We have a wonderful doctor and his wife who have come to Joy Church for about ten years. They make a big difference for Jesus here at Joy. He is the head of our medical response team and she is an ordained minister (she is ordained through Joy Church) and ministers on a regular basis here and in different states around the country.
I remember when they first arrived at Joy Church and loved it. They had come from a great church in Virginia and had moved to the Nashville area in conjunction with his career. They were in the area for a number of years and had “settled” on a particular church in which they were really not being very well fed. They were just about to move back to Virginia because they couldn’t’ find a good local church that was a good fit for them. Then someone invited them to Joy Church. They came and loved it! They began to grow and thrive and get their joy back! They decided to join the team and make a difference for the Lord!
When some other members from their old church discovered they had landed at Joy, they began to call them. “I heard you were at that Joy Church” (when someone refers to your church as “that” Joy church…what they are about to say will never be good!). “I heard that the Christians over there are happy…don’t you know Christianity is supposed to be hard?” This is literally what was said to them. It is amazing to me how twisted religion can become!
Over the last number of months we have shared with you our key verse for this series found in Hebrews 11:6, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
From there we shared three very important takeaways:
- Notice the word “cometh”. The Greek tense for the word “cometh” is in the continual tense, meaning it is discussing those who continually come to God. It could read “those that cometh and cometh and cometh to God”. It describes a continual, communicative relationship.
- When we continually come to God, we must believe that “He IS”…not He was or He will be. That describes a vast majority of the Body of Christ. “God did a miracle in Biblical days” or “One day when we all get to Heaven, He will heal then.” God is not the Great I was or the Great I will be…He IS the Great I AM!
- He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Now we’ve left behind three quarters of the Body of Christ. Most don’t believe He is a rewarder…most believe He is a taker!
Then we gave you 4 View Verifications:
- How you view Him will determine how much you come to Him.
- How you view Him is how you will treat others.
- How you view Him will determine your outlook on life.
- How you view Him will determine your destiny.
Then we began to discuss 11 Characteristics concerning the Character of God:
- You can’t create God in your own image (Rom. 1:25).
- Heaven yes…Hell no!
- Sin ruins the view
- Will the real God please stand up? (John 10:10)
- Jesus the transition (Heb. 1:3)
- It is finished (John 19:30, Rom. 6:14)
- Stupid is as stupid does (James 1:13-17)
- Don’t assign the blame…get into the game (John 9:1-4).
This week we continue with…
9. God wants you to live on “easy” street (Matt. 25:24-26).
These verses are found in the parable of the five talent, two talent and one talent men. Here the one talent man’s perception of the Lord was two-fold:
- He reaped where He didn’t sow
- God was a “hard man”
The Lord conceded that He reaps where He doesn’t sow, but He would not confirm that He is a “hard” man. Why? Because He isn’t! It was that man’s faulty perception of God that caused him to be afraid of God and hide his gift. This is true for us as well. How we perceive God will determine how we respond to Him!
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:15, “Good understanding gives favour; but the way of the transgressors is hard.” Here the Bible tells us the way of the sinner is hard. Compare this with Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Here Jesus clearly tells us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Therefore it is the way of the sinner that is hard and the way of the believer should be easy.
The religious church got it exactly backwards! Now please don’t mistake me…will Christianity be inconvenient? Yes! Will it be sacrificial? Yes! Will it take commitment? Yes! Will you be persecuted? Yes! However, is it supposed to be hard? If it is…you are doing it wrong!
Your God is not a hard God. His way is not a hard way! Your God is a good God and His way is easy and light!
Your God is not a car-wrecking, cancer causing Creator but a loving, life-giving Lord!
Join us next week as we continue our series…