Maybe we should talk more about it, you know, the one little word in the vocabulary of mankind that implies “condition.” We were told as children “if” we do our chores then we will receive an allowance or payment of some kind. We are told as adults that “if” we pay our rent or mortgages then the condition behind that agreement is that we get to keep our home. We live in a world where it’s okay to have conditions in society, but it seems to be harsh when it comes to God. The employer can tell you that “if” you show up for work on time you can keep your job, but a loving God seems to be demanding and selfish if he places an “if” in scripture. The word “if” appears over 1,500 times in the Bible in over 1,400 scriptures. When the word is used in a sentence it, implies a condition.
In the book of 2nd Chronicles, chapter 7 and verse 14, Solomon begins with the word “if.” Quoting or prophesying from God - If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. In the immediate earlier verses God reveals to the king the fallacy of mankind in a dream. In verse 13 the condition for their apostasy would be a separation from the favor of God. In verse 14 the word “if” is present with a condition to all of God’s people, including us today. Notice that God is more focused on the humble and contrite heart and the connection of prayer than he is in individual performance. Notice also that under his condition of return he forgives sin before he heals the land.
In the New Testament book of John, the word appears again in chapter 15. Once again, God is speaking to his people, including you and me, when he says “if you abide in me and my words abide in you, then ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” The word “if” very well could be the largest and most empowering in the Bible and the English language because “if” we want to get closer to the Lord then we must prepare ourselves to do so. The condition lies within our will, our humbleness, and our lack of pride. “If” we want to be closer to God and to know him more then it’s our responsibility to take inventory of what separates us to begin with. What sins do you have that need to be out of the way of your “dream life?” Don’t let the temporary things of this world distract you from the most important relationship of all - Jesus.
Come see us on the square in Sparta, at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m., this Sunday morning. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.