Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reflecting on 2008

Reflecting on 2008

I know it is not the New Year yet for most of us, but the Jewish New Year is upon us and one of my good friends recently sat down and started a list of the things he had learned or was beginning to learn from 2008. It was a great list, but there were two things that really stuck out as being pertinent for so many of us. They were as follows:

Jesus never said, "That's not fair".
He either is who He says He is, or He’s not.

These two points really hit the mark in that they pinpoint some major issues in those of us who name Jesus as our Lord. Let's think about the first one, "Jesus never said, 'That's not fair.'" Do you know why He never said that? Because He allowed the Father to be the judge. He KNEW that the Father loved Him and He KNEW that God would justify all things, so that liberated Him to act in grace and love and mercy. Think about this. He made Judas, a thief, the TREASURER of His group. WHY? Grace and love and mercy. He sowed trust and love into people, and when they turned on Him He just loved them back. He didn't cry out "That is not fair." He just loved them back. When He was being tortured to death He didn't say "That's not fair." He forgave. He ministered. He loved. Why? More importantly, HOW? He released everything He was into the Father's hand. He didn't focus on the evil, He looked for the good gifts His Father placed into people. He still does that by the way. He knows the good that God can be within you. He knows what is awesome about you. He isn't worried about the bad stuff, because He already took care of that. It is time that those of us who say we follow Him to do the same. It is time to start looking at people how God really looks at people.....with love, not justice. Justice is for the enemy of our souls. Humanity cries out for God's love.
That brings us to "Either Jesus is Who He says He is, or He is not." I would even have to add "Either we are who Jesus says we are, or He is a liar." Now that may be harsh, but I am quite tired of a powerless and loveless church. I know the world is tired of it because it is really starting to lash out at us. It is not that people are so horribly evil that they can't see Jesus, it is that no one on this earth is showing Jesus to them because most of us who name Him "Lord" refuse to allow Him to be just that in our lives. I grow weary of those that call Him "Healer" and "Deliverer" and when He does that with someone, those same people say, "God doesn't do that anymore." That stuff must end. Either Jesus is Who He says or He is not. It is time to choose. People are SCREAMING out for the real Jesus to show up, and He is showing up. But we who are the church have got to quit pushing Him out and telling Him what He can and cannot do. We must stop being Pharisees and dictating who He can use and who He cannot. We must stop this nonsense of arguing over petty differences, thus turning us into people more interested in being right than people being forgiving and graceful, living in a loving relationship. It is HIS church, not ours. It is HIS kingdom, not ours. We must get before Him and do exactly what He says. If you don't know how to do that, then just ask Him to show you how and do whatever He says. "How can I know how to do that? How can I know how to hear Him?" Well, either He is who He says He is or He is not. He is God and He is our Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice. If you aren't hearing, it is time to check out with yourself whether He is who He says, or if He is not. Jesus, open our eyes to see You, open our ears to hear You, open our hearts to receive You. Let us dwell in Your presence, for nothing else matters. I know You ARE who You say You are, and I am who You say I am.

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