Sunday, June 28, 2015

In the End

Love wins seems to be the theme for the week.

History is being made in our great nation, and a line has been drawn in the sand.

Equality for the masses.

So why does it seem like the only thing that is rearing its head is hate and confusion?

I've been processing for the last three days, trying to balance the weight of loving and not judging and being Christ's hands and feet...

Yet there is the Great commission that I'm not so great at which lingers in my mind. "Go, and preach the gospel."

The good news... What we want to focus on... of love.

Because that is essentially the message of Jesus Christ. Love God with all of your heart.  Love your neighbor as yourself. Who is your neighbor? Everyone.

Sums it up right well...

But then there are those words "Judge not that ye be judged." Ok.  I get that.  He talks about the plank in your own eye while worrying about the speck in the eye of your neighbor.  This morning as I was working on a Bible study I was convicted.  John speaks of a "sin that leads to death" in 1 John.  As I thought of those Old Testament warnings, my heart hurt... because all sin leads to death.

Sin is black and chokes out the light. It can take your breath. It separates one from true fellowship with God.

And I sin... I get angry and take life with my words. I am prideful.  I sometimes lie.

One of the church's favorite sayings is "Love the sinner.  Hate the sin." I even quoted it to Caleb last week, because if there is anything that has bothered me about the mess of this nation, it is thinking of future generations.

One of the arguments that I read about this whole issue is that by making that statement, we are automatically judging by saying that they are sinning.

We become intolerant by that statement... but I'm not judging. If, God forbid, someone in my family was to kill someone... I'd still love them.  I'd just hate the sin.  I know drug addicts who steal from their family... yet I love them.  I hate what they are doing to themselves and others.

I am a mess and am the first person to admit it. You don't need to point out the plank in my eye.  I know that I have sinned and fallen short. Like Paul, I hate what I do yet sometimes do it anyway.

I'm no better than you...

But the only hope for me that I will make it out of this world into the other is in Christ. I sometimes wish He'd point a neon sign at me telling me what to do, but He hasn't chosen to communicate with me that way.

He just left His Word. The same Word that says that we are to love and not to judge also says that marriage is between a man and a woman. It says that murder is wrong and that if you mutter words in anger it is the same as killing someone. It says that divorce is wrong and stealing is wrong and cheating is wrong.

Sin is sin.  We all need forgiveness.

Another argument that'd I've read is that it doesn't affect me...

And you're exactly right.  It's really none of my business and same sex marriage doesn't hinder my marriage or my life in any way...

You have the right to your own decision and your own happiness and what you do is between you and God... except as Christians we were given that little commandment to participate in discourse. That Great Commission? "Go and teach..."

Teaching them... to hold discourse with others.

Discourse means to hold communication with others... which means talking about issues.

Which has suddenly become wrong to do. Because our viewpoint offends, we should keep silent.

Except Jesus said differently... we have to point to the Word.

What you do with our message is up to you.
The issue at hand is about so much more than same sex marriage.

It's about heart change. It's about acceptance of all of those issues I named above. The family is no longer important and children are killed before they have the chance to live. Mamas care more about drugs than they do their babies and violent protests are ok when we are done wrong. There is no respect in our country.

I don't have all the answers.

My heart hurts because I see a nation sliding down a slippery slope... I see a church that preaches water downed gospel because the congregation wants their ears tickled, and a population that believes it is ok to do whatever is right in their own eyes. I see Christians who wound with their words and their unacceptance.  As Paul said, I am the chief of sinners.  I have been guilty.

As I've pondered this message, I am reminded that I may be the only Jesus that someone sees. He is in me... but do I show it? I do know that the only way that we can hope to win others to Him is by love. Please know that everything I say is in love, and that really is my heart. I worry about offending others... but I worry more about offending God. How do we balance loving "like Jesus does" with telling the gospel? How do we, as a church, the Body of Christ, be the light in a world of darkness when the majority of the world really doesn't care what we have to say... in fact, despises our message?

I'm still struggling with that. I'm struggling to understand love without judging but pointing others toward the light. I struggle with any kind of conflict. I generally want people to like me, to "like" my statuses on facebook, to see me as a friend. However, I fear that in this world where lines are being drawn, we will soon be called for a boldness like never before.

I'm so not brave. I'm not bold.

But my road map says that "If they deny me before men, I'll deny them before the Father." I don't want Him to deny me.

The only thing that I have to cling to in this world is Jesus. He is victorious. Satan is defeated.. Love that ran red on a cross, love that was demonstrated while I was in my sin.. that love wins in the end.

I'll just keep pointing to Jesus.  Looking to Jesus.  Trying my best to live like Jesus.  And looking for Him to return. 

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