I know it’s Monday, so that means a new batch of songs should be up for download. However, I’m feeling lazy, and I really wanted to share this with you guys.
A good friend of mine asked me to give him one good reason why he should continue to believe and follow God. Before I go any further, my friend is not yet a believer, so just keep that in mind. And the following was my reply:
I can give you a thousand reasons why you should continue to follow and believe in God, but I’m sure the bible will do a much better job at listing all those reasons. Of course, Christians believe and continue to follow God because of those reasons, but what originally motivated each of them to take that first step of faith is always different. I don’t know what it’ll take for you to make the choice and take first step of believing and following (I’m assuming that’s what you’re really asking about), but I can tell you what motivated (or should I say remotivated) me to commit my life to God.
I know it sounds so cheesy and wtf, but you when you experience God and His love for you first-hand, you’ll won’t want anything else. The first time I felt it was 3 years ago at the first church retreat I went to. The speaker was absolutely hilarious and amazing, and they had one of those altar calls (where people go up and they’ll pray for you). I don’t know what motivated me to go up, since it was my first time seeing one and being at one. I mean, I’ve been brought up to be a “Christian” my whole life, but the word was empty to me. If anything, it just meant that I HAD to go to church, read my bible, and pray, because that’s what Christians HAVE to do. I mean, I didn’t feel any different from my Buddhist or atheist friends, asides from the fact that when they go “bai bai”, I go to church. :/
But at the retreat, God’s love really hit me. It was as if my eyes had been opened for the first time, and I finally knew what being a Christian really was about, why so many people follow it, and are even willing to sacrifice their lives for Christ. I can’t even begin to describe the love I felt because it was a love that no other human being was capable of giving. 1 Corinthians 13 is probably the closest thing words can get to describing that perfect love, but when I realized that someone loved me that much, so much they were willing to die for me, so much that nothing I did or could do will ever change that, there was nothing I could say but sorry. Sorry that I hurt them, sorry that I betrayed them, sorry that I disappointed them. 10000 sorries, yet all God told me was that everything was ok because I was finally home. He wasn’t angry, He wasn’t disappointed in what I’ve done or become. He was just a father who’s overjoyed to have His daughter back.
I wish I could say everything was fine from there, but it wasn’t. What happened with Eric, with you, etc, I strayed away from God and I chose to live life my own way. It was fun at the moment, but every time it ended and I lie in bed at night, I feel empty and that life is meaningless. It’s as if I’m living for the sake of living, and I’m just a walking corpse. Yet regardless of my mistakes and how much I’ve disappointed the people around me (who slowly gave up one by one), God never gave up.
All this time I thought I was unworthy of going to church and being with God because I’d be a hypocrite, but when I finally turned back to Him, I realized He was there, waiting for me with open arms, all this time. No judgments, no accusations, just the same “Welcome home” as last time. John said something at the retreat that really touched me and gave an actual glimpse of what God’s love was like. He said, “If you want to see God’s love, look at your parents.” And I thought about my mom and how much I’ve hurt her, yet she still chose to love me and be there for me. And her love for me is only the smallest fraction of God’s love for me, because she is still human. I know it might be hard for you to relate this to your parents… but just think of the one person who has really loved you and cared for you and accepted you as you are, but times that by infinity. That’s God.
You can tie in so many things to God’s love. Because He loves you, He’ll be there for you when no one else will. Because He loves you, He’ll always be there to forgive and pull you back on your feet when you’ve made a mistake. Because He loves you, He’ll only have your best interest in mind. Because He loves you, He asks nothing of you but to just believe in Him and His love for you. Everything else: following Him, spending time with Him, going to church, etc, those are all just what I do not because as a Christian I have to, but out of love for Him. Out of love for God I’m willing to live differently from what this world expects of me. Out of love for God I’m willing to give up my selfish (and inappropriate) desires. Out of love for God I’m willing to love (or at least try to love) those who are unlovable. I fail miserably many times, but God never reprimands me or scolds me. He just picks me up, renews my faith and strengths, and tells me to try again, like a loving father does for his daughter.
My greatest fear is the fear of being lonely and unloved. That’s why I’m so insecure when it comes to relationships. I worry that people might betray me or leave me. So when I encountered a love like God’s, how could I not give everything I could to believe and follow Him? What’s ironic is that I ended up hurting and betraying the one who loved me most; God (of course, I also hurt and betrayed the other people who truly loved and cared for me as well, like my mom).
I don’t know if that answered your question, or if that helped you in any way. But thank you for asking me. I’ve been losing my passion and love for God, and because of writing you this message, I was able to light that fire again. Thank you. :)