John 4:27-42; 1 Chronicles 16:7-43; Zechariah 5
“For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens.” (1 Chronicles 16:26 NKJV)
There is an innate desire in all people to find God. Pascal described that as a “God-shaped hole” in our inner being. Throughout history, people have sought to find God and that search has resulted in many different religions. Many of those religions see their god as so far above them, that they need to keep him/it happy. Sometimes, the gods were so capricious they sacrificed to bribe them from bothering them. There’s a sameness to all of these expressions, though. King David put that quite clearly: all those gods are idols – made up gods who have no power. Our God, the Lord, made the heavens. And yes, I’d extend His creative powers to the earth also. The difference is seen throughout the New Testament, but especially in the passage from John where the Samaritans believed because of what they heard first, but then their belief grew as they developed a relationship with Jesus.
Religions may all be the same, but those who understand Christianity realize that it’s more than a religion – it’s a relationship. God often used the metaphor of marriage to talk about how He interacts with His people. Marriage, while it’s a contract, is so much more. I try to do a lot of things to please my wife – ok, not so much on the housework, but you know what I mean. I don’t do that because I’m hoping she’ll like me or that she won’t like me if I don’t do them. I’m not even worried that she’s going to taste the food I prepare for her and decide that she hates me because I can’t cook. We have a relationship built on love and trust, not on following a bunch of rules and regulations, nor even finishing “honey-do” lists. Such is our relationship with God. He broke down the barriers of sin so that we can have a relationship with Him. As a follower of Christ in a relationship with God, I do a lot of things to please Him. I don’t do them because I’m afraid I’m going to lose His love if I don’t, I do them because it’s a natural extension of the love I have for God in this amazing relationship. If you’re stuck in the grind of a religion without a relationship with God, come to Jesus and experience the joy of that relationship. If I can help you understand, please let me help.
Lord, thank You that I can celebrate my relationship with You without fear. Thank You for loving me even though I don’t deserve Your love. Thank You for grace and forgiveness that makes life worth living.