Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thank God For Grace

"I'll never understand why He takes people who are so much better
 than me and He leaves me here" 

Tonight at Rebuild Church, I heard someone say these words, and instantly, I felt the weight of them.  My heart broke for the woman that said this.  My heart didn't break because she was such a worse sinner than I was, my heart broke because I am her, we are all her. Every single one of us in this world has thought these things, and that is why I have to write this today. I have to write them for you, dear reader, and I have to write them for myself.  Not a day goes by that I don't sin, and while my sin might look different than my friends, it is not worse. Not a single one of us is perfect, and every single one of us deserves death, that is where the beauty of His sacrifice, His mercy, and His grace come pouring in and flooding every corner of our brokenness.  My heart broke for her because she cannot fathom the love that the Father has for her and for every single one of his children. We cannot sin our way out of the scope of His love.  

She got part of it right, because of our sin, we all deserve death.  However, not a single one of us is any more deserving of life than anyone else, and the same goes for grace, love, mercy.  We cannot out sin grace.  We can out sin holiness, but never grace.  It is never ending.  So she was right in this regard, we all deserve death.  We all deserve consequences for our sin.  After all, the wages of sin is death. Thank God for the precious gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  Now, I can not speak to whether or not this friend of mine actually knows Jesus, but I pray she will.  There are plenty of people out there who also share this same broken spirit about their sin, and I hope that they can discover His grace as well.  

These words also called my mind the unspoken hierarchy of sins in the collective church today.  According to this false set of standards, sure, some of us have pretty bad sins.  Some of us have terrible sins.  Maybe your sin is one of those church sanctioned sins.  The ones that are not really alright, but we let it slip by because, hey, everyone sins a little right.  While I cannot speak to the heart of the person who said these words tonight, I can imagine that she has heard about our false hierarchy of sins.  I can imagine that some of her sins are not on the church sanctioned list.  I know that some of my sins are not on the church sanctioned list.  I also know that this list is a load of nonsense.  How dare we categorize each other, just to ease our own conscience.  The severity of someone else's sin doesn't redeem your 'little' sin.  How dare we put the grace and sacrifice of Jesus into a box.  He is enough for her sins.  He is enough for all sins.  His sacrifice is enough for addiction, gossip, theft, doubt, attempted suicide, laziness, murder, hate, and any other sin that you can think of.  He hates all of it.  He is enough to cover it.  In the eyes of God, these are all the same.  So when my friend says that she is more deserving of death than someone else, it breaks my heart.  We are all born broken, every last one of us.

Just keep pouring out grace today.  Just keep pointing your neighbors to Jesus today.  His grace is enough.  His love is deep enough for you.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

He Is Still Good

With the arrival of this lent season, I have been focused more and more on turning my heart to Jesus.  However, at Rebuild, we have also encountered a season of darkness.  Without going into too many details because of the security and safety of my friends, it is safe to say that Satan is after several of our family...and it blows. Especially since we had just finished up with our IF:Gathering and people were so focused on God.  We had just sat on the porch and talked for hours about Jesus on Thursday. Then when the sun rose on Friday, loving on Jesus wasn't as easy.  It is times like these that He feels silent and while you know He is still good, there is a voice in the back of your brain that whispers that He isn't.

I think that questions like these are one hundred percent natural in the face of tragedy.

I think that the true test is what we do with those questions.

He is, always was, and always will be good.

How refreshing is that today.  How much we can rest in that.

It isn't even in His nature to not be good.

He is always good.

He cannot and will not fail you

So while, today, things may feel like they are falling apart. We rest in a God who is always in control, always knows what He is doing, and is always good.

He isn't afraid of your questions, so ask them.  When life gets tough and He doesn't seem to be there anymore, talk to Him. Never turn your back on Him, and continue to trust Him...but He is not afraid of your questions.  Perhaps these circumstances are a test to draw you deeper into relationship with Him.  He is still good, even when life isn't.

Sabbath Song