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Saturday, April 10, 2010

So Many People Get Nothing Out of Going to Church

It is not uncommon for peopleto tell me that they hope the sermon is short. I must agree no sermon should be longer than it needs to be but they don't realize that they are also sharing their heart. I know that they don't expect anything to happen. Going to church is just a habit. It's not that they have lost their hope to see a miracle; they just expect nothing.

People who expect nothing are not disappointed. They will nearly always miss anything that happens. They are like someone who ate when Jesus fed the 5,000 and never asked where the food came from. They expected no miracle so they didn't see the miracle that happened right in front of them.

The Bible says that these people lack faith. Faith means you come with an expectation that God rewards those who seek Him. They came without seeking Him. Therefore, they frequently miss Him.

Many of these people are faithful to their churches. They serve, tithe and attend with clockwork efficiency. They can be counted on to meet any need the church might have. Yet, they still don't get it. They don't know that they should be expecting God to act when they worship.

How do you suppose the Pharisees missed Jesus' miracles? Of course, they explained them so that Jesus could not be the Messiah. They did so because they didn't expect anything to happen with Him. Therefore, they missed the miracles which happened right in front of them.

I have wondered if this lack of any expectation also prevents anything from happening. Does the lack of faith of many prevent the miracles that God would like to do? Would people be healed in our services if there were those who truly believed that they could be healed?

I know that God is not pleased with those who get nothing out of church. It wasn't His responsibility to perform so that they would see Him. It was their responsibility to come with an expectation of meeting with Him. People are changed when they come into God's presence. Those who expect nothing leave the same way they came in.

Do you expect anything when you attend church? Do you expect to be changed because you have come into the presence of the Lord?  If not, you should ask your preacher to make the sermon real short.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

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