I started back to counseling yesterday. Blank screens and empty pages does not mean problems don’t exist. Silent hearts and minds in the wake of a global pandemic do not equate a trouble free life. Our world is still broken, but that doesn’t mean we have to perpetuate it in our thinking. We don’t pretend everything’s ok either, but we do not begrudge the fallen nature of our existential questions. And we must ask questions. We must listen to the answers too, but always remember we do not have to accept all the answers that come to our questions.
As a Judeo-Christian I follow closely the teachings of Deuteronomy in loving God with all my mind. I also follow Proverbs in not leaning on my own understanding because there are some things God will not reveal to me. I must come to find peace even when there are no answers. Sometimes that seems a tall order, but you’ve lived enough life to know I write the truth. Truth is a powerful antidote in a world of lies that pose as Gospel truth. We are given a bill of goods every single day hook, line and sinker that pull the strongest of us under. Nothing can pull the Father under hence the reason we completely and unequivocally depend on Him the author and perfecter of our faith. In my nearly fifty years on this planet I have yet to see anyone who can go against God. It never works. Every generation thinks it knows better than previous ones, and how it must grieve the One who sees it generation after generation. The Bible itself continues to be the best selling book year after year, and the evidence of it’s truth is so overwhelming magazine articles, books, television shows and movies continue to be produced based upon it. No other book can make that claim. There are more martyrs today than there were in the first century because of the truth it’s opponents stand against, and still it’s message shines brighter than ever. Death cannot even stop the message of the Bible. Can you imagine if every human being embraced Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings? I wouldn’t need counseling. No one would have to lock their doors. Sex trafficking would not be something we have to address. I’d not have to switch over to Zoom to learn another language in a few minutes. Michael Franzese would not have had to leave the mob or done time in solitary confinement. Hindsight is always 20/20, and redemption’s work in forgiveness and grace continues to astound the greatest of minds. It rains on the righteous and the unrighteous, and when families are destroyed life continues on. I don’t know who came up with the saying, “blood is thicker than water,” but I am thankful that my Jesus incorporated his own blood and the water of baptism into making me who I am. I can return to him limitless times when I grieve my sin. I don’t understand how some people let their hearts and minds harden to the point that they sear their conscience. I say that, but then I do see because I know my own depravity and propensity to give into hate and anger. Hate and anger can be useful in our walk with Christ because there are things he abhors, but our culture has desensitized us to things we are supposed to tolerate. And if we don’t we are whatever-it-is that offends us phobia. God-forbid we disagree with someone. Nothing in heaven and earth can satisfy the way a relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit can satisfy, but it seems I strive for everything but that. I am a sinful human being. I sin daily, but that does not mean I condone it, nor condone it even in unbelievers. Their unbelief does not negate the reality they are still a child of God. John 3.16 applies literally the whole world whether they choose to accept it or not. If they don’t accept it there will be consequences. Whatever the consequence to that rejection is I will not be among those who live under that, for I will be among those who spend eternity with my LORD.
If I were to write my own Nicene Creed it would be to the lyrics of the following song.
He came from heaven to earth to show the way. From the earth to the cross my debt to pay. From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, LORD I lift your name on high.
Sin, addiction, mental illness and mistakes do not disqualify one from calling others out to a better way of life. I’m the first to admit I need to learn much better ways of doing this, but by the mercy and love of my Father my heart continues to be soft to learn those ways. That’s all he asks us to do. We don’t have to jump through any hoops to be a Christ follower. When we choose Jesus, not only are we choosing eternal truth, but we are showing the world he is indeed the LORD. If we don’t the rocks will cry out. We are messengers sent from the Creator to tell others about him. Sometimes that makes people mad because they’d rather do what they want to do, and in some cases it gets people persecuted and murdered. They murdered Jesus, but like the Titanic we know the end to that story.
I know I’m speaking to the choir, but if you aren’t in the choir hear this dear friend. Jesus never calls us to something he hasn’t already done or is presently doing in the world. His love fills books, and he longs for every human being to follow him. He’s not trying to close a sale. He’s not trying to manipulate you into doing something you don’t want to do. He doesn’t lord his authority over you like a bad boss, and he’s not an all seeing eyeball trying to catch you doing something wrong. He’s a loving Savior who longs for his creation’s adoration.
I’m going to close there because I’ve got to study Spanish. He loves us is the bottom line. Begin there.