This is a question we must ask our self.
This is a question we must ask our self.
As with all things in our lives we like traditions. You know those things we do time after time and pretty soon it becomes a way of life. For instance during the holidays we gather at a certain family member’s house year after year expecting it to never end. Or we fix a certain meal on a certain day year after year because it has always been done that way.
Sadly, we also find ourselves making tradition part of our “religious life.” It has nothing to do with the scripture and yet we find ourselves believing it does. We start to believe that if we do certain things time after time they become scripture. Case in point. For years we worshiped this way – opening prayer, three songs, announcements, prayer, another song, the lords supper, another song, the sermon, closing song, invitation and then closing prayer. We always met at certain times on Sunday Morning, Sunday night and Wed night. The times were strictly adhered to. We never deviated. This went on from the time I was a child until now.
If one of our elders, deacons or someone else suggested that times change, or the order of the service change one would have thought that a great sin had been committed. Because tradition had become scripture. Yes, we are to do things in decency and in order, however no where in the Bible does it state what order or how long the service should last. The early Christians went from house to house and worshiped daily.
I agree that our environment does not lend itself to the way the first Christians spread the word, however, it does open new possibilities and new avenues to spread that word.
Colossians 2: 8 states….” See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.” (NIV)
Before we set in stone tradition as gospel we must go back to God’s word and see if it is discussed, if not then maybe we should re-think our attitude about what we think of it and how we react when others see a different way of doing things.
As with our personal lives things happen things evolve and traditions should be able to change along with it. If we want to be effective and not just efficient we must be open to those changes while staying true to the word of God.
We all talk about being in love, staying in love and wanting to be loved. We become disappointed and disheartened when that either doesn’t happen or the one we thought we loved didn’t love us enough.
Some of us fall in and out of love like we change our clothes. Some of us say we love and then our behavior shows differently. Some of us have no clue how to love because we really don’t even like the person, we just lust after them and when that has run its course we are gone. Some of us don’t even like ourselves so how can we love ourselves.
In order to love someone else we must first look within. We must first learn to like ourselves and then love ourselves warts and all. Love is not about the clothes we wear, the places we visit or the feelings we find in the pit of our stomach, that is hormones raging.
To find out the true meaning of love and what it stands for we must go to the Bible. It is filled with example after example of love. True unconditional love.
It gives many examples of the types of love, how we are to love and why we are to love.
Let’s just start with one of the most well-known verses,
John 3:16 ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s just think on this for a moment. How many of us are willing to give our child up to be killed in order to save someone else. How many of us are willing to love someone else enough that we would send our child to their death? I venture to say none of us. But God did. He knew what would happen when he sent his son to the earth. Because he has the big picture. He could have stopped it at any time. But he loved us enough.
John 15: 13 tells us this 13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” How many of us are willing to make that kind of sacrifice”. I would dare say not many.
Now let’s get back to the meaning of love that is real love.
I Cor. 13: 1-13 is the best example of how real love works.
Hope that is a word we use every day. We hope our company comes to visit, we hope our children are alright. We hope we get that promotion at work. The list goes on and on.
But what does that word mean? What does it really mean Webster defines hope as: “to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true. to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.to expect with confidence : TRUST, something desired”
As we go about our daily lives sometimes we feel like there is no hope. We feel lost and abandoned, as if no one cares. We wonder why things happen to us. Many times it may come to the point of not wanting to go on in this life.
This is where our Hope in God is our anchor. Our expectation that a promise made by a God who does not lie will be fulfilled. In Psalms 62:5 we are told by the writer this, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
As humans it is sometimes easier to put our hope on other humans or other things. They do not withstand the test of time. God is steadfast he will not leave us he is our anchor. He is the one that steadies our ship of life on the stormy seas we travel.
If we rely on the hope of men we have no hope. Men are fallible, they are flawed. They will teach wrong things, God on the other hand is steadfast. He will not lie, nor leave us. He understands us better than we understand ourselves.
There is an old saying, I would rather believe in a God, and there not be one, than not to believe in a God and find out there is one.
As we live our lives and face our trials, walk our paths and see things around us we not ever give up hope. We must understand there is a God and he is our hope. He is the only one who is our hope. He has the big picture.