Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Point Them to Christ

Just when you think you've got it all figured out, God throws a curve ball your way. Monday night I had a rough time staying asleep; God woke me up at 3:30 am. There is no doubt in my mind that it was Him calling out to me in an attempt to have my undivided attention.

So what's been on my mind lately is sin. Not necessarily my sin but just sin in general. That stuff which we do that hurts God. Those things that as hard as we try to break free seem to have a hold on us. Whether it is in our thought process or actions, it is there. No one is exempt from it. It is simply a part of the depraved human condition. Blame it on Adam, blame it on Eve, it doesn't matter who you blame it on, we are all guilty of it and will not begin to change until we can recognize it.

As we grow in our relationship with Christ, subtle things which may not have bothered us in the past begin to irk us. For me, there was actually something that upset me (righteous indignation), it made me restless and broke my heart. However there is a huge difference when we are disgusted by our own sin and that of others. It's easy to fall into the self-righteous trap. How could _____ do such a thing? Don't they see how wrong that is? When will they change? We can become impatient and want to stop hanging out with those whom do not see eye to eye with us. However that is in direct contrast to what Jesus did and desires that we as Christians do. After all, wasn't he the one hanging out with the tax collectors and the nonbelievers? When everyone was pointing fingers at the adulteress woman, didn't he tell her, "Go and sin no more." (See John 8:1-11)

But why is it that it is so hard for us to be like Christ? Patient, loving, kind, gentle, and forgiving. I don't know why we so easily forget where we ourselves came from. When I look back at my life B.C. (before Christ), I literally want to shout with joy what David penned in Psalm 40:2, "he rescued me from the miry clay and set my feet upon the rock".

I was speaking to my mother-in-law whom is a very godly woman that I deeply admire and as she listened to me via Skype chat (unfortunately the distance prevents us from seeing each other in person) she shared some insights with me. She helped me see that at times, we try to do the job of the Holy Spirit and that does more harm than good. The bottom line is that we are called to be loving and patient. God never calls us to do His job. He may cause us to feel uneasy but we are never called to point fingers at them or demand that they change. Rather we are to love them like Christ loved us.

Today I am grateful that He never gave up on me and my prayer for those that are struggling with giving something up to follow Christ is that they would know that nothing in this world is worth holding on to if it will mean losing Him.

*This is the passage in the bible that God pointed me to on Monday morning. It was the first thought on my mind when I woke up after my conversation with my mother-in-law.

12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Image of Mary Magdalene at Christ's feet from the movie, The Passion of Christ

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