Having Your Cake….

Pastor Chan says that writing chapter 5 was hard.  I thought chapter 4 was tough as he talked about how we are lukewarm as Christians.   Every lukewarm example sounded pretty familiar.

Now he says 5 was even harder; he comments on scriptural examples of poor responses to God’s gift of love.

It is bad enough to be lukewarm.

Pastor Chan says he won’t see the lukewarm Christian in heaven.

That is pretty strong stuff.

What about the person who serves leftovers to God.  I guess the Scripture he quotes [1 John 2: 3-4] says it all:  “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands.  The man who says, ‘I know Him’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

I guess that is pretty clear.

God does not want our leftovers.

He wants our best.

In the Old Testament, there were many debates about what was sacrificed to the Lord.  The people wanted to bring blind animals to sacrifice.  They wanted to bring crippled or diseased animals.  The people figured that God knew that they needed their best animals to raise and eat and it was just good common sense to put the imperfect animals on the offering table.  God did not think so.

“I am not pleased with you…and I will accept no offering from your hands….When you bring crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices…cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.  For I am a great king, says the Lord almighty and my name is to be feared among the nations.”  [from Malachi, Chapter 3].

Today, the church is adapting to the type of Christian who wants to bring leftovers to God.

Don’t tell me I have to bear fruit from my beliefs in God… I have to love my   enemies, I have to help the poor, I have to support the church financially, I have to turn the other cheek etc. You are asking too much God.

Don’t tell me I have to follow the commandments.  Who does that anymore?  It is just too hard.  I had a 10 week Bible study on the Commandments not long ago and every week, the Sunday School hour in my class was a “squirm”, as I constantly made the class anxious.   We soon saw we were falling short of the commandments…the basics.

Don’t tell me I have to read the Bible and try to understand it.  I don’t like to read and that Bible is hard to understand.  Also, is it “cool” to carry a Bible around all the time?  Isn’t that a little extreme?  You are asking too much God.

Jesus said  “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 28:19]   Does that mean that I have to speak to others about my belief in God?  I don’t want to do that.  It is embarrassing to be treated like an oddball.  I don’t know what to say anyway. I don’t deal well with rejection.  You are asking too much God.

Yes “we want to have our cake and eat it too” is a popular English idiomatic proverb or figure of speech.  The proverb literally means “you cannot both possess your cake and eat it”. Once the cake is eaten, it is gone. It can be used to say that one cannot or should not have or want more than one deserves or can handle.  Most Christians cannot handle being a Christian because it demands too much of their time, their behavior, their commitment but we want the label  anyhow.

What do we have when we have the label Christian applied to our name but we don’t practice what Jesus and God ask us to practice?

A meaningless label.

What do we give God when we don’t bear fruit with our faith, we break the commandments, we refuse to study God’s word and we decline to share our faith with others?

We give Him our leftovers.

Pastor Chan says he won’t see the lukewarm Christian in heaven.

What about the folks who are Christians but serve God the leftovers?

Must I say?

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