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#10 in a series
 
 
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31 (niv)
 
 

Every human being has something deep within that reaches out for significance and a sense of well-being. Call it what you will but it’s there. Every tribe or people group in the world has some way of defining their god and of giving themselves to it. All recognize a power or force greater than themselves.

We can try to satisfy or at least appease this pervasive voice of human inadequacy by acquiring money and possessions, and we even impart value to others on the basis of how much “stuff” they have. That is called materialism and there is no such thing as “enough.”
We can also go after intellectualism but there are always questions that won’t go away. We can try to dismiss a Creator God by embracing evolution, but if we’re halfway honest about our solar system and the way in which the human body functions, evolution is one of the most illogical theories that a thinking person could adopt. Nothing, more flagrantly contradicts logic.
Power is a biggie and often becomes a weapon in the pursuit of personal significance. Sometimes it is light in nature and other times dark, depending on whether it is used to benefit others or to diminish them.
Sex is one of the most incredible parts of all creation. God probably smiled and told the angels “watch this” when He got Adam awake and let him see Eve for the first time. It can be wonderfully enriching in a healthy marriage relationship - but what else has brought more pain, suffering and brokenness into our world?
Bottom line, all I’m saying is that man needs a god – some-one or some-thing greater than and outside of himself. He needs a person or object to give himself to, in his attempt to feel complete.
In much of life however, there are things that work and things that don’t. All of my flying has been in piston-powered aircraft that use aviation gasoline. The engines won’t run on Jet Fuel, as anyone who tries to make their own rule about that will soon find out. That’s just the way it is.
There is something (called pride) in the heart of man that makes it difficult for us to let someone else tell us what to do. That’s why it’s so hard for us to do things God’s way. The irony there is that He knows what is best for us, and everything He asks us to do is for our good, yet we refuse Him and instead become willing servants of the pseudo-gods mentioned above. They quench our thirst about as much as saltwater does.
Speaking of thirst – why is alcohol so appealing and addictive if not to silence the cry of one’s inner emptiness? And what is the power in drugs if not - - - ?
God made a perfect world. Nothing was lacking. But there’s a “Good guy, bad guy” thing here. Part of the way God made man was that He gave us the power to choose to do things His way, or our way. And He allowed Satan, a former angel in heaven who turned against Him, to influence us to obey him instead of God. Satan tricked man into thinking he was ruling himself when the truth is - he was obeying Satan.
God entrusted man with the power to rule over the earth. When man followed Satan by rebelling against God, Satan was given power over the earth. All that is evil and all that is broken in our world, is the result of his rule and is the evidence of his nature. He has power over all except for where men and women turn from their rebellion and again choose to follow God.
When all that happened way back in the Garden of Eden (yes, I’m a reasonably intelligent and thinking adult and I believe that stuff), God promised a Savior – One who would rescue us from our servitude to Satan.
We won’t get deeply theological here, but the fact is that it was at great expense to Himself that God rescued us from the power of Satan. Jesus is the Christ – the Savior, the Messiah. He is the Son of God.
Someone needed to pay the consequences for our rebellion against God and He did that Himself because He loved us so much, as in John 3:16. Jesus, the Savior, took our sins upon Himself. He died a shameful death on the cross and literally experienced the kind of separation from God the Father that our sins required.
In the death of Jesus, He bore the penalty for our sins. When He was raised from the dead on the third day, the power or grip of Satan over us was dealt with in a way that whoever chose to, could switch sides. Two excellent scriptures on that are Acts 26:18 and Colossians 1:13.
At no time did man ever rule himself. We now give ourselves to God instead of Satan and the results are “life” in every respect. That word is not speaking of mere existence - it addresses our need for significance, a sense of well-being, intimate relationships and more. All that, is available when we come back into relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. “Eternal life” begins when we are born again, and continues forever.  For more on that please see #13, Eternal Life.
www.john2031.com is about that life. Experiencing it is both an event and a process. There is the initial saying “Yes” to God – that is, acknowledging our rebellion against Him and receiving His free gift of forgiveness through Jesus. Then comes the process of learning His ways and walking in them. I attempt to address both on this site and come at it from the perspective that walking with God really is good.
 
I sympathize with those who are turned off by the too-common superficiality and hypocrisy of those who profess to be Christians (to whom I speak strongly on this site). I beg you to not let them discourage you from seeking God. Please don’t judge Him by what you see in them. There’s something far better and it’s there for you. How can I help you find Him?
 
Born in 1940, Ken Stoltzfus has worked as a pilot, ordained Christian minister, businessman, missionary to Africa and writer. This is #10 in his series "Snippets from the Good Book", and is one of many short articles that can be found at www.John2031.com  

© 2010, Ken Stoltzfus, www.John2031.com, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636 USA. May be printed for personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission if proper acknowledgment is given.
 

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