BY SENIOR PASTOR FRED R. CRESSMAN
Crosslake Evangelical Free Church
I am not sure why my wife and I have cable! For me, out of the hundreds of channels to watch, I watch basically three: Fox News, ESPN and HGTV (yes, I like those real estate shows where the spoiled people try to pick a new home).
I love to keep track of the news even though it depresses me (of course, so do Minnesota sports right now, too). What often grips me is the magnitude of our cultural problems and the misplaced solutions that we try to bring to those problems as a society.
My mind reviews horrific circumstances such as school shootings, unimaginable violence, rampant immorality, the growing menace of poverty, radicalism and international conflicts that seem perpetually on the horizon. I am struck with just how deeply we are “messed up” as people.
What I believe we are seeing is the consequence of what happens when we try to live our lives on our own terms, for our own means, while rejecting both our original design and our original designer.
For centuries humanity has been running away from God. We have not only been denying that God has any claim on us or how we should live our lives, but we have been denying God’s very existence. The result is that we have run headlong, as a human race, into our own destructive nature.
God is good. When we turn from Him, we also turn from everything that is good and gain its opposite, that which is not good (unrighteousness, evil, immorality, brokenness, pain).
The irony is that it IS God who has created and designed. He has made us to know Him, love Him and serve Him. When we willingly embrace Him and His purposeful and good design, the result is joy! Yes, joy!
God created us to be in relationship with Him. There is nothing more satisfying than a joy-filled, love-based relationship with the one who has made us: our Heavenly Father.
The reason people are unhappy with their marriages, jobs, homes and life in general is that most people want to live by their own rules instead of God’s. When we start to align ourselves with God’s plan and put Him at the center of our lives, the pieces start fitting together again and we start to rediscover peace and joy.
It is time for us, as a people, to recognize that our ways just haven’t worked! We need to turn away from our way of doing things and turn back to God. We need to remember that He loves us so much that He not only made us and designed a plan for us, but He sent His own Son Jesus to call us to come back home.
Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection He made the way for us to come home to God by offering us forgiveness for our rebellion against God. He did this by dying in our place. It is through receiving Him that we receive forgiveness and experience a new kind of relationship with God.
This is a relationship where we are no longer running away from God, but we are now running toward God. The amazing thing is that we realize He has always been running toward us with open arms.
Why not make the decision today to turn back to God, turn away from your old way of doing things and rediscover joy again by rediscovering a loving God. For information on how to have a relationship with God, go to our website at www.crosslakeefc.org.