Monday, March 18, 2013

Going Overboard

Due to the snow/ice storm last week our small group combined the last two lessons of the Christian Atheist into one session this Sunday.  The two concepts addressed were believing in God but pursuing happiness at any cost and believing in God but not wanting to go overboard. 

Pursing Happiness at Any Cost
Often in life we live like happiness is our ultimate goal and decide if we are not happy than we are doing something wrong.  At times we choose happiness over at deeper relationship with God.  Pastor Craig talked about three different times that God doesn't want us to be happy.
  1. God doesn't want us to be happy when it causes us to do something wrong or unwise. 
  2. God doesn't want us to be happy when it is only based on things of this world.  
  3. God doesn't want us to be happy instead of being blessed (more than happy)
Pastor Craig shared what many consider their happiness formula.  Better Possessions + Peaceful Circumstances + Thrilling Experiences + Right Relationships + Perfect Appearance = HAPPINESS.  We can never be happy all of the time because the happenings of this world will let you down.  We are not made for this world, so nothing in this world will ultimately make us happy.   The more we fall in love with God, the less the things of this world will pull and draw us away from him. 

Not Wanting to Go Overboard
Revelations 3:15-16 says "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  This is the scripture that idea of Christian Atheist or Lukewarm Christians come from.  Pastor Craig gave us a list of 10 things Lukewarm Christians may struggle with in their lives.
  1. Crave acceptance from people more than acceptance from God.
  2. Rarely share their faith in Christ. 
  3. Do whatever it takes to alleviate their guilt.
  4. Think more about life on earth than eternity in heaven.
  5. Gauge their morality by comparing themselves to others. 
  6. Want to be saved from the penalty of sin without changing their lives.
  7. Only turn to God when they're in a bind or when they're in trouble.
  8.  Give when it doesn't impinge on their standard of living.
  9. Are not much different from the rest of this world. 
  10. Want the benefits of what Christ did without conforming to who he is. 
I know at times I struggle with these and continue to pray that God helps me move on the continuum to be more on fire for him in this world.  I hope you too continually are drawn closer to him.  

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