I had all the plans to end my unintentional sabbatical earlier than the month I decided on-with the exception of that post the other day.
I was gonna write about Passover, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, the crucifixion, the death, the burial, the resurrection. All that good stuff.
But I didn’t. And I won’t. I reflected and am so very grateful. I will post about what, to me, all of that resulted in.
During Passover after Palm Sunday, I was driving and saw a car behind me. I’d post the pic but I shouldn’t have even taken them and they don’t clearly show what I saw.
The hood was jacked up. I think the lights may have been messed up too. The thought I had was how is it even driving.
Then I went down a hole to a degree like I do.
How are some of us even functioning? Now. We may not show outward damage like that car.
But. Life has done a number on so many of us. It is mind blowing how some of us are in our right mind, how we function, how we put one foot in front of the other. How, when giving up and giving in is so much easier and who would blame us?
But the finished work at the cross. The determination Jesus had to do what he came to do despite asking if it was possible for the cup to pass from him (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus was our perfect example to keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. He did it so we could. God promised to be with us in Isaiah 43:2. And sent his son to show us how He is with us. Then sent a comforter to be with us (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, and 16:7). So. I guess that’s how.
I started this on 12-24-20. I didn’t take the time to look up the Scriptures or edit I until today.
People like to take prominent Christians or Christian organizations to task about their stances om abortion and the LGBTQIA community. If the response isn’t sufficient, the individual or organization is subsequently canceled.
This baffles me slightly. People want respect, acceptance and tolerance for who they are and what they believe but are unable to give the same for others who hold different beliefs.
Those who are against abortion and the LGBTQIA community aren’t much better. Just because those are seemingly visible sins, they have the capacity to, and potentially do, sin. They have tolerance for what they deem “little” sin or their own sin.
Just because something is mentioned in the Bible as an abomination, there is no big sin or little sin. All of it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18).
We don’t even have to “actually” sin to sin. The Bible says to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17 KJV)
Jesus warned that there would be people who would do all this stuff in God’s name but he will say he didn’t know them at the day of judgment (Matthew 7:21-23).
There are things for me that are okay and not okay. Others view those things differently.
Here’s the thing that’s great. Our relationship with Jesus and salvation is an individual, personal thing.
We can share beliefs. We can disagree on beliefs. We should never condemn. We have no heaven or hell.
We can judge depending on the circumstance. If you profess Christianity, we can look at the Bible, Jesus, and his teaching. We can examine if your life lines up and if you are bearing fruit of relationship with him.
Now, I’m not saying go around with a clipboard and point out people’s faults. That’s too much judgment.
But, if I’m deciding if I’m going to take your advice, be a member of your church, be in any relationship of any kind, or we engage in conversation, I can try the spirit by the Spirit (1 John 4:1). I can assess what the fruit you’re bearing looks like (Matthew 7:16-20). That’s part of guarding your heart and using wisdom (Proverbs 4:23).
We are called to love. Jesus said so (Matthew 22:36-40). Our beliefs should never make peope feel unloved. Love came to earth and was crucified on a cross (John 3:16). Love took on sin so we could be sinless.
But, the sinlessness is a personal choice. Sinlessness is the decision we as individuals get to make based on the revelation we receive after reading the Bible and entering into relationship with God.
I’ve been too judgmental. I’m sure I will be again. Some of it is learned behavior. However, if I know to do good and don’t, it’s sin. I’m working on it. Amongst other things.
Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). That doesn’t mean we can just be out here wildin because we are loved. Love allows us to recognize and stop sinning. Love gave us salvation to remove the sin.
Love someone today-especially yourself.
This is a post from last year. Perfect timing. I read it again. I still stand by it (with slight corrections). LOL. Share the work at Calvary with somebody this week. Give some love, give some mercy, give some grace, give some forgiveness, give some sacrifice, give some friendship, give some of you.
I am in awe. It is kind of hard to think about the sacrifice that we are commemorating this week. I mean, come on, who would die so others could live? Others that would betray, curse, disown, disrespect, revile? Yeah, sure, we say we would die for people we love who love us back. But how many of us would actually die for someone we loved who hated us or hated what we stood for?
I could never imagine being born to die. Not only born to die, but living a life having to work with the thing I know is going to be used to take me out of here. I will never forget the *Resurrection Sunday* sermon I heard years ago in high school. Jesus was raised by a man who taught him about carpentry. Imagine knowing you were going to give your life up on a tree and having to listen to, look at the manipulation of trees for a huge portion of your life.
Imagine loving people, wanted to help people, showing people, teaching people, ministering to people, giving all of who you are to people who don’t even recognize who you are. Who don’t even appreciate who you are. Imagine knowing that it is a necessity that you must die but at the same time the concept of the pain and shame causes you to sweat blood. Imagine having to be separate from who you are, divine, sinless, and your Father, for something you didn’t do and people who may never accept or know you. Imagine the worst thing, worst feeling in the world, something you hate, would hate and having to take that on and confront it all because you love a thankless people.
Imagine spending your life in the same house for decades, everybody knows you and knows your family. You went on vacation with these people, you went to church with these people. Some of these people were your best friends. You spent almost every moment, good and bad, with them, giving to them far more than they could ever give you. They want what you’re giving, miracles, signs, and wonders. They appreciate you. They worship you. They allow you a parade. They think you are the best thing ever on Sunday.
Then comes the week. One of your friends sells you for 30 pieces of money and gives you away with a kiss on your cheek. Others fall victim to the mind games of weak men, who desire worldly power and fear what men who have no belief in the God you are, and want you to die, yet it was a totally different story Sunday. One of your best friends, the one who so perfectly conceptualized who you are, the one who knows you on a level that few do, promises to go with you to death, even cuts a man’s ear off, and is too ashamed to follow through with his promise.
Then comes The Day. You have to watch the woman who birthed you, cared for you, loved you, watch you die, not for anything you’ve done, but for what everybody else has and will do. People who were eager to eat the food, drink the wine, benefit from the miracles, join in in making fun of you, encourage those encouraging you to “show yourself” and abort the mission. You suffer for hours, bleeding, baking in the hot sun, a human sacrifice to atone for all the sins of mankind. Finally, you surrender to what is coming next and give up your life.
Now you have to go to enemy territory. Someone who you created, who worshipped you then turned on you, who desires to take everything from you for no real reason at all. You have to live in torment to provide a way of escape for all who believe in you, and accept the gift of you. Surreal to be subject to the complete antithesis of you and what you are.
Now, you have taken victory over the death and the grave and it is time to go home. Not the place you knew as a man for 33 1/2 years, but from the beginning of time. But imagine those same friends, grieving and crying. One still doesn’t believe, though all of what you said would happen has happened, they have seen all of what you have done. Before you can even go back to your father, a safe place full of love and peace, you have to rescue the best friend who has abandoned all you worked for together. You have to show yourself to the doubter. You have to give them instructions they don’t understand, a promise to wait for something they have never seen or felt.
What a life, what a week, what a gift, what a sacrifice, what a savior. What LOVE. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for your life. Thank you for giving me life, and a hope, and a future.