Sunday, July 5, 2015

That's What

1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.  The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

The word of God drives me crazy.  It says one thing here and the total opposite there.  It doesn't address this problem, but seems to always talk about this one.  And there are sooooo many words!  There are so many things to keep track of it's a wonder any of us can understand any of it.

If I were God, I'd make it simple.  Just straight and to the point.  Just like Jesus said when he was asked what was the most important command, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul and with all your strength.  Love your neighbor as yourself."

Simple, right?  God, why didn't you just give us those few words?  Why didn't you just make it easy?

insert sounds of crickets here

How can we love someone with all our heart, mind, soul and strength if we don't know them?  Could you love your spouse that way if you knew nothing about him or her?

God has given us the written word to show us Himself.  To show us His heart.  The bible is his mirror to show us him.  To see how he has worked since he created the world.  His word is the painting of his face.  The problem with how we look at this painting is that we don't stand back and look at the whole picture.

We go up real close and look at one corner, searching for the authentic signature, or maybe we study the color he used to paint the trees in this area are different from the trees over here.  But we never just stand back, sit on the bench and look at the whole picture hanging on the wall.

That's what we've missed out on in this time in history.

In the B.C. days, long before Guttenberg and Luther, it wasn't as easy to study the whole painting.  But now we do, but we're still looking at the painting in parts, not the whole.

That's what.

I know, brothers and sisters, you think you are loving your gay friends and family by not telling them their sexual behaviors are sin.  You want to love because you think that's what God does, He loves us anyway.  True.  But He doesn't leave us in our sin because He loves us.

And that's what you are doing.  And it's not love.  Not true love.  Not like God's love.  God's love frees.  Your love is imprisoning.

You are not pointing them to the One True God, but only to an illusion of what he may look like if he looked like we wanted him to look like.  Or what this corner of the painting looks like that I like to study.

I don't say homosexual behavior is wrong or any sex outside of marriage is wrong because I love saying it.  I say it because I have come to know how grieved God is when I participate in things that are contrary to his nature, because he sees how much it is really hurting me in the longterm.  God cannot bless what he hasn't called good.  And he never calls sin, any sin, good.

That extra piece of pie when I'm beyond full?  Not good.  It hurts my body and that's not good.

That extra little tidbit of gossip I pass along?  Not good.  It hurts the recipient and the subject both.  Gossip isn't truth and gossip doesn't think the best of someone.

That little dose of religion to replace relationship?  Not good.  It hurts me and it hurts my relationship with the Father who loves me.

The list is endless, and if you get it, you get it.  If not, you don't.

But church, you are his light.  Make sure your light is shining where God is, not where you think he should be if you were him.  He can bring anyone out of darkness. He brought you out, didn't he?  Let his truth and grace do its work in your heart first.  Don't deceive yourselves or anyone else.  God is God and Truth is Truth and Grace is Grace.  His truth, his grace.

That's What.


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1 comment:

  1. Our great God used so many, many names for Himself in His Word. Each one depicting for us a facet of His Whole Self for us. So many focus on the Love facet of His Being, but ignore the facets like Judge, Holy, Righteous.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead