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A Relationship with God or the Church?

People often confuse having a relationship with God and having a relationship with the “church” and church-related activities. Some folks think they have fulfilled their duty to God by turning the radio on a Christian Station, listening to Christian music, or watching church on TV. Some believe their studies as they prepare to minister the Word to others are all that is needed, and so on. But Psalm 42:1 tells us how to go after God, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. (ESV) Jesus tells us that ‘…Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

We do not have to be a doctor in theology to know that the first commandment is to love God above all things. That there is no such thing as doing our way when it comes to God, that Jesus tells us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 (ESV) Where is our passion for God? Yes, I know we have work to do; after all, faith without works is in vain (James 2:26) But there is nothing more important on this earth than to love God in our intimacy with Him, in our secret place, in worship, listening to Him through His Word, presenting our request and complaints before Him, etc.

We wake up and continue with our business without acknowledging God, thanking Him for a new day, asking for his guidance, or interceding for others… How can that be? And we say we love Him? Before the return of our Lord Jesus, we will see many things, but two stand out because they will affect the church directly,

  1. The church will be genuinely holy: Ephesians 5:27 tells us “and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (NIV)

2. We will be passionate about our Lord: Revelation 5:17 tells us, “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (NIV)

Today the church lacks these two unique characteristics… but we will get there… we must!

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