Posts from the ‘First Love’ Category

Jesus Could have Given up

Something I heard on the radio made me think. Jesus had the power to stop the crucifixion.

When I was dragged before the kangaroo court and bombarded with racist accusations (covered in Canadian “politeness”) I had no power to stop the process which ended my career in ministry.

Jesus, however, had the power to stop the unjust process which led to Mount Calvary.

Jesus loved so much that the pain, torture, lies, bigotry, religious zeal, humiliation and conspiracy became nothing in comparison to what the willing sacrifice for completely unworthy humans would achieve – the rescue and salvation of the murderers!

Jesus had the power to give up on us. God, however, set aside power in favour of love, deep compassionate kindness.

I have been thinking on this, how the people who name Jesus on their lips exercise power over others, making decisions that harm them, using religious regulations and procedures which are devoid of Scripture. After all, for organized religion the Bible is incomplete and religion has to add to make it “complete”, which really means the justification to use power instead of love. Godly love is not good enough when acting religiously.

The Bible is set aside for any reason, especially when the Bible says: “an expert in Moses’ Teachings, tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in Moses’ Teachings?”
Jesus answered him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ All of Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets depend on these two commandments”
(Matthew 22:35-40 God’s Word©).

Jesus also stated: “I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other” (John 13:34-35 God’s Word©).

Your religion does not prove your faith in God. Court procedures do not show obedience to Jesus. Degrading believers, even if you do it calmly (perhaps even with a smile), is not evidence of submission to Paraclete.

Empathy, love, deep compassionate kindness, passion for true justice even when it is inconvenient is the identifying mark of a disciple of Jesus.

And when you meet those who do not, or will not, act according to the command of Jesus, then, as Jesus did, love them, even when they have no love.

“But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 God’s Word©).

What Did I Do to Deserve This?

When something bad happens to us we ask, “Why?”. We also ask, “What did I do that God is punishing me? What did I do to deserve this?”

Let’s face this lie right off the top. Bad things happening do not mean God is punishing us, as though God is a mean and abusive parent. There are many reasons why bad things happen, some of which are: our own stupidity (driving fast on an icy road); overeating (heart attack); people do evil things (incest); a government may serve the few only (famine); the earth is active (volcanoes and tornadoes); etc.

Courtesy of ChristArt.com

I am often drawn to the military metaphor. I am a front-line soldier and may be cold, wet and miserable. Now the General is not picking on me, punishing me for some reason. The General is fighting a war, and that means sometimes the soldiers will be in great discomfort, even die, for the campaign to move forward to success over the enemy.

The suffering anyone of faith may experience may be for the benefit of someone else, or merely part of the overall strategy to overcome the world!

I will give a very short version of an example from my own life. A group of religious people, whom I had served, turned against me and committed great evil against me. That evil, however, rescued a number of people who used to be a part of that group leading them to escape the whirlwind into darkness and find a rich, new spiritual life. Deeper than that, the religious congregation sinned against Jesus Who withdrew from them (they had lost their First Love, Revelation 2:4) and so what I went through was trivial compared to two other things: the risk they entered in turning against God; the sadness God felt that the group scheduled to lead a local revival had so utterly failed the Saviour.

It’s about ME!

It is arrogance to think that my suffering or persecution is about me. I am not the General. The big picture is outside the scope of my vision.

Faith trusts Creator has a plan, is working the plan, and will succeed.

I pledge loyalty to my Sovereign Saviour – my choice, my life, for the love of God that extends to the whole world and not just to me!

Everyone Will Know

Many (most?) Christians express confidence in their loyalty to how they worship God, the congregation they belong to or the denomination they subscribe to or their self-righteous declaration of freedom from all gatherings of believers. Read more…

Jesus Accepts Me

I was trying to think of how to describe my experience of Jesus, really. Read more…

Something Worth Living For

God does not offer us salvation to make us feel good, either emotionally or physically. Read more…

Explicit Word and Principle

There are two elements of the Bible that makes it useful for people in living by faith: explicit statements about what is good and acceptable and what is wrong and undesirable; and principles that cover items that may not be explicitly addressed in the text of Scripture. Read more…

Wait on God Alone

Usually I update language of older writings, but this seemed better left unedited. If anyone cannot quite follow this add a comment and I will publish a modernized version. Read more…