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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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The Bay Area is a place that is well-known for pursuing success. Whether it’s attending the prestigious universities such as Stanford or Cal Berkeley or being a part of the always innovating Silicon Valley, success is valued highly almost anywhere you go. When we are surrounded by those that seem to be so successful at our schools or workplaces, it can be easy to become focused on how we stack up next to everyone else. Is my GPA that high? Am I getting that promotion? Why don’t I make as much money?

When we focus on the successes of others, it is easy to forget that a relationship with God is what can truly satisfy us. Here are three reasons why I believe life is better with God.

God Gives Purpose

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Matthew 4:18-20

The lie that the world can tell us is that going after the attention, prestige, money, status is all worth it. The ultimate goal we have when living by our flesh is to do whatever it takes to please ourselves. Eventually, this causes us to feel empty. The opposite is true with God. In pursuing a relationship with God, our purpose is to be a friend to other people and help others know God. In the end, what matters most to God is not what we accomplish here on Earth, but whether or not our souls are saved.

God Gives Value

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Luke 12:6-7

There are times in our lives when we all feel undervalued. It can be easy to see what other people have that we don’t, but more difficult to see the good in our own lives. Part of the reason why we pursue things other than God is because we are looking for a way to feel important or cared for. We strive extra hard at work to receive praise from our boss, cling to our status on social media, or desperately seek after attention in relationships; all to feel worth something. How do you make yourself feel important?

A relationship with God gives us the confidence to know that simply who he made us to be is more than good enough. God takes away the need to feel that we have to go out and prove ourselves. To him, we are the most valuable. In what ways has God shown you that he cares?

God Gives Family

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:6

Ultimately, pursuing God leads us away from loneliness and into a loving family.

For some of us the idea of being set in a family may be a negative one. However, here God promises that the family he has for us will cure us of our loneliness.

In deciding to put God first, it means deciding to be a part of the greatest family there is.

Written by

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.