Category Archives: Godliness

My Testimony

I accepted Christ when I was 7 years of age on a Sunday night in Rota, Spain. I was apart of a kids program called Super Sunday Nights. On this evening we were memorizing verses and we happened to be memorizing John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” After getting familiar with the verse I declared to my teacher, “I want to have eternal life.” She informed me that salvation from our sins comes from Jesus Christ and when we invite him into our hearts he lives with us and helps us by his Spirit. She invited me to pray to God and to ask him to forgive me of my sins and invite Jesus into my heart. I did so as she guided me. It’s funny. I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with bible stories but this was the first time I had ever really understood anything I was hearing. At once it all made sense.

Since then I have battled through many things. I had moved seven times in my life because my parents were in the military. Each time I had to make friends and battle with loneliness and dread. I was the “perpetual new-kid.” Amongst this I sought out the wisdom of the world to confirm what I thought I chose to believe. After many books and articles I would keep searching. It wasn’t as though there weren’t good enough answers; the fact is that I was simply trying to reach God through my own human wisdom. At other times I would pray demandingly for God to come down and perform miracles. I was trying to support my faith with supernatural evidence as if that was enough to satisfy my veracious appetite for “the proof” instead of living John 20:29: ‘Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ Simultaneously I struggled with pornography which itself was more of a battle of trying to satisfy my physical cravings. It bled itself out and manifested its true head as a dark “me” attitude.

By the grace of God he has defeated and continues to defeat these enemies in my life. I realize now that my testimony was not so much “from here to there; black & white” but rather “from there and back again;” from innocent-child-like-faith to mature child-like-faith. The skeptic may be inclined to think that I have “regressed,” but in fact I haven’t regressed at all but “progressed.” When I was a child I had received an unimaginable gift from God but I hadn’t begun to grasp what I had received. It was when I was older and a little more foolish that I truly begun to realize just what God has done for me. Through all my doubt and poor decisions God was with me every step of the way. He continues to guide my feet and be my best friend. The truth is that the gospel is simple. In its very nature it weeds out those who would seek God by their own means. In my own life my pursuit for God was a tower of Babel that only after God had confused my efforts did he show me that the way to himself wasn’t through my own brilliance or effort but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Gently he reminded me what I was taught at first. My life now has been a constant pursuit after his Spirit and it’s been my pleasure to find him pursuing me all the same.

Maybe you’re looking for God in the evidence. Maybe you’re waiting for miracles. I would encourage you to stop. Put down the books. Quit waiting on what God could do for you and focus on what he did do for you. The fact is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough for us to praise him for eternity. On the cross he paid the debt of humanity, canceling our sins and earning us salvation, now and for eternity, ultimately reconciling us with God; when we deserved the full wrath of God he took it upon himself to pay the debt that so we may be called his friends. I plead to you on behalf of the Living God to accept his gift. Let your “knowledge” of God drip twelve inches from your head to your heart. A great quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums it up, “Defend the bible? I would as soon as defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.” Let God’s word fulfill its truth in your life. Quit trying to white-knuckle grace like I did and instead receive it with open hands. Have faith for He will defend himself.

Jake

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Baptism: Ephesians 5:14

Falling. I faintly remember the moments that proceeded. My memory is still a blur and it will do little help to try and jog it.

Falling. For a moment I couldn’t feel the weight of my body, as if gravity had left earth. For a quiet second everything felt still. Everything was silent. I held my breath.

Suddenly, the rush of wind flew past my ears and I could hear the swells of the angry ocean crashing against the rocks. After what felt like a lifetime my flesh cascaded into the violent waves. Gravity quickened its pace as I fell nearer towards the ominous dark seas. I collapsed under its downward force.

The sudden shock.

The Baptism.

My mouth gaped open as a result of the hit, flooding my mouth the fiery taste; my nose and mouth burned with the vigor of salt water. Its venom struck my pores and my eyes were wide-open. The coldness of its waters awoke my soul like an unforeseen snowstorm on a blistering hot day. With a jolt my inner sleeper arose. I was listening now.

I could scarcely describe what happened next. As if in slow-motion I continued to fall into the depths. For an instant I opened my eyes. At first I was surrounded by utter darkness; a blue so deep that a hue could not be ascertained. I felt it. I felt the sorrow of the earth. The sadness, the loneliness-what He felt. Silence filled my ears. A void so thick you could reach out and touch it.

My sins had buried me here.

I sat Indian-style on the bottom; my arms prayerfully by my side.

An eternity then past.

With my last exhale I began to feel my body rise. My feeble head rose towards the sun as if two hands had gently rolled it back like when the barber is trying to find a better angle or when your mother is trying to show you something. My weight was lifting. Gravity was suddenly upended. I opened my eyes to see the light dancing upon the surface. I could hear the gentle moans of stringed instruments. Each ray of light danced between each other like the footsteps of a ballroom. The music: in time. The closer I got to it the louder the music would appear. The brilliant light could’ve blinded me but I couldn’t look away. With each flicker it would sing the brilliance of its creator; reflecting every tone.

The sound became intense; nearly unbearable. My face broke the surface of the waters. I could hear the cheers of others. I could feel the rays of light. The faint music faded into crashing waves. I smiled that day.

Jake

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Untitled Poem

Can we say that the world is dark,

A society without light?

Whose hope demands a light come down,

To show us all what’s right?

In darkness it did find me,

And swirled with a clash:

It’s tongue did burn,

It lashed out worst.

It’s truth revealing

A wicked curse.

The fury swore,

To take no more,

And gazed its eyes beyond me.

And there stood a man.

As tall as I.

He took my blows, the licking flames to dispel the dusk around me.

I saw his ghost.

For a moment just shadows like me.

Then His fire swelled as it unveiled,

A way to make things true.

It lit me up with the flames it tossed.

An ember lit inside me.

“Go and spread and die no more,

A wildfire you must be.

Illuminate your world,

And that’s how you will find me.”

So as a light in the darkest places I take the place of He,

With blaze unfurled

Always to refine me.

My brothers: coals, keep the fire alive,

My sisters: candles, constantly remind,

That this must go on ‘til final hours.

Do not lose sight young ember.

On that day burst in to flames,

For the light will last forever.

-Jake

Tagged , , , , ,

Confessions

Lately, I’ve been feeling this incredible urge to get away from people. I feel like I’ve wasted my life sometimes. I don’t want to see how much time I’ve spent watching television or sitting on the computer browsing Facebook or doing other meaningless tasks. I’m tired of living an empty life. I’m tired of seeking relationships that go nowhere. I’m tired of going to church and singing songs while the collective congregation drives past the hobbling man on the street trying to put him out of their minds.

I feel like if this is all life is then I don’t want it. I don’t want the fairy tale life with a wife and three kids and a nine to five job. I want to live. I want to enjoy my work and I want to work hard. It seems like there’s no more wilderness. No place to get away from civilization. With technology people can invade your life whenever they want.

Besides that I feel like our society is lukewarm but were so used to it that we have no idea want the alternative would feel like. We think we’re living the gospel but we can’t remember the last time we’ve shared it. We act like were pure but go home and watch porn.

If that wasn’t enough it seems like the only motivator we have is enjoyment. If we can’t find some way to enjoy something or we can’t have fun then we don’t usually do it. Everything has to be “fun.” Hedonism at its finest.

When Jesus tells the rich man to give everything he owns to the pour and follow him, I think he was talking to us. Sure we’ve obeyed all the commandments and we’ve appear stainless before others but God knows our hearts. He knows the deep down desires we try to endlessly satisfy only to be left craving more. It seems like we’re the rich many.

We hang so tightly onto this life that we loose it. How many of us could give up all we had to follow Christ? That doesn’t mean that we become bums on the streets. We still go to work and we still have things that we own but we make a mission of giving instead of getting.

Its said that giving is better than receiving. As a musician I would much rather write and play a song for somebody than listen to a song. This must prove true it all the other areas of our lives. I’m sure giving away our useless clothes will feel better than buying an expensive brand new outfit. Our lives were meant to be poured out not filled up. Whats the point of continually living for yourself. You’ll never be happy. We as Christians should live for others. The bible says to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

I either have weird way of loving myself or I don’t know my neighbor. As Christians we should make the world a better place, not add to the noise. Its sad to see the way our economy is heading. I’m not talking about jobs, but the general mindset that we have to getting something. I truly believe with all my heart that the only thing that will practically help this economy is cheerfully, unreserved giving. We shouldn’t steal from the rich and we shouldn’t ignore the poor. We as Christians should lead by example and give ourselves away. Then the world will see what makes us different.

Lately I’ve been fasting and praying trying to get closer to God but I can’t figure out why I’m not getting any response. I feel like I put all my effort into reaching Him but it feels like I’m being ignored. Awhile ago I circled this verse in my bible and I came back to it recently. Have I been letting the oppressed go free? Have I been feeding the hungry and giving shelter to the homeless? God isn’t asking for our works, but if we have any faith at all it should reveal itself in our works. Faith without works is dead.

Isaiah 58

New Living Translation (NLT)

True and False Worship

58 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
    Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

I pray that we can wake up before its too late. I pray that we can be the church that God wants from us and that we can overcome the lukewarmness around us. I pray this for myself just as much. I want to be a worshiper in spirit and truth not in name only.

-Jake

Here’s some good Hip Hop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78MXG7NEE2M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3h2qbJERw

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m Awake

Living for Christ is living for true freedom. I used to think that being able to do whatever I wanted was freedom. As long as I got what I wanted I was free. Lately I’ve been realizing how being a slave to Christ is true freedom. Let me unpack that.

The world has all kinds of lures. It has sex, drugs, gambling, etc. All of which seem so fun and entertaining. We are free to indulge in things though once we do we find ourselves ensnared. We’ve eaten from Eve’s apple. In a moment we’ve passed up our freedom for something that will drag us back to it, over and over and over again. If only we hadn’t taken the bite.

At first we chose our addiction. Then our addiction chooses us. In the beginning we weren’t a slave to it, but after we’ve tasted it we’ve become hooked.

I don’t want to live like that.

Living for Christ is like waking up everyday and choosing to be alive. When we enslave ourselves to Him, when we forfeit our shackles to Him, He in turn sets us free. When I first believed in Christ he took my sin and set me free. Like a slave who is unaware of his freedom I kept wandering back to my sin. We need to realize that we’re free. We need to renew our minds. We need to choose freedom.

I want to wake up alive each morning. I want to choose life. I want to suck the life out of life itself. Do not forsake this wonderful gift God has given us called life. Each moment passes and the more we bother with busy work or procrastinate from real work the more like a zombie we become. If we have any true realization as to what God has done our lives we should rip off our lukewarmness and passionately pursue Him with everything we’ve got.

Many people struggle to fall asleep each night. I don’t think that its because of our sleeping habits. I think its because we haven’t truly done enough with our day. We’ve taken our day and tried to just survive it, trying to hold out for whatever is coming to tomorrow. What we’ve actually done is act as poor stewards with our time today. We aren’t given much time as it is. Shouldn’t we do most we can with what we’ve been given?

Is the way your living your life keeping you up at night? Are you waking up feeling empty because your life is full of things that are far from God’s heart?

Jesus says to not live in our past because he’s freed us from that. He also says to plan for the future but don’t live in the future because He holds our tomorrows.

God wants to know us today.

You’ll be surprised what can happen if you truly give all of yourself to God each day. If you exhaust yourself for Him each day he will provide you strength and make you stronger but its people who try to hold onto their energy or passion and conserve it who are the ones who ultimately lose it. Before long the worries of stress and anxiety combined with fears and concerns expend all the energy we should have invested in God. Shouldn’t life be simpler then that?

It is.

We should give everything to God each day, knowing that he is faithful to provide what we need for tomorrow.

-Jake

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Wanting to Hear and See God

I don’t know about you but I really want to hear from God. Nothing makes sense in my life. Lately, I’ve felt this draw to get nearer to God and to become more intimate with Him. Like my entire being is craving His presence. 

The other day I had some things happen to me that have made me very upset. When I heard the news I spent much of the night praying and crying. The entire time I was yearning for God’s presence. I can’t really explain it. I just want my prayer times to be intimate with God. I just want to speak to Him like a friend talks to another friend.

In all honesty I don’t feel much happier than when I heard the news but I’ve been able to use the time to draw near in prayer. Sometimes when I run out of words I raise my hand to reach up to God hoping that he’ll grab my hand.

Sometimes its important to remember that when it seems like nothing is going right in your life that your alive and awake. Your alive in the sense that God has given you another day to draw closer to Him and your awake in the sense that this pain has awoken you from your sleep.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the days to come but I want to use this opportunity to become a prayer warrior. The other day I heard this quote from a pastor at the United Pastors Network conference:

“Prayer isn’t used to support your ministry; it is your ministry.”

I have seen God do amazing things through prayer in other people’s lives and I want to see that happen in my life. I don’t want you to get the feeling that I’ve never prayed because I pray all the time. I’m just trying to come to grips with how much work I need to in this area. Its easy to pursue God like a checklist. “Okay, I got this done today now I don’t need to do it again until tomorrow.” But God wants us to draw near to Him intimately. I don’t know what God means by the word intimate but I’m excited to find out. When we read about people in the bible who did great things we often find the phrase, “the Lord was with him.”

Our power to live out the gospel comes from our proximity to God’s presence. Prayer is that access to God’s presence. If we could only realize what prayer actually is then our lives would turn upside down.

“In a sense prayer is requesting an audience with the maker of the universe.”

Just think about that for a second. Doesn’t that make you want to pray? Yesterday I turned 22 and its my goal that if I do one thing differently this year it would be to pray; more often, more passionately and more intimately.

Jake

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Proverbial Fork in the Road

For the first time in a while I don’t know what to do with my summer. Do I use it to improve my career opportunities by taking an internship? Do I get a full-time job? Or do I savor my free time and use it to serve and take care of my family? Do I get a part-time job at the mall and work my summer away. Honestly I’m not sure.

But who am I kidding? Does it matter? What are the implications? I’ll I’m sure of is that I don’t want to let this summer waste away. Its easy to know what to do when life is black and white. Sometimes I wish it was but what about the grey-ness of it all? Who will shed light upon my circumstances?

That’s when I turn to God. My friendship with God is what makes me different from everyone else my age. He’s like a wise sensei who always drips with wisdom. Even more when he’s not saying anything. Even though I don’t know what to do now I know that he will illuminate my situation and give me wisdom.

Jake

Tagged

Ministry is like Giving Birth; If your not Ready, Keep it in your Pants

Note: I apologize for the following content. Its not my place to convict, I simply yearn to share whats been on my heart.

How many of us have yearned to see the next “great” revival? To see hundreds, thousands and even millions come to know Christ? How many times have we cried hoping that our generation would change its ways and honor the Lord? Often we dream these things but how often do we count the cost of making it happen? Are we ready to sacrifice our end of the bargain?

I, luckily, have never had the privilege of giving birth, but from want I hear, the process isn’t at all painless or quick. It’s an incredibly long journey that is only rewarded after months of pain, emotion and struggle. Our ministries are very similar. Realize that we are responsible for bringing new spiritual life into being but it’s going to cost us something in return. When we read Revelations where Christ is criticizing the churches I found a particular quote that hits my heart hard:

Revelations 3:14-22

To the church of Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Many of us look at successful pastors, worship leaders, mentors and think, “I really wish I could have what they have. You know what? I could really see myself doing what they do.” Then we proceed to get involved and before long we start seeing some sort of fruit from our ministry. Then the inevitable happens. Life happens. Soon our ministry becomes crowded out by relationships, work, education, family obligations, etc. Before long our ministry dwindles down to an effectiveness of nothing.

When we say that we want those things that the godly people we admire do, do we really count the cost? When the disciples James and John said that they wanted to sit on either side of Jesus, did they really know from what cup they were going to drink? Lately I’ve found an upsetting trend in churches among the college age group. Many of them are eager and excited to jump into ministry but soon the “weeds of life” crowd out their opportunities and they end up either getting sucked up into laissez-faire Christianity, or turning back but not after twenty years of their life have gone by. Of course this isn’t always the case but it is starting to become a real pet peeve of mine and one that I’m especially warring with in my own personal life.

Too often our carnal desires get the best of us and steal us away from God’s destiny for our life. Suddenly, in a moment we find our godly selves at war with our animal selves. Are we going to subdue our flesh and choose what is godly or yield to the flesh and reduce ourselves to animals? In the story of Gideon we see a perfect example. When Israel was under attack, God choose Gideon to lead the Israelites to victory. Before God could do this he had to make sure that they would know that He accomplished it. To do this he removed the majority of men from the military service. Now there is an important detail that the bible tells us. Notice how the men were chosen:

Judges 7:2-8

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lestIsraelboast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away fromMountGilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

Notice that the three hundred men who God chose took water to their mouth and lapped it up, while the majority knelt down to drink the water. I get two different images from this. One is of a bold warrior using his hands to hold the water and bring it to his face. The other is of an antelope kneeling down to the water to get a drink. In other words I get the image of a small band of warriors who were wholly committed to retaining there godliness and a large amount who acted more like animals. What about the lapping of dogs comment? Certainly using your hands and lapping like a dog is more “human” then kneeling over the water!

What I’m trying to point at is that our earthly desires often try to put themselves where God should be reserved. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to have earthly or “animal” desires to do things but that we should put them in their proper places.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Jesus says this after immediately talking about concerns as far as food, clothing, worries, etc. As Christians we are all asked to take part in “ministry,” whether it’s your work place, your school, your church, your family, etc. Let’s realize that this is for the long haul and that we should never give up when it feels tough or when it seems like there are be other things we want to be doing. Jesus has given us his kingdom and as good subjects we should seek to uphold and maintain it. Let’s stop worrying about who we should marry, where we should work or what to major in. If we make God’s kingdom a priority we have to trust that he’ll make a way. I’ll make it my prayer that we do not become “lukewarm” in our obligations to God but that we will become over comers! That we will refresh God’s people with something new being brought into the world.

We want a revival, so lets start counting the costs.

Jake,

Thoughts and proofreading added by Chris from http://thevagabondcartographer.wordpress.com/

Tagged , , , , ,

Jesus vs. Religion

“Religion is an attempt to externally conform your behavior to some code of conduct, set of rules or the practice of rituals. Religion attempts to make you clean from the outside in. A relationship with God changes you from the inside out.” – Pastor Dale O’Shields.

Its important to realize that Jesus didn’t make very many “religious” friends. They often to came to Him with loaded questions regarding the law in order to ensnare him but they never succeeded. These people had taken what was holy and worshiped the law rather than the creator of the law. If they truly knew the creator they would’ve recognized Jesus for who he was.

Keeping these thoughts in our mind we have to ask ourselves, what does it mean to be a Christian? A person who claims to be a Christian is in a unique place then any other. Having a relationship with God first and foremost they bypass all the legalism of religion. Religion doesn’t clean us but shows us how dirty we are.

If that is so, what is a relationship with God? A relationship with God is something that changes us at the heart level. When we “come in contact” with God we begin to think, act, and behave differently. We find ourselves desiring things we never once did or could. We begin to seek in Him in all we do and we thirst night and day for his presence in our lives. Not only that but we communicate with Him almost as much as we think; making every thought a prayer.

So how do you know your a Christian? If your faith is in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. If your life has changed as a result and his Spirit lives in you, teaching, convicting, and empowering you to live as God has chosen.

Please realize that if God truly lives and exists, as he does, then anything we do for Him is not out of religion but out of truth. Every other religion attempts to “get” to the “gods,” but ours was the first and only one to come down to us. Christianity has two faces; the religion and the relationship with God. Please don’t think they are the same thing because the difference between the two makes all the importance in the world. Exhaust yourselves looking for Christ and he will come to you, but don’t get caught up in “religion,” because Christ didn’t come to establish the “Christian” religion, he came to make a way for me and you to connect personally with God himself.

Jake

Tagged , , , , ,

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Living with grace can be a difficult thing. I find in some modern churches a setiment of going “old testament” on the lost. How often we forget that Jesus, “had compassion” on them. In our zeal for holiness we have neglected that which is holy.

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

This is a crucial. Sometimes we take convicting into our own hands. How soon we forget that convinction one of the duties of the Holy Spirit. As an example I have found people around me cursing up a storm who suddenly apologize to me for their salty language, as if I was hugely offended. Honestly I never told them to stop cussing around me. Was it me that they were apologizing to? Was it anything in me that they were convicting by? No. It was the Spirit of God that they suddenly found themselves convicted to. Since I was young I’ve pleaded to God for him to keep me from cursing and by his Spirit He has made this possible. Honestly, I can’t own this achievement because I know my nature and I know how often I’ve wanted to say something curse worthy but was prevented somehow.

Lets think about this: Which person has obeyed the commandments? A preacher who takes every moment to slam homosexuals? Or a person who shows love to people who don’t agree with them, or even hate them?

As Jesus was on the cross he uttered the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We know not what we do. We need God’s strength to live the lives he wants us to. We can’t turn a blind eye to sin but we can turn our eyes towards compassion. They will know we are Christians by our love.

Jake

As a final note we need to read the old testament again. As harsh as somethings can be, there are many, many more places where God shows his mercy.

Micah 7:18 “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.”

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: