Words want to pour from my mind, through my fingertips as I type, proclaiming Christ as King, exalting Him above all others, but all the words I have to give don't even scratch the surface of God's majesty.
Why does God love me? Why wasn't I wiped out of existence and sentenced to hell after my first sin? Why does He continue to love me even though I continue to fail Him? Why is His grace renewed every morning?
I recently found a list of "fighter verses" recommended to memorize. I know a few verses of scripture, but nowhere near as many as I should. I started this memorization program to equip myself with biblical truth, to hide God's word in my heart so that I might not sin, to be wise in Him, not in the world. Memorizing scripture is not an easy task, and too often I hear (from my own lips, even) "I don't have a good memory" or "I don't have enough time."
Bull crap. Pure and simple. Inexcusable excuses. Lies from satan to keep you out of the bible, defeated, burdened, and ensnared.
My heart grieves for our world. How can we profess love of God and abstain from spending time with Him? Do you love your kids? Do you want them to spend more time with you? Does it not break your heart when they don't? This is the same for God. The chief end for man is to glorify God! It's why we were created, and yet where do our hearts lie?
They lie in routine, in comfortable pews and lazy idleness. They lie, ultimately, in our own selfish behaviors. I am convinced that those* that do not follow Jesus choose not to follow Him because of how they see so many "Christians" acting. To be a Christian is to follow Christ, acting as He would, loving God and loving people. And how do you love someone? You spend time with them. You intentionally invest time a relationship, going above and beyond normal protocol and acting unexpectedly, oftentimes against personal preferences and certainly into the realms of awkwardness/uncomfortableness.
My heart grieves for our dying generations, for people choosing to pursue selfish desires instead of selfless ones. It hurts to know that there are lost people that do not know the true message of Christ and they're dying without Him. It hurts me even more to know that there are people that do know the true message, and yet they're too self-absorbed/apathetic to do anything about it. And, most of all, it hurts me to know there are Christians--followers of Jesus the Christ--that aren't acting as a follower of the Christ.
Matthew 7:21-23 is a sobering passage of scripture.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
It's time to wake up and start acting like Jesus. It's time to start loving God and following His commandments, which Jesus broke down to two: Love God, Love People. Otherwise, like Deuteronomy 7:9,10 says:
9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
My heart breaks for the world, yet it overflows with the rich promises of God, that to those that love Him and follow Him, He will never leave or forsake us.
*To be clear, a Christian** is not one who judges, not one who condemns, not one who looks down on, not one who hates, not one who is prideful, not one who holds grudges and forgives not. These actions are not in accordance with a Jesus-shaped person. The Christ loved everyone and spent His ministry with the poor and broken people of Israel. If we're emulating Jesus and following His words, these actions ought not be in our lives.
Know, then, those of you that have been hurt or turned-off from Christianity because of these types of actions (and more) that not all who follow Jesus act this way and I apologize for the poor behavior of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that you've not been too jaded to give Jesus another chance.
**That's not to say that a Christian won't display these actions, but doing so is sinful, but to be human is to be in a fallen world of sin. Only the love and sanctification of Jesus can overcome our sinful selves, and sanctification is a lifelong process. Daily we are to die and take up the cross and follow Jesus, fighting the fight and overcoming the world.