Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Questions than Answers...

"O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption."
Psalm 130:7

Sunday Pastor Steve defined for us the word redemption: 'The act of saving something from corruption, and restoring it to a better condition'. What would our community look like if we were able to become this to the world around us? If we were able to offer a place for others to experience God's saving?

Philip Yancey said "The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass". I love this thought... I think often we, as Jesus-followers, forget that we are not just saying a prayer and getting our figurative golden ticket into heaven. I believe that when He taught us to pray 'on earth as it is in heaven' He was instructing us that we are to live that here. To be that here to a world around us that desperately needs to see that another world is possible.

The Church (speaking of the big 'C' Church here, the Church worldwide) is to be a place where the broken, the poor, the lonely, the addicted, the abused can come to experience God's recovery. The very definition of redemption speaks to the fact that you cannot enter into God's redemption and not be changed. If one is not being restored, emerging in a better condition, then they are not experiencing the fullness of His redeeming. God's love is unfailing and perfect, and while it remains unchanging in its form, for us it is the very catalyst for change!!

What if I worked harder at allowing Him to use me to be a change agent? What if I chose to love the unlovable, of which I am the worst? Pastor Steve told a story about another pastor who took the often-used phrase 'Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin' and turned it on its head by saying 'Shouldn't we just Love the Sinner?'. Isn't this such powerful truth? Jesus-followers spend so much time hating sin that we become just that~ haters... Jesus calls us to love.

Even thinking about the verse in Luke 6,  'For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.' (verse 45) I'm asking myself this morning if I spend so much time speaking hatred, not necessarily even towards people, but in general, doesn't this speak volumes as to the condition of my heart? My words need to be the outflow in direct reaction to God's redeeming love towards me, and then I can affect the world around me with His redeeming love for others.

So some deep thoughts for this rainy Tuesday morning... where are you at this week?

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