humans started doing on their own once they discovered who or what he is? 

  • Why would an ethereal being need to be worshiped and adored by humans? 

  • Why would he need humans to do blood sacrifices which is so pagan? 

I have asked some of these same questions myself over the years.

Allow me to share a few scriptures before I attempt to explain. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength". Psalm 96:9 says, "Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth." Psalm 29:2 says, "Give unto the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." In Matthew 4:10, Jesus says, "Worship the Lord your God and serve him only." So, we can clearly see that worship is not merely a natural instinct, it is in fact a command from God. But why does an omnipotent God need our praise; our worship? First, let us look deeper into what God's command really means.

Many people think that it proves God is vain and egotistical by insisting that people tell him how wonderful he is. This could not be farther from the truth. His command is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5), not "Tell me seven times a day how awesome I am." Worship is a proper expression of our love for someone who is perfect and so much above us in every way. We praise our friends and family when they do well, how much more appropriate it is for us to praise a perfect God who loves us. When we love God and realize how awesome he is, worship and praise are natural results.

God sent his son Jesus to die on a cross for us lowly humans, to bridge the gap between man and God. In the old testament or covenant, the people had to offer a blood sacrifice for the remission of their sins. This was to be repeated once every year. There was no other way for them to be forgiven or cleansed from their sin. But when Jesus came to earth (John 3:16) this marked the beginning of the new testament or covenant. Jesus bore all of the sins of mankind and offered himself as the blood sacrifice, once and for all. And for everyone who believes in Jesus, worships and follows him, He will bring us into heaven to live with Him and his Father eternally. You see, man's efforts couldn't accomplish that, but God's blood sacrifice did.

God does not "need" to be worshipped and praised for his own sake. He wants it and commands it for our sake. He sent his own son to die for us to bridge the gap between us. He desires that we walk with him and love him because he love us and wants to have a relationship with us, just as we naturally desire those that we love (our family and friends) to adore us and spend time with us. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". "We love God because He first loved us". (1 John 4:19)

Hebrews 1:13-14 "But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation"? God's plan is to raise us up into sonship (For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God". Romans 8:14) and to sit with him at his right hand next to Jesus Christ forever.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him". This clearly shows that God intends to reward us in the end.

When I think about where I came from and who I used to be, and how my Heavenly Father loved me and brought me out of where I was, how he transformed my life into what it is now, I am overwhelmed by his love. When I think of how Jesus became a blood sacrifice for me so that I could have a relationship with him and my Heavenly Father, I can not help but naturally love him back!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

History Repeats Itself

We read in the book of Exodus that after four hundred years of Egypt holding the children of Israel in bondage, word began to spread that a deliverer was coming. A deliverer that would free them from the grip of Egypt and it's slavery; who would lead them out of Egypt and into the promised land. They did not know who it would be or how he would come. When this word reached the ear of the Pharaoh he declared that every male Hebrew child two years and under should be killed. This would ensure that this "deliverer" would never live to fulfill the prophecy. (Little did Pharaoh know that the deliverer was living under his very own roof; that he, himself had raised him as his own son). The rest is history. Pharaoh's slaughter of babies was unsuccessful. The life of the deliverer was not taken.

Many years later, in Matthew 2, history repeated itself. There came news that a king was coming, a saviour, a "deliverer" who would free them from the bondage of sin and death, and God's people rejoiced. But King Herod, ruler over Judea, was not about to allow another king to step in. So Herod declared that every male Hebrew child, two years and younger, in Bethlehem and the surrounding areas should be killed. When Jesus was born an angel of the Lord told his parents to take him to Nazareth and there he would be safe. Again we see the slaughter of babies, and again the plan of snuffing out the life of the new king, the "deliverer", did not succeed.

In our present time we are hearing that Jesus is going to return soon. Even in secular circles people recognize that we are nearing "the end of the world" as some call it. Hollywood movies and even secular books are being released about it. The word is out, Jesus is going to return. And again we are seeing the slaughter of babies.  Only most don't call it that.

In the United States alone, from January 1, 2015 to the present, there have been 671,615 abortions performed (that we know of), and that number increases by one, every 30 seconds. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born". Revelation 12:4

You may call a spade a heart, but it is still a spade. You may call a cow a horse, but it it still a horse. You may call an unborn baby "tissue" but it is still an unborn baby. God tells us in Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart".

My goal is to lay the facts before you and I have done that. You may ponder them. You may choose. I will only add that this is an open book test and the answer is right in front of us. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live".