Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

October 3, 2017

I ran across some interesting trivia facts lately regarding how many people believe in God; and, it was surprising.   In the United States alone, nine out of ten Americans believe in God.

          Worldwide, fourteen percent of the human population claim to believe in God. This equates to well over six billion people on the planet who believe in God.

          Mostly, believers have no qualms whatsoever accrediting God as being the creator of the universe, the supreme intelligence that governs the cosmos and the Divine, Holy Other.

          So, to partially restate, fourteen percent of the human population on Earth believe in God who is divine, eternal and limitless.   And, evidently eighty-six percent of us are fine and dandy with God…right up until it costs us something!

          I do not have the data regarding committed followers of God but I suspect it is far less than eighty-six percent of the population.   This says to me that applying God’s Lordship to our lives is where the wheels come off the wagon.

          To begin a surrendering process of our lives to God will indeed cost us something.   We can no longer remain the same once we acknowledge the Lordship of God.

          But…is this a bad thing? Do we like living in doubt and fear?

          Do we enjoy wringing hands and feeling stuck in ruts?   Are we thrilled at having no direction or purpose in life?

          Are we bored to death with self but yet cling to the devil we know? Are we having fun living in self-imposed prisons as opposed to the limitless life that God is inviting us to enjoy?

          This morning I was thinking about old Doubting Thomas again. He told his brethren that unless he could touch the nail prints in Jesus’ hand and feel the wound in his side, he would not believe.

          But, we take note that when Jesus did show up later on while Thomas was present, he invited him to do exactly as he requested.

          Then he (Jesus) said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  

          Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God (John 20:27-28 NIV)!”

          The Bible does not say this, but in my mind’s eye what I see is Thomas on his knees in front of Jesus and feeling a mixed blender full of emotions. There must have been overwhelming joy at seeing Jesus right in front of his eyes!

          Thomas must have felt some shame and guilt for not having believed. Also, I imagine he felt some excitement because Jesus’ presence meant the train had been put back on the track.

          Furthermore, Thomas was all in from this moment on. He offered his Lord complete and total surrender.

What if…what if we connected the dots within our own lives?   In other words, if we belong to the eighty-six percent of humans who believe in God, what if we moved on from a simple belief to complete submission?

What if we gave Christ complete Lordship over our homes, our jobs, our finances and our relationships? What would total Lordship look like in the way that we treat our coworkers, our bosses and the way that we labor during any given day?

What would it feel like to consider serving Christ first and foremost in places and during events that we never even thought about previously? My guess is we will have a similar revelation as Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”

          In this country, we talk about freedom all the time.  But, I am guessing that most Americans have no clue what real freedom is about.

          Christ is offering us freedom…even over culture!   True liberation means we’re not encumbered one iota over what our neighbors have literally bought into (material or ideology), but instead through Christ we can now avoid the sin of comparison.

          Usually, we do not mind what our neighbors have or are engaged in, just as long as it appears less than what we have or are doing.   The sin of comparison can feel like a stone in our shoes and nag us senselessly.

          So, today what not take simple belief in God out of the barn and transform it into a thoroughbred witness that runs wide open for Christ our Savior?

          He is calling us today into a spacious, liberated life. What’s not to love about that?

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