So many people are looking for GOD and don’t even know it. They have an emptiness in their heart that they can’t fill; although they might try to fill it with sex, drugs, alcohol, food, or anything they can buy, the hole never gets filled. They don’t realize that only GOD can fill that hole and only GOD can make them complete.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13 NLT)
Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. (Psalm 119:73 NIV)
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. (Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV)
This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars (Isaiah 44:24-25a NLT)
GOD created us and this world, our purpose is for HIM, our purpose is for sharing GOD with those who don’t know HIM.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV)
Let me explain the difference between religion and relationship – religion is what Jesus explained as the cold ritual of following rules and regulations but without a heart for GOD. The Pharisees were pious and religious, judging and condemning others; Jesus told them they didn’t know GOD because they didn’t have a heart for GOD, but only for themselves. Jesus was so angered at how the teachers of religious law had become, He let everyone know:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. “Everything they do is for show…And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces….
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:1-7, 13-15,23 -28 NLT )
Jesus came to set us free, not to condemn us and imprison us with rules and regulations that complicate our lives.The Laws haven’t changed, they are the morals that we are born with. The Laws that were given after the Ten Commandments were meant to protect GOD’s Chosen people from themselves. The more the Israelites began to assimilate with the nations and cultures around them, the further they fell away from GOD. The further they fell away from GOD, they began to try to fill that God shaped hole with other things, the more they tried to fill that hole with the wrong things, the more they fell away – a vicious cycle that only caused more pain and suffering.
One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NLT)
Jesus came as GOD, He came to show us that GOD loves us, HE loved us when we were full of sin. HE wants us to love him, HE won’t force Himself on us; we have to come to HIM. Jesus wants a relationship with us, He wants us to make Him the Lord of our lives, to spend everyday with Him because we want to, not because we feel we have to. Jesus died on the cross for us because we could never get ourselves right with GOD unless we have Jesus; so we don’t need to try and wait until we’re good enough to come to GOD (since without Jesus, that’s impossible)!
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” (John 3:16-21 MSG)
Once you have GOD in your life, you are a new creation, you are made right with GOD. This doesn’t mean life has become perfect and there will be no pitfalls, detours or mistakes. The difference is now you aren’t living for yourself, you are living for GOD, you WANT to please HIM. When you WANT to make changes and become who GOD created you to be, life is different, because your focus is different. You will know the difference in your life when you’ve discovered that God shaped hole, isn’t empty, it’s being filled and the more you spend time with GOD and in HIS Word, the more that hole is filled and you you experience a comfort, joy and peace you’ve never known before!