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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Would You Follow Christ If You Never Received a Thing from Him?

I have heard sermons which indicate that God will give you more than you give Him. They go something like, "If you will give, God will give you ten times as much in return! You just have to prove your faith by giving!"

Is that faith or just gambling? It looks to me like you are putting in your quarter (or whatever goes in a slot machine), pulling the lever and hoping that you will hit the jackpot. The preacher is assuring you that you will win and trots other people before you to tell stories of how they won. It looks a lot like the lottery companies who show the pictures of winners without revealing the millions who lost.

Do you really think that God wants us to give so that we'll get something out of it? Do you suppose that God may want us to give just because we love Him?

Would you continue to worship Him if He never came to your rescue during a crisis? Would you continue to give if you never received anything that you didn't earn from hard work?

Every parent knows how their children will sometimes show love toward them when the children want something. Occasionally, this attitude doesn't bother parents but it gets really old really fast when that's the only time the children come around.

Do you think God gets really tired of a people who only come to Him to get something?

I want my faith to be worth more than that. I want it to be more than an effort to get things from God. I want it to exist even in the driest days of my life. I want to keep worshiping even if I hear only silence, keep giving if I receive nothing, keep believing even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death and keep serving even if it brings me nothing but hardship. I want my faith to have my full devotion even if I never receive a thing from God.

It doesn't seem to take much faith to believe when you are expecting some amazing reward for your belief. Great faith is when the reward is seeing His face without looking to see what might be in His hands.

Philippians 3:7-8 (ESV)
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

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