Today @ The Gathering – October 21

Today @ The Gathering we completed our series “7 Lies of Organized Religion,” with the last installment entitled, “God does mean well, but it’s really all up to you.”

Of all the religious lies, this one is the most deceptive and ultimately devastating. And it questions whether God is good or great or both by refusing to accept the fact that He has a purpose for everything, even suffering.

We dealt with the reasons that God allows us to suffer in a straight-forward way by first of all making two absolute statements that you can get up and go to bed with every single day. They are:

1. God never betrays a trust.
2. God never breaks a promise.

If God is a promise-making God and a promise-keeping God, and if God promises that if we trust Him, we will never be put to shame, that He will never fail us; then circumstances always are interpreted in light of those two great promises.

Of the nine reasons we dealt with today, two of the most powerful were, number one, suffering is indeed a downside of God’s gift of choice. God has given each one of us the gift of choice and if we use that gift well, good things happen. But if we don’t we can be devastated.

That having been said, the real question is, do other people’s stupid choices diminish my life? And the answer is absolutely not. God is so big and so good, that He is able to give each one of us freedom to make choices; choices that can have a direct impact on us. Choices like, to get a divorce, to break a contract, to not honor an agreement. And yet even in those reversals and betrayals, God protects us. Other people’s sin does not have to diminish our own life.

The second point made during this message that really stood out in people’s minds was that suffering is the way we grow. We don’t grow in a vacuum. We don’t learn things just by studying a book, or a sheet of notes, or sitting in a Sunday school class. We have to live it every single day, to put it into practice.

It was really great to see all the new faces today and prepare for next week as we begin our brand new series, “Everything Begins With A Dream.” Make sure you grab someone and bring them with you next week for the start of this brand new series. We’ll be talking about the seven days in the life of a big, audacious, scary dream.