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 ❤

Tuesday Thoughts On A Wednesday Morning

Tuesday.

The one weekday that is by far the busiest. That one weekday where I may not finish everything I need to do or if I do finish I just barely crawl past the finish line named “All Done”.

But that day somehow remains my favorite, over late Friday night movies or Sunday chillin’s, Tuesdays are my favorite. Despite the evening rush and the morning haze I dont stress or worry because I know that on that day – for just awhile – I will be at home; inside and out I’ll be home.

I know I’ll have those precious moments when I look around me at those whom I call brothers and sisters and see Him.

I see His light in their smiles.

I see His surrender in their lifted hands – reaching to the heavens to give their lives to Him – saying, “Here I am. Here I am.”

I see His love in their eyes and I hear His joy in their shouts.

For a moment –  one sweet, beautiful moment – I see Him – tangibly – all around me. I realize each and every time that He is in me – in my every movement and my every moment. He weaves through me like the ocean through the crags of pointed rocks and He beats like a pulse through my veins.

As I see these things I wonder at the fact that in this mortal body is an Immortal God pure as the whitest rose and strong as the two edged sword.

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Love,

Deanna ❤