We’ve got it Backwards

Not long ago I wrote a post called, Has The Church Become a Modern Israel?, in which I talked about similarities that I had noticed between modern Christians and the Israelites. The main similarity being our dependence on our ability to do what we’re supposed to do and other ways in which we have seemed to forget the cross and its life altering meaning.

Recently I listened to a sermon by Pastor Joseph Prince in which he talked about the way we usually teach or view our Christianity. We tend to say (or if not say, act like) we need to stop being lazy (or sinful, or tempted, or lost, or confused, or weak, or some other condemning thing) and start following Christ and doing what he says. If we do that we will be loving Christ and we will have peace knowing that we are finishing his work on the earth.

This is how Christianity is so often thought of! We are sinful and so we need to start doing things right! That’s when we start getting the perks. That’s when we become real, good Christians. We quote verses like “Do you love me?” (John 21:16) and “come and follow me” (Matthew 4:19) and “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) to condemn ourselves further and draw the requirements out of us.

According to the bible we have it all backwards.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he shouted, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30)

He finished his life work right then and there. He doesn’t have some need for us to do anymore work on that front. The whole point of his coming was that we couldn’t save ourselves.

After his death he appeared to his disciples in the upper room and said, “PEACE BE TO YOU.” (John 20:19)

What did they have to cause them peace? The finished work of Christ. Christ calls us to rest in him. To be sure of his grace, to be sure of his salvation, to be sure of his love for us.

After his disciples found that peace he asked, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” (John 21:17)

Why then? Why after they’d found his peace? Because he loved us first. “We love because Christ first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We would be unable to love him if we didn’t see anything in him to love and if we didn’t trust him. All Christ wants us to do is look at him and to his finished work on the cross. That is how we love him. We declare his goodness and his greatness by resting in him.

After the disciples said they loved him he said, “FOLLOW ME!” (John 21:19)

It goes from Grace to Works, not from Works to Grace.

The point of the old testament, the point of the ten commandments, the point of the cross was to show that we couldn’t be good enough alone and that we could never deserve the free gift of love that God was giving to us, so why do we keep trying?

Why do we continue to strive?

Why do we still find ourselves filled with guilt and condemnation and confusion and sin?

More importantly how do we stop?

That is what I will discuss next time in the context of Isaiah 2-4

May God bless you with an inability to forget the cross.

I love you,

Deanna ❤

When Evil Strikes.

Disaster, Pain, Terror, Death, Uncertainty, Disalusionment, Shame, Guilt, Chains, Difficulty, Loss.

They are words we all try to avoid and words that strike us all at one point or another. But don’t blame God. Dont say, God did this.” Dont even say, “God let this happen.” or “why doesn’t he make it stop?”.

God cannot put into motion any evil thing nor can God allow such a thing to occur. God is love and therefore all his actions demonstrate it. He has made us so many loving promises and “God is not a man that he should lie.” – Numbers 23:19 so he always keeps his promises.

If you read the word and really let it soak into your spirit and your mind you will see for yourself that God has no part in any evil thing that occurs in our world. He says, “(I wish) that no man should parish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 peter 3:9. God doesn’t want any one to go to hell and yet so so many do, “For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” – Matthew 7:13 Imagine the pain that creates in the heart of our almighty lover who promised to let us choose.

Our own choice is where the evil came from. Satan convinced us to be greedy, and to want something other than the wonder of Christ. He convinced Eve that the fruit was good to eat and would make her smarter than her God. He convinces young men and women that God is depriving them by asking them to wait until marriage for the intimacy of sex. He convinces them that its their life and their body and if they so desire they can remove the child which they foolishly created. He convinces those who are drunk to drive at insane speeds. He convinces husbands and wives that they are no longer satisfied with their spouse and must search elsewhere for their satisfaction.

The devil was the root and sinners have become the branches making a tangled mess of this world we live in.

On Monday april 15th bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. They are stating that this was a terrorist attack, but whether the terrorist Is our own, or one from another country is unknown. 22 have been reported injured and 2 dead. This proves the words spoken in scripture, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…” (Matthew 24:6) The end is near and the world has never been more broken, but God has not stopped loving us. Gods protection was still there. Three other bombs were found in parcels that did NOT detonate. Though the fact that any were injured or killed is terribly tragic we must look at it in the light that out of at least a million people only twenty four were physically affected! That alone is a miracle but I do not think that is where the miracles will end. I believe that with our prayers those injured will be amazingly healed and made entirely whole. I believe people will come back from the dead.

When we pray God hears us and just because there is evil in the world doesn’t mean he stops loving and caring for us. It simply gives more proof to the fact. God is all powerful, He answers prayers and he is there in the midst of the destruction with us.