There are some things that unite us all. Here’s what I mean: I bet there’s something you take a great deal of pleasure in. It may be watching sports or going to the movies. There’s something you invest in. Time, money, and energy are given towards an education, a house, or family. There’s something you trust in. It may be the government or you may be trusting in your own strength and abilities. Finally, there’s something you hope for… Perhaps you hope for a restored relationship or to succeed in a certain thing.
There’s a biblical word that describes all of this – worship. You were created to take pleasure in something, to invest in something, to trust in something, and to hope for something. And that something, is not actually a something at all…but, rather, a Someone. And that Someone is God – and, not just any god, but the one and only Living Creator God of the Bible.
This God created the world and everything in it.
This God is Lord of heaven and earth. He is so big – he doesn’t live in church buildings made of brick and mortar. The heavens cannot contain him! The galaxies are far too small! He is so powerful he is never in need of anything! He sustains all of creation. He is the One who brings summer and winter and the One who gives you each and every breath. We wouldn’t last one millisecond without His sustaining power.
This God has made all of us from one man named Adam. This means we are inseparably joined together as family. We even share in some common family traits. We struggle with sin and have to deal with death. I hate seeing the pain and destruction my own sin causes. I hate knowing that one day the bodies of my very own children will be lowered into a grave. That’s why I teach my children there’s hope.
This God determined when and where each of us would live and He did it for this reason – that we might seek Him and find Him. Now, that may sound challenging. But try imagining a tiny fish swimming around in the great ocean…desperately searching for…water? That’s exactly like us drowning in our sin and problems and asking the question, “Where is God?” He is not far from you! In fact, it’s in Him that you live! He is sustaining you with every heart beat and breath. You couldn’t escape His presence today if you wanted to.
This God is not like the things we worship. He’s not like our favorite football team. He’s not like our car, or house, or career. We often try to find comfort in these things. But the comfort and help they provide is not lasting. At best, these are temporary distractions from our pain and problems.
This God actually knows who you are. He cares for you. He sees your struggles. He hears your cries for help. In fact, He has answered your cry for help by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins and to rise from the grave so that, on a day like today, He could reach down from heaven and rescue you from yourself for Himself.
This God joined our family in the person of Jesus Christ. He took on flesh and blood and a human nature like ours. He experienced what it was like to be hungry, thirsty, and tired. He was tempted in every way we are, yet He never gave in. He was completely obedient to the Father in every way including laying down His life as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. When Jesus was crucified, another man was scheduled to be crucified too. His name was Barabbas. He was a guilty thief and murder who deserved the coming execution. But Jesus was crucified in his place and the guilty man Barabbas was set free. This is called a substitute sacrifice because it should have been us, but the only One who could have opened his mouth and declared, “I’m innocent!” kept his mouth shut, took our place, and experienced the punishment we deserved.
You were created by this God and for this God.
You were created to take pleasure in Jesus: Jesus spoke with a woman who came to draw water from a well (having been married five times), saying, “If you continue to drink of this water you will only get thirsty again. But, if you drink of the water I will give you (and He spoke in reference to God’s Spirit inside her), you will never thirst again.” The Psalmist David would say, “The LORD is my Shepherd. I have all I need. My cup runs over.”
You were created to invest in Jesus: Jesus said, “Count the cost: Whoever does not give up all that he has cannot follow Me.” We were created to give everything to Jesus – our spouse, our children, our education, our career, our hopes and dreams… He wants it all fully invested in loving, obeying, and serving Him. Simply put, He wants us to lay down our plans and embrace His plan.
You were created to trust in Jesus: God has put eternity in your heart. You had a conception date and you have a death date but you do not have an expiration date. God has created you to live eternally. You’ve got perhaps 60-80 years here but most of your existence will be experienced elsewhere. With whom are you entrusting your eternity? If you’re trusting in yourself, you’re not strong enough. Jesus alone is the Wisdom and Power of God. From the beginning, you were created to entrust your eternity with Jesus Christ.
You were created to hope for Jesus: When Jesus returns to this earth, He is bringing His Kingdom (government) with Him from heaven. And when His Kingdom arrives it will destroy beyond recovery every other kingdom and nation and thing of this world. There was a day Jesus was mocked as a king. Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head. They gave Him a purple robe and wooden staff – like a king’s scepter. They mockingly bowed down to pay homage to him and then rose to beat Him with that same wooden scepter. But the Psalm declares that when Jesus returns he will “shatter the nations to pieces like a potter’s vessel and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” No one will take that scepter from His hands ever again and He will once and for all establish a Kingdom on earth in eternal righteousness. You were created to hope for this day. In fact, Jesus told us to pray for it’s coming – “Your Kingdom come…Your will be done.”
This God who loves you, sees you, and hears you, has also been speaking to you through His Word (the Bible) and by His Spirit. He commands all people everywhere to repent. To repent is to turn from worshipping the things of this world in order to worship Jesus alone. God has scheduled a day in which the resurrected Jesus Christ will judge the world in righteousness.
This God will be ignored by most of this world. Most will continue their own personal pursuits. They’ll choose the temporary pleasure of sin over the eternal joys of a relationship with God. People will be so busy with their own plans they’ll fail to prepare for God’s plan of the Day of Judgment.
The question for you is personal. How will you respond to this God? God says that today is the day of salvation and if you hear His voice – don’t harden your heart. Open your heart and call on the name of Jesus so that you can live and serve Jesus today and in His Kingdom forever.
To do this – you must admit to God you’re a sinner deserving of judgment. You must believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave to save you. And you must confess your trust in Jesus as Lord and Master of your life. You must give up your plan and surrender to His plan. Do this, and God promises forgiveness and eternal life through a refreshing relationship with the God of the universe.