Last Week I wrote about God having “High Standards but Higher Grace”. How does this compare to a worldly view?
The world right now is promoting love, acceptance and tolerance.
But is this true?
Have you tried lately presenting your Christian beliefs to a worldly person?
How much love, acceptance and tolerance have you received?
I know they’re many Christians who are hard hearted and lack compassion and love as well but I am strictly speaking of what God’s standards are against the world’s.
The truth is the world’s standards are not as loving and accepting as they claim.
Speaking of standards, the world’s standards are so low. So much is considered okay. Lying, adultery, divorce, lust, violence, I could go on and on. As long as their is an excuse behind it like, “It was only a white lie” or “They deserved it”.
The world is telling you to enjoy all of life’s pleasures, just be yourself with sayings like “You do you!” and “Live your best life!”
Sounds great on the surface but in reality that way of life is empty and has no moral compass whatsoever. Another persons pleasure could cause another’s pain. You may say, “It’s fine as long as it’s not hurting anyone else”.
Is it? What if it’s hurting oneself? Do you really think it’s healthy to live a life for pleasure? You will always be unsatisfied looking for the next fix. A new house, car, phone. The dream vacation isn’t good enough when you find out your neighbor did the same vacation but got the luxury suite.
You will be left empty, jealous and wanting more.
Now let’s talk about grace, that is the main focus here.
The world has an extremely low version of grace.
Make one mistake and the world will attempt to destroy you, there is no forgiveness offer, no redemption allowed.
Don’t believe me?
Go and pull up a job application. The vast majority of them require you to inform the business if you have committed a crime in the past. Doesn’t matter if it was 30 years ago it will always be with you. If a similar crime happens in your area, the police will show up and question you first because you will always be that criminal for the rest of your life.
That is the world’s standards and that is just one example.
They will claim God is harsh, cruel and judgmental. But in reality what is God’s grace?
The Bible says God will cast our sins into the bottom of the sea, He will remove our transgressions as far as the east is from the west.
All you need is faith and repentance.
If you have faith you will stand before God not as a criminal, not as a liar, not as an adultery, not as a sinner but has a redeemed child of God.
That is true Grace, that is true love. That is something the world will never offer you.
Scandals are everywhere in church leadership right now. Moral failures, abuse, coverups.
I am also noticing a problem in stubbornness, pride and arrogance from some of the most famous Bible teachers of the day.
They’re nasty to people who disagree with them, speak in arrogance, give their opinions on things that they are ignorant on.
All the while their followers build them and lash out at those who disagree with the Pastor or teacher.
They mock, put words in others mouths, misrepresent the other side, call people heretics and just behave so far away from what the Bible teaches.
They do this under the guise of glorifying God but in reality they’re just glorifying their own perceived intellectual superiority.
Quite frankly all this gets me angry and it grieves me.
It’s helped me come to realize why God uses the fisherman, the tax collector, the Sheppard boy, the stutterer and so on.
He doesn’t just find the smartest and brightest.
Look at the smartest and brightest religious leaders of Jesus time on Earth, they looked in His face and cursed Him.
They stared in the face of God and didn’t recognize Him, they didn’t know Him.
Yet the people thought they were the most holy because of their knowledge but they lacked humbleness, mercy, grace and love.
I’m not saying God doesn’t use intellectual people of course, Paul was a pharisee. God uses every type of person but I see a pattern that those willing to be humbled and have faith get used by God for His glory.
Of course you may say but all those people still failed.
But what stands out is all those dealt with their failures, humbled themselves and repented.
Jesus said, “The humble will exalted and the exalted will be humbled”
Truth is getting angry at other Christians failures and arrogance is easy and satan I’m sure loves that.
Because while your focusing on them you get distracted and won’t focus on your own sins and failures.
Which is why I must focus on my own sin and flaws and pray that God humbles me before I fall.
God help me, I pray You humble me, take away my anger and grief and help me focus on my own sins, and be a helpful hand to those who need restoration.
Throwback Thursday from May 2019. This is one of my more controversial posts, in that it attracted some angry attention in the comments. Two comments I had to delete due to profanity. Nevertheless it also received a lot more positivity. I’ve learned a lot about soteriology since I wrote this, so I may have worded a few things different to respect everyone’s theological beliefs but other than that I think the message holds.
I’ve heard many people ask a similar question that often times is hard to answer or even comprehend for some Christians. The question is usually along the lines of, “How can someone who is in jail who did terrible things and repented go to Heaven while I haven’t done horrible things will go to hell for not believing in God?”
For years I struggled with an answer to this question but God showed me the answer through scripture. The reason is that person in prison has now paid twice for their sins.
First through earthly consequences, the person committed crimes, was punished and served their sentence or is serving their sentence. That is their physical judgment.
But what remains is their spiritual judgment and when one truly accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, it is He, Jesus who took on their spiritual punishment. God will know if they truly are…
Most everyone has a bogeyman or men that they blame all their problems or the problems of the world on. Sometimes its one particular person in their life, or a world leader. Sometimes it is a group of people based on their political beliefs, religious beliefs, race, gender or any other difference.
They say all the trouble and problems in their life or the world would be solved if only that person or group of people would change or be gone.
Well turn on the news, you will hear stories of people killing others, robbing others, hurting others, attempting to destroy all that is good. These people are from all different races, religions and backgrounds. Men, women, sometimes even children.
What’s the common denominator here? It’s people.
People are the ones who do the evil, evil does not discriminate, it does not chose race, gender, political affiliation or even the…
I have had a lot of trouble dealing with guilt, many people do. It seems when we become Christians, rather than accepting the fact that our sins have been forgiven we want to remember them, and feel not worthy of God’s gift of salvation. Other times we end up feeling guilty for small things. I often feel guilty for missing Church, or not reading the bible enough or even not posting on here for a while.
We have to remember guilt is an open door to Satan. He wants your past defeats to drag you down. Even a victory can drag you down if you let the enemy inside your head.
You have to remember, you will fall, be humble as you get up. We can’t comprehend God’s love, he said he will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.Take him at his word. You…
Last week was Mother’s Day and I had some extra thoughts that just didn’t fit the blog.
I talked about honoring Jesus and the Mothers out there but what about those who feel like they can’t or shouldn’t honor their mothers?
A great way to honor Jesus is by honoring your Mother like it is commanded, love her and look at her like a blessing from God.
I know this can be tough for those who have been hurt by parents but even if your relationship is strained show love to your Mother. Even if you feel harmed by your Mother or feel they don’t love you like they should, even if you consider your mother an enemy show them love anyway.
Remember God says to love your enemies so of course we have to love our mother no matter what.
That doesn’t mean we have to allow them to hurt us or that gives a mother a free pass for their behavior.
But you can still love your mother by trying to reconcile with them.
Some may have lost their mother or reconciling with their Mother may be impossible right now so instead give a gift to God today and honor Him by forgiving your Mother.
As Christians we are called to love people even if that person is emerged in their sins, even if that person is your enemy or an enemy of God and even if they hate you.
That being said love isn’t condoning bad behavior.
Love also isn’t shouting and pointing out how horrible someone is.
Look at it this way, if someone is an addict, shouting at them and telling them how horrible they’re and the wreckage they have left behind doesn’t seem like a sound strategy. Could it work? Possibly. But more than likely it will lead to them pushing you away and immersing themselves more in their addiction.
On the reverse of that if someone tells the addict, “Hey I love you the way that you are and everyone has their vices.” That is condoning their destructive behavior. In some ways that can be worse than the previous method.
Truth is both of those methods are no good and dangerous.
Instead we must correct in love, don’t condone but don’t condemn. We have to teach and show the way through our love. But how do we do that? Let’s go to scripture with two examples.
First let’s see how we show a person Biblical love by looking at what the Bible say love is…
1 Corinthians 13: “13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Next let’s look at the example of how Jesus responds in love to the woman caught in Adultery…
John 8:1-11 (ESV) 8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
Jesus in a simple sentence explained how to handle a situation such as this. He addresses her sin directly in order to correct her, He chose not to condemn her and told her to “sin no more”. He did not condone her actions and tell her, “Well you’re all sinners”. He also did not call her bad names, shout at her and tell her she was an awful person.
Remember to try and have patience as God has patience with us.
Of course there is a time when you will have to walk away from that type of person, you should always pray for them but eventually there has to be some consequences.
Often people skip right to walking away or bringing severe consequences and in some cases that is the correct method but in many circumstances that is done because it is easier than having to deal with the issue directly.
But even more so the easiest thing to do would be to ignore the issue entirely so you don’t have to deal with it at all.
Think of someone you love, if they were in need of something or struggling in sin would you allow them to suffer or would you help them? Of course you would help them.
But Jesus calls us do something more radical, to love those who hate us.
So help those who hate you and be the light to battle the dark.