“What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him.” A. W. Tozer

Sermon #72: Would you still attend church? - Faith Matters.

"I am the Lord your God. I created you and placed you on the earth. Your responsibility while on the earth is to worship me, because I am your Creator. You will, however, receive nothing from me  - no material or other blessings. The life that I made available to you through my Son should be sufficient for you. Be sure to worship me and magnify my name as long as you live." - God

Let us assume that this is God's message to you. 

Take a little time to meditate on it. After that, ask yourself the question, "Would I still attend church if this were the case?"

Every church-goer should find time for some serious self-introspection, time to take stock in the most honest of ways. I believe that worshipping God is serious business. I also believe that it is very easy for one to mistake whatever else they may be doing for worshipping. 

It is of the utmost importance for every church-goer to be completely sure of their ground; to be able to tell where they stand exactly .

The mistake that some people make is to mistake church-going for worship. Some say, "I am a Christian." When  you ask them why they say so, they reply, "Because I attend church." 

The truth however, is that church-goers is a group of people comprised of Christians and non-Christians. Anybody can attend church. Some do so in the same way they attend a burial society meeting. In addition, some non-Christians may be so active in church to the extent of appearing like the cream of the saints!

Instead of seeking God, many church-goers are looking for things; they attend church for things. To them, God is somebody who gives out things; He is not their Lord.

Let us assume that there are no miracles, no financial blessings and no healing to be received in church services. How many would still attend church? 

Don't you know that the devil has taken advantage of the people's love for such things to give them imitations from the depth of darkness? Don't you know that some people perform miracles of all sorts through magic, just to attract crowds, because they know that the crowds strive for such things?

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, you are looking for me...because you ate the loaves and had your fill" - John 6:26 (NIV). 

Jesus was rebuking the crowd that had come to Him. He said something like, "I know you. I know your hearts. You look like you are seeking me, yet in reality you are looking for food to fill your stomachs." This is still happening. Many are looking just for material comforts of life. How cheap! 

Jesus went on to teach them, "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life" - John 6:27 (NIV).

After saying this, people began to wonder what kind of work they needed to do. "Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?" - John 6:28 (NIV). Good question.

Some people are very active in the work of the church or ministry. They run around to ensure everything is in order for the church service or for any other church programme. That's good, commendable; but even a non-Christian can also do the same! These activities should therefore be undertaken only within the context of the real work if God is to approve of them. 

Listen to Jesus' response: "Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent" - John 6:29 (NIV). 

I love this. This is the real work, without which any other church-related activity loses meaning before God.

Those who have not believed remain condemned. One can still be condemned even as they run around with church business, just because they focused completely on such activities while forgetting the real work, i.e. believing in the one that God has sent - Jesus Christ!

The question is: have you believed in the one that God sent? Another is: what exactly do you seek to achieve by attending church; what are you looking for?

If you are looking for God, you will remain rooted even if there is no material or other blessings to be received. If you are looking for things, you you will leave in a huff the moment you realise there are no such things.

God should be worshipped because He is God. Things will definitely come as a result of one's relationship with Him. However, the person who is really going somewhere with God is one whose heart and eyes are on Him, not on things