I should have known better. I should have known that when a person prays for God to reveal sin, He faithfully answers that prayer.
In the past week, I’ve been hit over the head again and again with the reality of my sinful heart, and that’s exactly what I asked God to do. Last week at an Ephesians bible study, my friend shared that she far too often stays low, feeling the weight and reality of her sin. She said she forgets the grace and mercy of God which rescued her from the sin in which she was dead. I told her I couldn’t really relate. I told her that I don’t think often enough of my sin, and when I do, I don’t think my sin is really that big a deal. I’m a list maker, and that includes lists of sin. My sin? It’s not on the super-bad list.
If the gospels are true, if the bible is true, if Christ’s words are true, then yes. It’s bad.
The Pharisees were so uncomfortable with Jesus. They tried to explain his miracle-working power as coming from Satan. They accused him of working with Satan. They held meetings to plot how to kill Jesus.
These are my people?
I keep thinking of Edmund, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Until he met Aslan, he was so uncomfortable each time his name was spoken. Where the name flooded everyone else with warmth and comfortable feelings, Edmund hated it.
The Pharisees loved the law more than they loved people. They thought the law would save them. That
their good works would save them, despite the hatred in their heart. Yes, that all sounds far too familiar.
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, “We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.” That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
Healthy people don’t need a doctor- sick people do. I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.
I don’t love people well. If I doubt my sinfulness, I need look no further than this truth. I am called to love my neighbor as myself. I am to do to others whatever I would like them to do to me.
I want to be loved. I need to love.
I want to be pursued. I need to pursue.
I want to be cared for. I need to care.
I want to be appreciated. I need to appreciate.
I want to be known. I need to seek to know.
I want to be accepted. I need to accept.
Doing those things won’t save me. Doing those things won’t make Jesus love me more. But doing those things for my neighbor (those in my house, in my neighborhood, in my church, in my school, in my community) will most assuredly teach me more about Jesus. I don’t want to point out the law to Jesus and nit-pick about why his actions don’t look the way I think they should. (Shouldn’t you be blessing me more than this person?) I want to become intimately acquainted with the way he loved people and then pray for the grace to love likewise.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I _______________________________________, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I _______________________________________, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I_____________________________________, and I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.