Getting What You Want From God

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Why do people come to Christ and His churches?

To be honest, they come for many reasons. Some come because they are about to get married or have a baby, and they have no true circle of friends for a shower or wedding. Some come because they have financial or social needs no other group is meeting. Some come because of tradition or even the pressure of relatives. One brother even told me that he came to church as a youth to meet girls. While none of these reasons are necessarily wrong, they are insufficient for a true understanding of church. In fact, most who come for these reasons alone eventually drop out.

Perhaps a biblical story might explain this idea. Luke's Gospel records the story of Jesus and the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Ten lepers--men whose physical affliction made them social outcasts and religious rejects--saw Jesus; from afar they called out to Him to have mercy on them. He commanded them to go show themselves to the priests and offer what the Law commanded for cleansing. The Bible says, "As they went, they were healed." Excitedly, they hurried on their way--all but one. This man--a Samaritan (a half-breed despised by the Jews)--returned to give thanks to and worship Jesus. Jesus responds with a question and an affirmation. His question: "Where are the nine? Were not ten healed?" His affirmation: "Go in peace; your faith has saved you" (17:19). All ten received what they wanted from Jesus; nine wanted only healing, but one knew he needed more. He realized that Jesus is not just a Healer; He is Savior and Lord. This Samaritan alone went away with a life changed both outside and inside.

You may have come to church for many reasons; if you do not meet Jesus as Lord of all and Savior of sinners, you miss out. You may end up with gifts from your shower, help for your temporary financial need, or even a new circle of friends, but the Lord Jesus offers genuine love, unconditional acceptance, and eternal purpose to all who bow the knee to Him and trust Him truly as Lord. Come, but be sure that you get what you truly need, not just what you want.