Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The word in the original language for “believe” is the same word used to describe giving allegiance to Jesus. It is more than simply agreeing that something is true. There is a trust factor. There is a commitment factor.
This is not saying that love accepts everything a person says. Lies and deceit are not acceptable. They pull us away from God’s design, from joy and peace. They should be challenged.
This is saying that love does not give up on people. God does not give up on people.
If anyone had reason to give up on people, it would be God. He sees every flaw, every failure, every sin. He knows every lie and excuse.
But he also sees people “in Christ.” He sees them through Jesus-colored glasses. He knows their potential. He knows their gifts. He knows their destiny.. He knows what he planned we should be like, and how we should be blessing the world. Sin has not cancelled out those plans he has made. It will take a different process, a different learning curve, than if sin had not infected the world. He intends to guide, to enable, so we can fulfill our destiny.
He believes in us, and in his own ability (the Spirit’s ability) to mold us, to refine us, and to renovate our lives. It is good for us. It is good for the world. And to see his children renewed is good for God. Not that he needs outside validation. Rather, to see his children move toward fulfilling his design gives him joy, because he knows it will give his children joy. It will cause a small ripple of joy through the world. And the small ripples will reinforce one another, until there is a huge tsunami of joy washing over the world.
For God, the tsunami is as certain as the sun coming up. So, he pushes forward in the lives of his children. Each one has a part in this grand mosaic, so he gives each one his complete attention, and he does not lose heart over any of them.
Monday, January 09, 2017
This trait of love is longer, because it has two parts. The parts are a comparison of a negative and a positive. “Love does not rejoice with unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” Or, in other words: “Love is not happy when bad stuff happens; love is happy when good stuff happens.”
The comparison is between unrighteousness and truth. God designed and created the world. He designed the way it should work. That is the truth. If the way things work agrees with the truth, that is good. If the way things work do not agrees with the truth, that is bad.
Righteousness is a word that refers to a person’s relationship with god. Before we chose allegiance to God, we made the de facto choice of allegiance with sin and the world. We are living in a state of unrighteousness.
When we choose allegiance to Jesus, the grace of Christ negates the penalty of sin, adopts us into the family of God, and declares us righteous. We have moved a long way back toward how we were designed to live. We agree with God. We agree with the truth.
God’s heart is that everyone would move here. God’s heart is that the universe would operate according to his design. Earthquakes, genocide, sex trafficking, environmental destruction, bullying, and left\right political bickering are not part of his design. They are not part of the truth. God did not create them. God did not orchestrate them. God is not happy when they happen … except for the hopeful possibility that someone sees these things, wakes up, and seeks him, embraces the truth, and chooses allegiance with God. God will rejoice in that aspect of it. God does not, and will not, rejoice in the misery and pain these things cause.
Love forgives, so, of course, love does not keep grudges. So, God does not keep grudges. But the Father of All is also the Judge of All.
I have a faint memory of a Bible passage that says God keeps a record of our deeds. Most people associate that with a record of our wrongs. However, if my memory is correct, it is a record of our deeds – good and bad. Sill, God does not need a record of anything. He knows all things. He already knows our deeds. And he already knows that we are born in rebellion to him. We are already condemned without a single entry in any book.
As the Judge, who holds all the world accountable, he judges us based on our rebellion.
As the Father, who loves all, and wants a relationship with all, he forgives all those who give him allegiance, who become his children. He nailed our sins to the cross, and killed them. He says he will forget our sins.
If someone you love does something wrong to you, you probably do not forget it. But, for the sake of the loved one, for the sake of the relationship, you forgive, and put the wrong behind you. You treat the wrong as if it never happened.
It is impossible for the All-Knowing God to “un-know” something. But, he can choose to put our sins behind him, to treat them as if they never happened.
He “forgets” our sins for the sake of the child he loves, to restore his family, to renew the relationship. He views us through our position in Christ, and the sacrifice of Christ. He treats us according to the identity he has won, and proclaimed, for us: child, priest, ambassador. Dead, buried, raised and seated with Christ.
Wednesday, January 04, 2017
- To create a spiritual family.
- To establish, and practice a relationship with each children in his family.
- To complete a renovation project in each child, so each child is living as he was designed.