The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
Every morning… I hope to see Him again, hear His word again, feel His peace & love again, and start fresh- “Oh to be new again.”
But every morning (even before an hour has passed)- I’ve regressed, again…
“Oh God, :'( ”
No matter what I do, how much I try, and in my heart “I’d so love to”- I plain and simply ‘cannot seem to get Him right.’ I am a big fat cruddy sinner- no matter what!
And this morning, as I pleaded with the Lord to take me over once again and do what He must do, I was impressed with something a little different this time. I wondered again on what He meant, exactly, when He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-14)
((And I personally think– Jesus loves ‘the good, the bad, and even the cruddy’ sinner.))
I then began to think of all the sermons and messages I’ve ever heard that made it sound like only once and awhile ‘we as Christians’ fall down, slip up, have an occasional “wrong” thought, or say a bad word (after all, we “are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Romans 8:9); and even when we do- we quickly repent and ‘it is done’.
“Say what?” Does anyone out there have it this easy and are “that good”? Or is it just me who feels like even my daily missions end in great loss, cause I’m “that (hopelessly) bad”?
I know that the Holy Spirit isn’t going to let even one sin slip by without telling me. And I am confident that ‘Our Father’ will not slap “good” on any of my siblings (in Christ) bad behavior, anymore than He does mine. So- Am I the only one ‘in the wrong here’ or do I have company?
A sinner, by definition, implies… one who sins. And if “Christians”, formerly known as “sinners”, are now “right”, does that lead one to believe that they are righteously no longer a sinner?
(Hey, I love the Lord as much as it is possible for me to do- with all my heart, soul, mind, in the strength He gives me– and I’m confused. Imagine what those who don’t know Him yet, are thinking.)
I began to ponder, if a child of God can be perplexed by this, “how much more will everyone watching (whether believing, unbelieving, on the fence, or forever in search mode), be?” And I’m also thinking that a lukewarm (take Him for granted) love affair, self-serving faith, and look what “I” can do mentality– must be among the greatest and most pervasive lies the enemy has ever showed us, and as a result, we (as “righteous Christians?”)– the biggest “posers” this world has ever seen. No matter what, we are not going to fool all the people (least of all God), or all the time. None of us are good, no not one! So what can we say after that? How can we say we are “alright”?
It is my concern, that the very people who are the most comfortable sitting in ‘their pew’, in ‘that position’, feeling cozy and justified as they’re lulled to self-righteousness (comatose or developing amnesia for “those sins” along with the rest), or straightening up just a little at the very mention of religious fame, are in my opinion– in the most dangerous place of all. If you already feel that your righteousness precedes you, you have your room deposit slapped down for Heaven, and “I’m good!”, who in the World is going to move you?”
I would prefer to err on the side of “conviction”, be His subject in humbled affliction, and share the reality that I am truly a sinner who Jesus came for, leaned down to, met with, healed, drew a graceful line in the sand with His finger for (written in love with His blood), and then stood up–> selflessly taking my place on a cross.
As for me, every day in fact…
“Oh Lord, I so need a Savior!!!”
With my head now pressed up against the wall (spiritually banging it up against it), it all suddenly started to make some sense.
If we’re honest…
We all have enough real life material, dis-orders, and yes- sin, in order to reach others right where they are, where [we] walk out… together. No one really likes to ‘venture out’ alone- especially in uncharted territories.
Each and every one of us has harbored the pain, endured the break, suffered through an attack, felt wounded beyond repair, strived to nurse back to health… our broken heart. We can tell of shattered dreams and hopeless plans, lost loves or when we never really had them in the first place.
We have talked the talk, but too often it appears- we’ve kept silent about our walk there.
What do we hope to gain by our silence? Are we worried that they will look down upon us (a position we are most uncomfortable with) or dethrone us from our “holier than thou” status? Did we ever truly have a place there, anyway? (“Certainly not!”)
When we’re “finally” on the outside looking in, and reflecting back, should not it be our mission to open the blinds and serve as a compass for those walking beside us (or the late comers who are trailing in the footsteps behind us)… ‘all points lead to Jesus’? (“I certainly hope so!”)
And if we are truly being honest, isn’t it even hard for us [sometimes] to utter the name of “Jesus” and tell His Story, or find it convenient to omit Him in the first place… time after time? :'(
How will they know if no one sees them, listens to them, identifies with them, tells them, and then- shows them who He is?
Who will go for them? Who will find it in their hearts, to be so moved with compassion, that they cannot help but to share Him?
(“Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see…”)
If we are so far out ahead of people, and unrecognizable, how will they reach us? If they look at us and find us in another class, how can we address or reach them? If our hearts appear without crack, spot, or blemish (“perfect”)- how will they know that we too, have one- or know what broken looks like in theirs? And if people can not relate to us, what difference does it make when we preach “Jesus” to them?
(“I think I’m having a heart attack!”)
But if we’re honest…
“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-14)
By the way,
I haven’t been able to shake
or get over
my chest cold, either.
I am reminded of Romans 6…
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
I live often with Romans 7…
The Conflict of Two Natures
14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
And I am so grateful for Romans 8…
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Our Victory in Christ
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose…
And I conclude with…
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you (and me) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful (wicked) way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139)
For all the things I’m not- there’s Jesus. For all the things I am- there’s Jesus.
For all (every day and no matter what)—There is Jesus!!!
And with Him, I need to be honest!
Verse of the Day (Bible Gateway)