Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. -- Ecclesiastes 1:18

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Sometimes it's scary how everyone gets so caught up in rules and regulations and what is right and wrong and what is expected. We so often get so caught up that we forget about something that is evidently very important: Love.

As Christians, we always seem to put God in a box. Within our logic we can't understand what God is doing so the reaction we have is to try to fit God into our world but what we need to do is jump into His. I drive to work and I drive to the New Life office almost every day and I see more acts of self-centerdness than love and this just shouldnt be.

The Scriptures above I think really paint a picture of how love can break bonds of all types. What is right and what is wrong does not matter.... 1 Corinthians 13 is pretty clear about love -- more clear than we want to realize.

It's so easy for us to have our sights set on something and conform to that which has been planned. It's funny that we are so lazy that we create more pain and more work for us. Sometimes we dont want to admit that we have to think about something. Some people think drinking any alcohol is wrong and some have nothing against it. Why is there such a diverse view - even within the church? Quite simply, there isnt any clear cut example one way or the other. Why do churches say all alcohol is wrong? Is it because it is wrong? I think it's more a matter of the heart. What are your reasons for drinking and does drinking control you? But the thing is, its so much easier to just say "drinking is wrong" rather than to have to think about it in every scenario. Creating a rule or a way of action inside a denomination or a business or family is only another piece to building a box around what we could be experiencing in this life.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. -- Isaiah 43:19

So if all rules have been the same since the beginning of time, how does that allow God to do a new thing? God is an unchanging God but that doesnt mean that the things He does doesnt change. How do we know? Quite simply: Love! If we have a love for Christ and a love for others, then our hearts are in tune with Him and that will keep us on the right track.

We so desperately need to stop putting God in a box. We need to stop accusing others of sin when we have not been given the right to judge. Maybe someone does something that you believe is sin -- I respect that. The problem is that it is possible that your heart is convicted differently than the person that sinned in your eyes. That matter is between Him and God. Sin is born out of desire so isnt it possible that our desires could all be different? And if our desires are different and in our hearts we have different motives, isnt it possible that our convictions are different thus making certain things sin and not sin depending on the person. Someone who has a history of alcoholism may be sinning by taking a drink -- someone who is strong in that aspect may not be sinning.

People say all the time that the problem with this nation is that they have lost God. I don't believe that. The problem with this nation is that they have lost Love... and in losing Love, they have lost God because God is Love. People make mistakes all the time but sometimes you just have to thank God for those mistakes because without them we would never experience love. I know someone loves me when they give me a chance -- I know someone will never let me go when they give me a second or third or fouth chance.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. -- Matthew 18:21-22

Can you imagine having someone forgive you that much? Can you imagine the love that person must have for you? Can you imagine the impact that type of love could make on this world?

We make mistakes all the time... and we always will until Jesus comes back for us. We have been given Grace that is more sufficient than anything else and those sins are covered by His grace -- and they are a matter between the person who sinned and God. Matthew 7 puts this very clear. Instead of condeming someone, how about we try giving them another chance and letting God deal with the "sin".

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." -- John 8:7

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