Daily Devotionals

Stop Playing Games

Daniel Bramlett

This weekend is one of the prime times people come to Church. For reasons of tradition (Momma made me do it, so you have to also.), to status (The neighbors are going so we have to also.), to desire (Maybe

God will let this count for the whole year?). Easter serves as a time for large, collective worship.

Whatever the reason that brought you in the door, I pray you leave this year with a profound change in your heart.

The life God offers us, the life He created us for, adds up to so much more than a Church service once or twice a year. Consider this: if Jesus is real then He lived His life as a model for you and I. When He prayed, He asked for bread, friends and forgiveness. Everywhere He went He told people about God’s love and invitation to join Him in His work. He ate, slept, hung out with friends, relaxed, worked and lived like the rest of us…only He was God. The Bible talks about how we were made to know God, to really know and enjoy Him. Jesus lived this out on a daily basis for all of us to see. If this is true—and if you believe even 10% of the Bible, these statements must be 100% fact—then those of us who live as if

Christ died so we can live how we want have some reevaluating to do.

The evidence of this reevaluation is found in the very life of Christ. The Gospels are written as proofs of Jesus’ life, message, death, resurrection and ascension. They are not simply a history or a recounting of tales. They are compelling stories that pull back the veil between us and God and give us a glimpse of the life we are created to live. As you read these first-hand accounts, you discover the divinity and the humanity of Jesus. He really was 100% God and 100% man. Either this is true or He was 100% crazy. He made claims of both on a regular basis. There is no way we can read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and come to the conclusion that Jesus was just a good guy. Good guys don’t walk around saying they are one with the Father, that their Kingdom is not of this world, healing people, casting out demons, walking on water and being raised from the dead. Only God can say and do these things. And He did…all in the person of Jesus.

Again, if all of this is true, if you even consider yourself a cultural Christian (Grandma prayed for me and I went to VBS as a kid), you MUST think through these claims of Jesus. Because if He is God and if He is our sacrifice, then we must consider His plans for us. The guy down the street can have plans for me that I can blow off. My mom can have plans for me that I can accept or reject. But if God has plans for me I’d better pay attention to them. The consequences are grave if I choose to ignore them. Jesus’ claim of eternal life is not something He hands out quickly to everyone that passes by. He describes it this way: A man is working in a field and discovers a buried treasure. He goes and sells everything he owns so he can buy that field and own the treasure. In other words, the Kingdom of Heaven is not something cheap that can be purchased and cast aside. Our lives hang in the balance. Jesus also says the road to hell is wide and plenty populated and the road to Heaven is narrow and few find it. It is not something we can stumble into as a kid, live however we want as an adult and gain at the point of death. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Gospels!

Don’t read this and think that life with God is unattainable. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, life with

God is absolutely within our reach! He says all who call on His name will be saved! But know that your salvation is not trite, cheap or worthless. It is as valuable as your very life and if you gain it, know that you will happily leverage all you count priceless and place it on the line. Don’t think that a flippant statement. If the God of Heaven says He created you to know Him, do life with Him, make Him known to as many as possible and then live forever with Him, would you say that is flippant? It is most certainly not! It is absolutely incredible. Will you cross the line and join us? Will you stop playing games with God, promising to read the Word and engage with His Body, the Church, one day and step across the line?

Will you stop waiting on a sign and give your life to Him today? The cross is all the sign you need.

If you’ve been physically absent from the Body because of Covid or any other reason Easter weekend is a prime time to make a re-entry. If you desire anonymity, you can blend into the crowd. If you desire to be known, hugs will abound. Churches all over the land will have the doors open wide and their best out front. This isn’t (or shouldn’t be) for show. We do this because the Resurrection is the highest moment we have to possibly celebrate in human history. I hope we’ll see you there!

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