Man's responsibility and God's Grace Nov 30, 2015 15:04:06 GMT -5 via mobile
Post by Jillian on Nov 30, 2015 15:04:06 GMT -5
Hey, Pastor Mike. My question is one that I know has been heavily debated with no clear, simple answer, but I would like your take on it, especially in light of a couple of your recent sermons. I feel like Christians are in a very grace-heavy culture that seems to me to be interpreted as that it doesn't matter what you do or where you are because you can't earn God's freely given grace. Multiple times I've heard preachers and fellow Christians say that reading your bible and praying every day won't earn you more favor with God as we all access Him through Christ, who is always available. This means that we don't need to feel punished by God when we haven't been performing the way we would want to perform. I agree with the truths in these statements and I know from personal experience that nothing I have done has earned me salvation, but in my relationship with God some of these ideas have fallen flat. If I'm stuck in a sin pattern and only pray once a month for a few minutes and go right back to my life like normal, I am not connected with Him and His will in the same way as I am when I'm consciously turning to Him and communicating with Him daily. In yesterday's sermon you spoke of God being angry with prayers for a variety of reasons. A few weeks ago in your sermon on Genesis 35:1-15 you mentioned that if we've strayed from God, He didn't put us there.. We did, and we need to acknowledge our part in it and refocus. I really appreciate you exhorting us to acknowledge where we've failed in our relationships with God. So my question is, how do you think all of this fits together? How much of it is my responsibility? If God sees us as redeemed in Christ, why is there a noticeable difference in my life when I'm actively pursuing Him versus when I'm not (or does pursuing Him just open up my eyes to Him more)? I know that's a lot & I hope I've conveyed it well. I've been chewing on this thought since yesterday & trying to figure out the best way to ask it.