I shared an update on Facebook recently in which I stated that I had almost been distracted from remembering Christ’s death and resurrection this week especially, what with the timing of many political and social “hot topics” here and abroad. This post is as much for myself, then, as for others. I hesitated to post it last night, but after I wrote it I heard three songs in a row that gave me some confirmation and encouragement–they spoke of God’s holiness, His reign in heaven, and His love.
For the record, I have not “de-friended” or blocked anyone from my networks for having views opposed to mine. I welcome dialogue, and I pray to be kind to all. It is not my right as a follower of Jesus (I say this to distinguish myself from the socially constructed ideas of being a Christian, which don’t always line up with what Jesus actually taught) to judge anyone. I believe in what the Bible says, that it is God’s teaching and authority, and I know that God alone will judge each of our hearts. I also know that each of us has fallen short of that for which God created us. All this talk about “equality”, and all I can think of is our equality in being fallen creatures–every single one of us. On our own, we could not dare to approach God. He is holy. We toss that word around and show we have forgotten more than half its meaning. Holy. Perfect. I am not holy or perfect. Every day I am aware of how much I miss the mark. Loving? Most of the time. Patient? Some of the time. Content? Not always. Envious? Sometimes. Angry? It happens. You get the picture. The smallest single infraction against God’s unreachable standards earns us a verdict of “guilty”.
Hopeless? On our own, we would be. That’s why it was in God’s plan all along to send his perfect Son to stand in our place; to die in our place, so we would not face our sentence. Making myself right in the eyes of God is not something I could do by myself, ever. No one can. The gift of grace, forgiveness, and regeneration is free–but it cost Jesus everything. The moment we confess our sins–which simply means that we agree with God about our brokenness and need for him–He is faithful and just to forgive, and we receive new life in our hearts! There are countless passages from the bible that I could share to illustrate this further, but for now I am trying to keep this very simple.
As we go back and forth verbally or mentally about world and domestic issues, let us pause and answer a most pivotal question that Jesus asked his followers: “Who do you say I am?” Our reply has eternal consequences.
I want everyone who reads this to know that I care for each of you deeply as friend or family. My convictions might be offensive to some, but I can’t pretend that seeing my Savior mocked or discounted is not offensive to me. I don’t know if we will always enjoy free speech here, but while we do, I consider it a privilege to be an ambassador of Christ. This may cost me some friendships, but I also know that Jesus wasn’t ashamed of any of us when he died on the cross in my place and yours, so I would be an ungrateful fool, to say the least, to be ashamed to speak up for his name.
Before you stop reading (thank you for reading this far at all), consider the love God has for YOU. As someone who has tasted the goodness and freedom of God’s grace, I want only to point those around me to those things, too. For those who know me, perhaps I’m sounding more bold than normal. I will venture to say that our nation and our world are facing uncertain times–and that is putting it lightly. Our collective posture towards God will determine much. I love my friends and family too much to stay silent about these things. Please know I write with sincere care and hope for each of you. I’d love to speak/write with any of you who has comments, questions, or anything to say. May these words be received on open ears and soft hearts.