In continuing to ponder what God wants me to write, since I've established that He wants me to write something ... my study of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians via Beth Moore's "Children of the Day" has brought my thinking around to the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
Jesus implicitly instructs that we're to go and make disciples. And while God may use my writing to encourage other believers as well, right now I'm feeling lead to start back at the beginning. Salvation. God's great rescue plan. If you are for whatever reason reading this and do not believe, or have never heard any of this ... know I'm praying for your heart and mind as you read my humble words.
Christianity. Christ. Who is this Christ?
First, one has to understand that God is Holy. He cannot be in relationship with sin.
He is just. He is love. These often seem juxtaposed to one another. If He is love, why doesn't He save everyone so He can be in relationship with them? Because He is just. Sin has to be paid for, and we all sin.
We all sin. From the womb that which makes us human makes us sinful. It doesn't matter what kind. It doesn't matter to what degree. Sin separates us from God no matter how many good things we do. There are two ways to pay for our sin.
Eternal separation from God. Separation from God. The source of all that is good. Any good in us isn't really from us; it is because we were created in His image. Yeah, sometimes that's a tough pill to swallow. But if you seek God ... He promises you will find Him ... and once you begin to fathom Him, humility comes. It is the only posture upon glimpsing even the idea of Who He is.
The only way to restore our relationship with God is death. Christ's death. On the cross. It covers our sin. All of it. There is no sin too ugly. There is no stain on your soul He cannot atone for.
Accepting Christ's death means you have to die to yourself. There's that humility again. You can't do it. You can't attain God's favor. But you don't have to earn His love.
Deep down, your soul (yes, your soul ... you are a soul ... even me, a redhead, I am a soul ... I just have a redheaded body) has a deep need to be united to God. One day face to face; the very definition of heaven ... God's presence.
For now, you can be in relationship with Him like you can be with no one else. Through the Holy Spirit. No only does Jesus Christ, God's son's, death cover your sins but it allows you this gift. A walkie-talkie if you will until we're reunited in person.
THIS is the good news. I would be selfish not to share it. I've complicated yet simplified it. I am no theologian ... I am a child of faith and I want you to share in that. Whoever you are. I don't care what you've done. Even if it was to me. GOD LOVES YOU. He wants to be with you. But He is HOLY. You can't get there on your own. HE SENT HIS OWN SON. HIS OWN SON. TO DIE. FOR YOU.
Test Him in this! Even if you don't pray, do it now ... ask Him to speak to you. To show you. To call you. To knock on the door of your soul's heart.
Set out to prove me wrong. Prove it to yourself. Seek answers. Seek Him. He is mysterious and unfathomable to our finite minds but He is. And when you find Him your faith is that of a child - not like a wizened, wrinkled old man. Like a new thing. A chrysalis crawling butterfly stretching its wings for the first flight. Joy.
I am grieved by how many people have passed through my life without hearing me confess this. This. This most important decision. This whole purpose OF my life.
My faith was stagnant and shaken ... my focus was on myself. But even this can be redeemed, and so I hold onto my hope in Him and have faith that He is the overcomer and my failures have not been His.
My life is His, my writing is His, and I pray He will use me to speak to you. Whatever forms that takes. For His glory.
God made us. Sin entered the world. God made you. You are a sinner. Perhaps even a well intentioned sinner, but a sinner. He loves you. He wants to be with you, but as long as you are carrying the sin guilt His Holiness prevents that.
Because He loves you, He made a way. Yes, you ... He loves you. Go watch a sunset. He made those molecules refract that light in that way that is pleasing and beautiful and can't be captured ... He loves you. He sent his Son to live a perfect life and die on a cross. Death. The only acceptable payment for sin. Instead of your soul's eternal damnation of death His perfect blood spilt and you can accept its covering and regain what you were created for. To be with Him.