This week's memory verse:
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
I have been thinking a lot lately...many will say THAT is my problem! LOL I have been wondering how I can explain what is different in my life right now that drives me...makes me want to share what is going on in my life and in my heart. Many people I know just won't "get it" and say things like "Oh, that Linda has gone all religious." Really, if you want to know, religion has very LITTLE to do with what's going on with me right now.
I used to think that religion IS what it's all about...what I do on Sundays...getting religion. Going to church is where you go to find out what you should and shouldn't do in order to go to heaven, right? All the songs and stories we learned as children...it's all about learning the rules. I can sing a song about the Ten Commandments by memory. That's the whole idea behind church, right? WRONG!
One of the fruits of the spirit (the characteristics you have in you when you allow God's spirit into your life) is goodness. Webster's Dictionary defines goodness as the quality or state of being good. I have basically always been a "good" person, caring about people, trying to do the right things, helping others, not getting in too much trouble along the way. I can do most of that without the help of God, right? I mean, it's just the way I am. I can just keep trying to be a good person every day and I will earn a spot in heaven...
The reality is, I can't go to church to find out how to be a "good-er" person. Church, or the people in the church, can help me find tools, like the Bible, to help me ACT like a better person, but only GOD can change the inside of me and make me a better person. Ok, so THAT'S the reason to go to church then, so God can make me a better person?
Just going to church and sitting there listening to the preacher's sermons is not going to make you a better, (good-er) person. Just reading the Bible is not going to make you a better person either. As I said, the me I am, "good girl Linda" has been reading the Bible for years, but THAT alone is not making me a better person.
In that famous 23rd Psalm, David talks about GOD'S GOODNESS...He will take care of us, provide for us, give us beautiful and quiet places to rest, and will guide us on the right path. In this world where it seems there are SO MANY people on the wrong paths...how can we believe there is such a loving and caring God out there for us? YOU have to go look for Him and allow Him to come into your life!
In the past few years, I have been learning to communicate with God...to have a RELATIONSHIP with him...to open myself up to ALLOW Him to work inside me. Now, it's more than just reading the Bible, going to church and doing "the right things." I haven't become some holier than thou Christian who looks down at all the others who are not as GOOD in the eyes of God as I AM! No, way! I just want to share with everyone I know how I REALLY FEEL God working in my life and in the lives of others I see who have also come to realize how having a relationship with God REALLY DOES make a difference in your life! I can't explain it any better than saying that I can't manufacture a "good person" persona...I am allowing Christ to work THROUGH me! I am seeing myself say and do things that I, myself, could never do!!! I can't, but God can! (I am stealing lines from Pastor Brian's sermon yesterday, but I can really SEE it!)
Pastor Brian talked about living life in 5 D...how life can be SO MUCH MORE than how we are living it...just going through the motions. I am so excited to be on this new journey...I have such a long way to go, but it is good to know I have friends who are on this journey with me...my "church family"...people who are also excited about what God is doing in their lives...people who are learning what living relationally with God can mean for them. Do you want to go on the journey too? If so, come along!