Keeping God Happy (2)

Still trying to figure what the plot of the next episode of Star Wars might be.

Haven’t got very far.

Questions

Will it be an immediate continuation of The Return of the Jedi?

How old will Luke, Leah and Solo be?

Will Disney go back to the original actors?

The list goes on

But at least it’s a real list – based on the fact that there will actually be another episode – and not another stroll through fantasy land.

Many years ago I took part in a Star Wars quiz in London’s Evening Standard (newspaper).

The aim of the quiz was to measure readers’ knowledge and passion for Star Wars.

If your score was between 1 and 5 you were deemed to be uninterested

Between 5 and 10 – moderate interest

Between 10 and 15 – you’re a fan

Between 15 and 20 – big fan

Between 20 and 25 – serious fan- showing signs of cause for concern

Between 25 and 30 – you’ve got some issues

I won’t tell you which category I was in!!

But I did score extremely well!

Nice one Segs!

Moving on swiftly.

Pleasing God

God said,

“This is my son, in whom I am well pleased”

We are also told that God sees us through His son.

If He sees us through His son then it means that every time He sees us He is pleased with us.

He is pleased with us ALL the time.

What a wonderful thought!!

Unfortunately, as a result of being so ingrained in the world’s system of Reward and Punishment we struggle to accept the fact that God is pleased with us ALL the time.

As far as we are concerned, consciously or otherwise, it is not acceptable for God to love us unconditionally, and to be pleased with us all the time without some sort of investment / work from us.

Maybe we need to remember the following words more often.

“Your righteousness is like a filthy rag”

No matter how well you and I may think we’re doing in terms of our ‘righteous walk’, it is only as clean as a filthy rag.

A filthy rag??!!!!

So what’s the point?

Should we just give up trying????

Allow me to buttress this point a little further.

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said;

‘The time is coming declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…..
I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. ……for I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 8 vs 8 to 12

Do the above verses refer only to the people at ‘that’ time?

Or do they refer to ‘all’ time – including ‘us’???

God found fault in the original covenant because He recognised that mankind is inherently sinful; inherently prone to make mistakes; inherently prone to fall from time to time.

We cannot be relied upon to attain the righteousness required by God.

Why?

Because we’re simply NOT CAPABLE.

God’s solution was to send His son to die for us; so that through His death and resurrection we will ALWAYS have victory.

Once we accept Christ as our saviour we are no longer in the realm of law and sin.

We are in the realm of righteousness – always.

This is the reality of the victory that we have through Christ.

We need to regularly remind ourselves of this victory.

Apart from its implication that Christ’s sacrifice was all for nothing, the notion of attaining righteousness with our own strength, through our own ‘works’ has many negative ramifications.

For instance, striving to obtain righteousness and God’s love with our own ‘works’ tends to obstruct our ability to fulfil God’s two greatest commandments.

– love God with all your heart

– love your neighbour likewise

Bearing in mind our natural tendency to measure our ‘Christian performance’ one wonders how authentic our relationship with God really is.

In other words are our relationships with God based on what He can do for us?

Do we love Him because of what we have been told will happen to us if we don’t love him???

Is our desire to obey and worship God centred around our desire to be prosperous?

Actually these days our desire to be blessed and prosperous on earth does indeed seem to be almost as important as our desire to get to heaven.

God wants children whose hearts are truly for Him – out of sincere love and genuine gratitude; rather than hearts that are prone to love with an agenda.

The only way in which we can do this is to completely remove ‘self’ from the equation.

Please note – this is not a lecture.

How could it possibly be a lecture when I myself am one of the biggest culprits???

And don’t feel bad either.

It is an area in which we all desperately need to help one another.

To make matters worse, as we strive hard for righteousness, one of two things tend to happen.

We either do extremely well, feel great about ourselves and eventually start believing that we are better than others – leading to an uncanny ability to judge those around us.

Or

We try and try but our will-power fails us much too quickly, and way more often than we’d like it to; thereby making us feel unworthy – exactly where the devil wants us.

It seems we’re fighting unnecessary battles.

We need to accept the truth that we are no longer in the realm of law and sin.

We are in the realm of righteousness – ALWAYS.

I remember a friend of mine gave me this analogy many years ago.

He said, “Segs, imagine you’re cycling through a forest, and there is a particular tree in the distance that you are determined not to hit. In-fact you’re so determined not to hit the tree that you fix your gaze on it – permanently, – repeatedly saying to yourself “I must not hit that tree.”
Your whole focus and attention is on ensuring that you don’t hit the tree.
What do you think will happen???

Because you are looking at the tree and nothing else you will eventually hit that tree!!!”

In what ways do we measure our ‘righteous living’ performance??

By assessing our dos’ and don’ts thermometers.

In-fact the greater part of our attention is on the ‘don’ts’ thermometer.

I’m not suggesting that we should do whatever we want.

I’m suggesting that we learn to focus purely on the following two facts;

How much God loves us – unconditionally

How righteous we are – through Christ Jesus

Focussing on the above two realities enables us to actually want to walk with God – not with an agenda – but simply because we want to; and simply because we love Him.

Accept that you are forgiven for ALL your sins – past, present, and future

Accept that God loves you unconditionally

Accept that He is pleased with you ALL the time

Accept that Christ has done ALL the work

Let your focus be on God’s unconditional love for you.

And please help me to do the same. Lol

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