The way Jesus loved people was radical. It was intense and we have never seen anything else like it. No one has died for people in the way Jesus died for us. Jesus bore our sins and our guilt. He took on all the shame we feel and he walked in our shoes for over 30 years and in that he showed the greatest act of love in history.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords and our hope is not in the kings of this age but in the King who reigns over all ages. The King who has truth spread in the democratic and republican parties. Who has Christians in both organizations working to build the Kingdom. Christ has his followers in the trenches and in No Man’s Land. The Kingdom of God is able to move wherever it needs to go. It is able to look at wrongdoing and stand up against it no matter who is charge. The Kingdom of God has been around longer than our country or any other, and in the end if God wants to do away with our nation as we know it as Christians we should stand strong because God always has better in the future for us. Our hope does not end wherever conservatism, liberalism, or America as a whole ends.
We idolize everyday in every single second. We worship constantly, that's what we were made for. It’s a natural trait about us. The question comes in though: “what are we worshipping? Who do we follow?” The answer for a lot of us is we get sidetracked. We start off good and fall off into chasing after the approval of man. We become more concerned about whether others think we are doing right than whether God thinks we are doing right. We chase after the affections and affirmation of leaders in our churches and communities but we forget that loving God is costly and it comes with disapproval by your superiors and peers, maybe not all the time but a lot of the time.
He is causing his new creation to take shape, to work and build the Kingdom. You are becoming more like Jesus in this life. Hardship is gonna come but new better things are always on the horizon and frankly you can see it if you just stop looking down at the mud you had to walk through to get to the shore.
Christ awakens us by given us life. He has given you his Spirit to live inside of you, to guide you, to strengthen you. The deal is, you are not your own anymore. Life is not about you. The Spirit enters the hearts of broken people and produces life in them. As Ezekiel says: “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”
There is no more worrying about tomorrow. No one can love you like God loves you and that means you do not have to feel like you are unloved anymore. You do not have to chase security. God bought you at a price. He laid his life down for you so you can rest now. You can breath. You are saved and no one can take that from you. God will never give up on you.
There was nothing in us, it was strictly out of God’s love for his children that he (the father) chose us in him (Christ) to be his adopted sons and daughters. That is a beautiful thing. It is a beautiful thing that this perfect, amazing, loving, caring, magnificent God would want anything to do with a sinner like me. He not only died for me, but he chose me before the foundation of the world to be his son. As Romans 9:15-16 says: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
The heart is the root of where your actions come from. You only do what you’re heart and mind want you to do. There is a reason why you get up in the morning, there is a reason why you marry the person you marry, there is reason why you either choose to have sex before marriage or not. There is a reason behind everything you do and for our actions in general, they all stem from the heart. Your heart is the reason you sin. Do you understand that? Do you understand that the reason you continually fall into sin is actually because you want to and not by accident?
One day when I was older though the conversations started to make more sense but there was an anger I found myself having when he talked about his faith. I think how he talked about his God and all really started to bother me is what led to my season of agnosticism and depression. It’s been years now since I went to him to cut my hair but even now those words he would say have begin to be a fuel for me to work harder, to prove him wrong almost. I cannot help it most days. “I thought you were a Christian so how can you say those words.” It has always been troubling to me.
October 31 is for Protestants a special day commemorating the Reformation. It was on that day in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle church at Wittenburg. This event is often credited with starting the Protestant Reformation. Luther and many others like him were used of God to bring about one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit that the world has ever seen. The Reformation came about as a result of a unified conviction to certain truths. These truths would eventually be espoused as the 5 solas of the Reformation. Sola is the Latin word meaning alone or only, and the 5 solas are as follows:
Sola Scriptura -Meaning that Scripture alone is the rule of faith and life.
Sola Gratia- Meaning that Salvation is by grace alone.
Sola Fide- Meaning that Justification is by faith alone.
Solus Christus- Meaning that Christ alone is Lord and Head of His Church.
Soli Deo Gloria- Meaning that to God alone be glory for our salvation & all things.
Through the Sundays of October we will be looking at the Scriptures and how these convictions are not only justified but necessary for the church in all ages. We will also be alluding to some of the historical highlights of the Reformation which will be supplemented even further on Wednesday nights this month. Please pray that this month would be a fruitful time and that God would bring a much needed reformation to His church today as we commit ourselves to these very convictions.