Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Much Do We Love God?

This is a question every person should ask themselves if you truly believe in God, in Jesus, and what He did. About 7 years ago, I believed in God and I thought I loved Him. I prayed to Him, but it wasn't all the time of course. I was raised in the church, in the Catholic Church, until about the age of 12. But the church I grew up in, even though I took all the classes, didn't really teach me anything that I needed to know about what it really meant to believe in God. I remember in High School some people talking about 'being saved' and I remember being asked by someone, "Are you saved?" I said "yeah, I've been baptized since I was 4." I thought the two were one and the same. It wasn't until 5 or 6 years later when I would realize what the Bible was and what 'being saved' meant. If you are like me, I don't know maybe I'm rare, but I didn't have a clue what the Bible really was. I knew it was important, I had one, but I didn't understand it. I didn't know I was supposed to read it. Then something dramatic happened in my life, that I won't get into right now, that caused me to pick up the Bible. I started reading the only Bible I had in the house. It was the KJV but I didn't really understand what I was reading. My mother- in- law bought me a more modern translation of the Bible and I started reading in Genesis. I had a lot of questions right away! I remember asking my mom as a kid if the story of Adam and Eve was real and my Mom had told me it was fiction. So, now that I started reading for myself, and I am older it started to make sense to me that the Bible was not just a story.

The "light bulb" didn't come on until about 6 months later, after I got bored with Genesis and Exodus and started skipping around. I thought Ecclesiastes was interesting, and then I found the book of Matthew. What I read in that book changed my whole perspective on God and life.
I didn't know that the Bible would tell me about who Jesus is and what He did. I came to find out thru my reading that the thing I should want most in life is God's Kingdom and doing what God wants, but that the way to heaven is actually not as easy as I thought it was and the Bible says that few ever get there. (Matthew chapters 6&7)
That was quite the shocker for me because up until that point I thought I was 'in'. I always assumed I was going to heaven because I believed in God. The more I started to read the more I realized my life didn't line up with what God said was right. I knew that getting drunk and going to the clubs was not necessarily 'good' behavior but I still didn't think that was going to keep me from getting to heaven. I don't know why, but I didn't make the connection and no one ever told me that I couldn't live my life like that and still be a part of God's Kingdom. The more I read the more I knew I had to change, but also I wondered why no one had ever told me! Then I wondered if they had what would I have done? Would I have accepted it or rejected it? I thought I loved God but really I didn't. The Bible makes it clear that when you really love God you put Him first, above everything, doing what He asks and living it out with love. I used to cuss, go to the clubs, get drunk, dress provocatively, listen to music and watch things on TV that I shouldn't, tell white lies, and talked behind people's backs, among other things. In regards to the music and TV, the reason why we can't listen to just whatever we feel like and watch whatever we feel like is because not every 'message' in the music or the TV lines up with what God says is ok for us to be a part of. In His Word He tells us to abstain from every form of evil. Easier said than done I realize, but well worth it.

The question is- How much do we love God in order to live the life He is asking us to live? If you profess belief in Him then loving Him should go hand in hand, but if it doesn't then we have a problem. God says he will reject people who honor Him with their mouth but their hearts are far from Him. Are we living our lives according to what God says or according to what we say? What comes first: cleaning, homework, TV, movies, friends, books, video games, or God? What do we give most of our time to and how much time does God get from us daily? You can't really have a very good relationship with someone, or know someone, you don't spend any time with. The Bible is how we spend time with God, getting to know Him, and allowing Him to speak to us. I hope this helps even one person realize sooner what took me so long to figure out.