Friday, August 17, 2012

Loving God...loving others?

The first greatest commandment in the Bible is to love the Lord with all your heart...did you know that the second greater commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself? Most of the time, I have a really hard time loving others; it's hard to not judge them for where their at and meet them where they need you to. It's especially hard for me to help them when the don't have any obvious ambition to change their circumstances. The other day, I was chatting with a wonderful lady in my church about the homeless, and I realized that we can't make them change, but we can show them love and show them that they have a life worth changing. Someone very close to me was abused as a child, and has lately been struggling with loving the abuser as he loves himself, and knowing that God loves them the them equally. Knowing this, I realized that we need to firstly forgive people and leave the judging up to God and know that they will pay, and that it isn't our job to make sure they do. I also realized that I am failing miserably at doing my part in serving others. So, as you all go about your day today, think about others and loving them as we were instructed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Living Holy: through grace or through works?

This past Sunday, our preacher gave a sermon on living holy. I was expecting this sermon to be conflicting, considering our church is typically very legalistic.  In my opinion, if we accept Gods great grace and live a life through it, He will change our hearts to better reflect Him and his holiness; the works will come with a heart change. It is not necessarily up to us to become holy, but rather to offer our lives and hearts to God and then allow Him to make us holy. I believe that after our lives and hearts are completed tuned in to what God wants, we will start slowly changing into an intimate, holy relationship with God, and we will want to become more like Him. I do not believe we will become holy by doing good things. We need Gods great grace to carry out His holiness. Unfortunately, many people believe that holiness comes from doing things and trying to be perfect. Thankfully, we dont have to be perfect to be holy; but rather strive for living a life like Jesus. Doing works without having your heart in the proper place will not make you holy, it will only make you a hypocrite. We need to put our entire being into the Lord before we can even consider becoming holy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that his views were very similar to mine.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Religion vs. Jesus

For quite some time, I have felt that there was something wrong with the way my church interacted and the way we read the bible or worshiped. I have finally started to realize the problem...we are religious. We are constantly striving to earn Gods grace and love. We put our masks on and come to church, trying to be perfect. We are constantly trying to follow the rules, but that just leads to a legalistic walk with God. We read the bible as it pertains to us, when really the bible isn't about us at all. Its about God. We judge others based upon their sin, while in actuality, their excessive smoking or drinking isn't any different then our own thoughts against them. We don't know how to do community because we are so caught up in our own legalistic nature that we can't find the time to love others as we were meant to do. Jesus didn't come to save a perfect people. He came to save a broken world, and gave his blood for us. Trying to put on the perfect act isn't going to get us anything but a life of chasing something we cannot reach. We are constantly trying to do enough stuff to be perfect, but Jesus has already done all that we need. We need to accept that we aren't perfect, and allow ourselves to fall for a God that loves us more then life(: