Consider Kindness

Love-shaped-SunBy faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2, CEV

 Have you ever felt unwanted?  Maybe coming from a club, or a meeting or even a church.  Being undesirable or unwanted will obviously brings a sense of bad feelings.  We’ll struggle with bitterness and even a simmering kind of anger.  Rejection has a special way of penetrating our thinking like nothing else can. It is a nasty thing.

Those with disabilities are often excluded from many things. We are often overlooked or maybe even shunned. This hurts but we get used to it [sorta]. Often we build robust internal worlds where we belong. But that seems like a poor substitute.

Our faith has made us acceptable to God. 

We are suitable only because of what Jesus did for us.  Jesus makes a connection between God and us. Jesus picked up all of my sin, shouldered it and then carried it far away from me.  He died for my sin , now I will not have to. He took my place, in the ‘greatest mystery’ in the history of man.  ‘Why Him, and why me?’

Romans 5:2 develops an idea of getting an introduction to God and His ‘overboard’, extravagant kindness.  I’ll let you know right now, I am a big fan of ‘kindness’.  There is a goodness that the Father now shows us.  He is gracious, gentle and cordial to me as I struggle along.  But, more then anything, He is completely kind.

motherteresa-kindness-quoteKindness and tenderness fit precisely together.  Both together are quite a force to be reckoned with.  But there is one thing more.  If we delight in all the kindness shown to us, we need to practice pouring it on others.

A 100,000 tons of kindness has just been detonated on you.  Look around you, and then ‘share the wealth’. It’s simple, I have been given a vast amount of kindness for this sole reason– that I might give it away to those around me.

 

ybic, Bryan

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Doctor’s Orders

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And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

I am convinced that as strugglers who just happen to be believers, there is a deep truth we need to know.  Simply that we are the ‘audio-visual’ (AV) department of the Church.

We display for all who can see with seeing eyes, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can be mixed up, and very confused at times. But in contrast, He is everything, our all in All. As the AV people, we show and declare (out of our very lives) the profound kindnesses of God.

We are meant to be see and heard, because that is what the AV department does best. But that is really not our natural tendency or inclination. Jesus spoke of a “candle on a lampstand,” that gives light into the house. Frightening as this must seem, this is our certain place.

We stand (only because He makes us) and proclaim the solid mercy and kindness of God, for awful sinners. Maybe in this short life– that is all we can really do. Fair enough. But still we hear that compelling call to become visible for Him– His fantastic glory.

We may become quite intimidated. It seems we know far more about sin than we do about holiness. Quite a few of us are expert sinners. Some of us have our  Ph.D in evil. We have taken training in sin, and are quite proficient in it.

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”

1 Timothy 1:15, NLT

When it comes to holiness or purity, we discover that we are totally out of our league. We will often try to “fake” it, but we are surprised when the Holy Spirit resists us. He will not let us deceive ourselves in this way. We have no claim to self-righteousness.

Our sins and weaknesses, depressions and sicknesses become even more evident in time. We are the ones who walk with a definite limp. We will falter, and we will stumble. But we continue to turn to Jesus. And in this action, others will see mercy that is poured out on rascals such as us.

But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’”

Luke 18:13

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Thinking Out Things

There is a full treatment that the Father intends to work in us. And He will work in us, and we can’t prevent its work.  We don’t really want Him to make us a saint.  But He carries out a different plan.  We shouldn’t be entirely surprised to have Him inside of us, working and building.  We really are brought to a point when the things He does will need to be tolerated, at least.

To be a Christian is a challenging endeavour.  Just ike taffy is pulled to an amazing length, it will always unfold and duplicated.  This work starts to insist that we turn over everything ugly and evil and we turn over the nastiness that wants to invade our darkness.  We are the lost sheep, and we honestly renounce a corruption of our hearts, and the desire to wander away.

There is one of those stories, which can be found in many different cultures.  It is this– a man wears a mask, for several years.  He never takes it off.  The mask is a permanent fixture in His life.  As the moment of revelation when the mask comes off, we all discover that he has been changed, transformed by the wearing of the mask.

Will you wear the mask?

Might it be, that it you will “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh,” transformation will happen as we start to “wear Him” through our unique and surprising life.  We have been bonded to Him, and He is now working “Christlikedness” inside us.  If we try to evaluate the Lords work, we maybe disappointed.  But we so seldom discern these things properly.  However it is clear that He has not postponed His work, but is actively seeking it to work in our lives.