bitter … sweet


Many atheists will agree that being labelled as religious, doesn’t make something beneficial. Zam Zam water is sacred to Muslims, and comes from a spring in Saudi Arabia. It is thought to have health-giving properties, but according to BBC London illegally imported Zam Zam water has recently been found to contain arsenic and other impurities. Tests also show that it came from the same source as its legal counterpart.

Hamas in Gaza recently condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden, describing him as “a modest man and a Muslim warrior.” Yet he was responsible for many Muslim deaths, not least at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Religion can be harmful or beneficial depending on the system of belief behind it, and whether religious people act in accordance to those beliefs.

Although we must never ignore injustice, how refreshing it is to bypass religion for a moment and seek to know our Creator, many of whose attributes such as beauty, intricacy, power and design are clearly seen in nature itself. Yet far greater than these physical qualities is the depth of love and relationship that can be experienced as we draw close to the One who loves us deeply, who has given us guidelines for successful living, and who one day wants us to spend our lives in that place where we can experience His power, beauty and love for all eternity.

However, there is a closing date to God’s offer that will be different for each of us. We don’t know when it will be. All we do know is that we have this present life in which to receive God’s free gift of love, forgiveness and eternal life, as Paul the apostle wrote: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Millions around the world have come to know their Creator in a personal way, and have discovered, like the psalmist, the sweetness of that relationship. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

This has nothing to do with man-made religion; it’s all about going back to the source, and when that source is Jesus, it’s both pure, strong and sweet.


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