Who else is tired of the Cosmopolitan version of the gospel that is too often punted around nowadays?
You know the one I mean. It promises that if you accept Jesus He will make you rich, thin and sexy – and all at no cost to yourself?
Well, maybe that’s a bit of a parody on the subtle self aggrandising false gospel that is being spooned into our mouths, but nevertheless it is a very real danger.
People accept Jesus with the promise of an easy life, financial prosperity, problems solved, and a host of other ‘benefits’, and when they discover that these promised gifts do not arrive in the next shipment from Heaven’s Amazon fulfillment centre, they walk away disappointed and hardened to the true and living Word that really does set us free.
Now, before we move on, let me get one thing straight.
I do believe that prosperity is offered through the wondrous substitution that took place on the cross.
He became poor that we might be made rich – rich in spirit, soul, body, finances, relationships.
You name it, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ touched and brought healing and alignment with God’s will to each and every area of our lives. And we should have our faith out there to bring these benefits to fruition in our own lives, and in the lives of others.
But the core of the good news is not a fat wallet. A nice husband. A sweet adoring wife. A better job, or an easy road. They may be the results of the Blessing we receive, but they are not the purpose of it.
The core of the gospel is simply this: RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
Being restored to right standing with our loving God.
All else fades in comparison to this one overarching reality.
Through knowing Him we learn to walk in love and wisdom. We discover how to live and walk in the Spirit, and in faith. We grow in our utmost trust that His Word is true, and works in our lives. We grow to rest securely in His love and provision for our lives.
But all of this is the developed fruit out of our relationship with Him. It is not an online transaction, A ’10 Steps to a sexier walk with the Almighty’, or a ‘Slim down by Summer with one quick petition to the King’.
Like loving relationships here on earth there are sacrifices to be made if we want to strengthen and consolidate the connection we feel. If I continued to live the way I did before I got married, and did not choose to give up some of my liberties to preserve and deepen something more lasting and precious, marriage would be short lived.
God is not an add on to your life, He is your life. The very Source and Sustainer of it.
Whatever is holding you back, whatever entangles your affections and keeps you from drawing closer to Him – let it go!
The best slimming regime I know is found in the book of Hebrews:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Purity of heart, cleanness of hands, clarity of mind – now that’s attractive.
Let us concentrate on shaping our characters, and leave the faddish preoccupations of the outward man to the Cosmopolitan crowd.
What do you think?