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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

actions

I was driving to work today and couldn't help but not miss a u-haul-size truck parked in an empty parking lot, plastered with scriptures; basically presenting a "get right or get left" message to all those who might read it. Though I’m sure the owner of this truck has the best of intentions, I can't help but wonder if there's not a better way of reaching those who are searching. Instead of offering condemnation (and I’m not saying this man is) why not offer love? Why not let our actions speak for us?

If we look at Jesus' ministry, He didn't point His finger in people's faces (except for maybe the Pharisees but they already claimed to have salvation - another story entirely) but instead treated them with kindness as well as offering them hope. I think of the woman who had been caught in adultery. Jesus had every right to condemn her and tell her what a horrible thing she'd done. Instead, He said, ‘“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”’ (John 8:10-11)

One of the coolest things about our time in L.A. was the fact that when we ministered to people, we were able to look past their physical condition (be it that they were homeless or whatever) and simply show them God’s love. We went to Skid Row one day and gave out hot meals to people and also passed out cups of water to those waiting in line. Something as insignificant as a cup of water but at the same time, on a hot day a cup of water could be an answer to prayer for someone. I know for me, I was able to give a genuine smile to all those I handed out water to and my hope is that they were all able to see God in me and in the rest of us there. We didn’t preach to them or tell them they were sinners; we gave them food and tried to love them as God does. We let our actions speak for us.

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree.
    I was talking to someone the other day, we were on the topic of "cussing". They assured me that they only said a few words that really would not be considered "cussing". Later on they added in that they say "Fa**ot" (just cause i don't feel like typing it), but only because they "hate gays." That broke my heart. Jesus doesn't hate gays. Infact he loves them, just as much as he loves you and me.
    Jesus Loves homosexuals. (
    I hope that rocked some ones world)
    So who am I to do anything but love them? Who am I to judge how they, or anyone else lives, and love them less for it while I am, also a sinner, loved and accepted fully by God?! And how in heck is calling them names and completely ridiculing them going to have them turn from there ways? That ain't Jesus ya'll.
    sermon
    over.

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  2. ok, after reading carly’s comment, that got me to thinking. i think pastor talked about this on sun. or maybe i'm thinking of the book i'm reading right now - either way, not the point. but sometimes as christians, we want to avoid any kind of teaching that will convict us, instead desiring messages that will make us "feel good." pastor said on sun. that we have too much motivational speaking and not enough cross preaching. we want to be encouraged but not challenged. we want to live like we want and not feel bad about it. we want to ask forgiveness but have every intention of repeating the actions that warranted the forgiveness in the first place. we want to claim the benefits and promises of a christian but live like the world does. something isn't right with this picture. just as i mentioned with the women caught in adultery, Jesus didn't condemn her but instead told her to "go and sin no more." what we have trouble with is that very thing. we hesitate in giving God access to every part of our lives because we know He'll ask us to make some changes. saying all that to say, Jesus DOES love everyone but the thing is that we have to be willing to walk away from the things (otherwise known as sins) that are standing between us and God. we have to obey Jesus' words and "go and sin no more."

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