why-usby: Rev. Ed Schneider

revitalizeyourchurch@gmail.com

Here’s a few important questions to consider.

  • Why is it that many of us claim to believe in “the Bible” yet read it very little?
  • Why is it that far too many of us claim to believe in God and seldom pray?
  • Why do you think that some folk claim membership in a local congregational setting and visit the place four or five times per year?
  • Why is it that some professed Christians you may know have a great grasp on the restrictions of the Bible and know few, if any, of the empowering messages that allow great experiences of liberty within the life of every believer?

I am fairly sure that these, and other questions like them, have continually reared their ugly heads for the last 2,000 years of Christianity as faithful and maturing followers of Christ stand amazed at the pervasive mediocrity that runs rampant within our sect of religious understanding. It is safe to say that not unlike other religious faiths Christianity offers many challenges to its followers. Christianity is not a choice. It is an accepted awakening of a calling God. This calling comes to each of us in a variety of differing ways. However, there are a few commonalities that can be seen. Things like recognizing the mercy and grace of God.  Even the empowering reality of an evidence of transformation at the center of our being is a common expression that many of the faithful experience. There are other things also that can point to the common experience of the believer.

  • Sacrificing for others while humbly thanking the Creator of all that is known and unknown for the opportunity of demonstrating a loving heart would be another example.
  • How about the unexplained notion that the gift of Christ is personal not philosophical or even that church is never the right thing to do but the Christ thing to do?

huge_8_41723I suppose that I could spend all day carving out question after question concerning “professed believers” sorrowful history of actually “studying” the Bible they claim to follow. However, the above list of questions just get us started in the reality of the challenges associated with experiencing the innate and foundational truths held within the pages of The Bible. When each believer…brand new or not…claims Christianity, then there begins a sacred partnership between several aspects of the “Christian life,” among them being… walking in a new light and living in a new way through the guidance of The Bible.

The title of this written offering has to do with; God’s Benefit Package. For those of us who are blessed with health insurance we have grown accustomed to the language of “health speak.” Terms like deductible, co-pays, and preventative care are heard all the time whenever we converse about this subject. When we receive a bill from our health insurance provider we move down the page filled with itemized billing that not only amazes one’s sense of detail but also shocks our delicate fantasies relating to the actual costs that are being presented.

All too many Christians are leaving God’s Benefit Package and it’s accompanying Divine services without taking advantage of its incredible depths of care. 

It is one thing not to know what God is offering. It is a whole other level of shame when we Christians, through our intentional lack of studying God’s word, lose out on all the blessings before us. Here are just a few of God’s Benefit Package available to us….IF ONLY OUR ATTITUDE WAS PREPARED TO RECEIVE THE FULLNESS OF THEIR BLESSINGS.

The attitude of God.            Gen. 5:1-2   When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.” 1 Sam 2:6-7  “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

The attitude of Faith. Mat. 20:32-34    Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

The attitude of Sacrifice. 2 Chronicles 7:12  the LORD appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. Hebrews 9:13-14   The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from useless rituals, so that we may serve a living God!

The attitude of Worship Psalm 27:4  One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Philippians 2:9-10  therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

joyThe attitude of Joy Ezra 3:11  And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Zechariah 10:7  Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.

The attitude of Grace Philippians 1:9-11  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

The attitude of Prayer Isaiah 56:7  Even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. Colossians 4:2  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. 

Verily, verily I say unto you, God is so good that it becomes literally impossible to give you all that the Divine has to offer in just a few scriptural references, however, think carefully what the above words may mean to you and I am sure that God will speak clearly to you. When we profess to believe in something far greater than ourselves, we then come to the understanding that we, ourselves, are not the center of the universe. When that happens, amazing things begin to happen. We begin a transformation of mind, spirit, and being. We no longer find “reason” a process of life that has ultimate value when separated from a powerful component of faith. We see things we couldn’t see before. We share things we would never share before. We love people in depths of understanding that can be explained in no other way other than, “it’s a God thing.”

Truth-be-told beloved, the answers to the questions listed in the opening paragraph can sincerely, authentically, and profoundly be found symbolically at the altar of God Almighty and how we are…or are not…personally connected to that same Divine identity. Peace.

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