As I’ve been having a bit of a break from my school work, I’ve spent a bit of time slowing down from composing thoughts onto a computer and putting them on my blog, and instead I’ve been contemplating some on the life of Christians and the daily realities we face. This has taken the form of about 2-3 different areas so far, and so I thought it would be wise to share some of the thoughts I’ve had even if they are not completely formed. So without further ado is what God has been showing me recently.
The first area of I’ve been contemplating has been in regards to mercy and grace as well as judgment. With regard to this, I’m realizing is that I have a higher standard for Christians and those who call themselves followers of Christ than I do for the rest of the world. As a Christian, you have the power of God, the very creator of the universe allowing you to accomplish more. When going through 1 John 1, we see a key principle of abiding in God being present, or walking in the light. Those who are walking in the light are walking in the very presence of God. John even says that he writes this whole book so that believers may not sin (1 John 2:1) but even when we do, we shouldn’t be continuing in that sin. We even have Jesus standing between us and God on our behalf when we do sin.
A great example of the way sin works in our relationship with God is seen in the courtroom. Sin separates us from God and creates a barrier, in a judicial sense, we are all guilty of charges that demand a death penalty from a holy God. Like a judge now, to be a good judge, they must uphold the law and pronounce the defendant (us) guilty. So God has done that, he has pronounced all of us guilty, and the payment for our guilt is death. But not only has God pronounced the judgment, but God is also our payment and our attorney. We essentially have Jesus continually interceding on our behalf telling the judge that the payment has already been met, that He has already paid the price for our guilt.
So now we have Jesus advocating for us, and even the Holy Spirit that intercedes on our behalf as well. (Romans 8:26-27) We need to be relying on Jesus and abiding in Christ as Christians and since we do have that, we just need to listen to Jesus in our daily lives and since we as Christians do have the power to live Godly lives I expect that from Christians. I do want to clarify that this is not for being legalistic and holding all Christians to the convictions God has placed on me where God’s word is not entirely clear, but rather on the things that are clearly laid out in scripture such as sex before marriage, theft, gossip, etc. These are things that break my heart with regards to Christians not living Godly lives.
The reason that I have more grace for non-Christians though is simple, they don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. Realistically, without the Holy Spirit we aren’t able to keep ourselves from sinning, we are slaves to our flesh. In our sin, we are unable to do anything that pleases God, even the good we do is tainted and is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and the filthy rags here is a clean way of referencing the cloth women would wear during their monthly periods. Basically our good works are used tampons in the eyes of God. And the worst part about this all is that those who are perishing don’t even realize it. So when they are just following the natural tendencies they have towards evil, my heart just breaks for them.
The next area that God has been convicting me personally on has been as a refuge for those seeking to escape lives of sin. This is an area where God is still working out the details as I look to explore how God intends to use me here, but I’m looking at ways to provide shelter and Christ centered recovery for men and women who are down and out of their luck. Some forms of this have resulted in ministries such as U-Turn for Christ and numerous recovery and homeless shelters. Many of these provide great options in their local areas, and God is stirring my heart to help in a position similar to these but I have no idea how he will provide the opportunity for me and my wife to serve or even in exactly what manner. This is definitely something me and my wife have on our hearts, but it seems that the manner in which it will happen still is kept from us at this time.