Archives For Mick’s thoughts
To answer this question, I think it helps us to look at how sinners stood in the presence of Jesus, for he was the full representation of God on earth.
If we could ask the adulteress who was caught in the very act of sin, the prostitutes who were actively ‘working‘, the tax collectors who were knowingly extorting and stealing from their fellow Israelites, and all the other ‘sinners’ who Jesus ate and drank with, I’m sure they would say it was the most liberating feeling in the world.
Religious teachers seem to always preach in a way that evokes sinners to be afraid of God’s presence, as if God is an angry God, and a sinner has no right to stand in the holy God’s presence; but the reality is God’s presence is the place that he longs sinners to be. God is not so ‘holy‘ a sinner can not stand in his presence; God understands the only way a ‘sinner‘ can ever be free is by having the right to stand in his presence!
Jesus is our picture of God. He is the image if the invisible God, the exact representation of his being. Jesus loved. Jesus allowed ‘sinners’ to walk with him and drink with him; he even publicly invited himself over to have dinner with them, to the disgust of the religious leaders.
It’s sad that many preachers and religious teachers, those who want to speak on God’s behalf in this world, so often present God as one who is angry at sinners and judgemental towards them. Jesus however, presented God in a much different light; he presented God as a God of love and grace; a God who above all, loved, and loved passionately. Jesus knew that it was only through a person first encountering the true love of God that they can ever be free from sin. Love is powerful. Love can transform. Love trusts. Love never fails.
God’s grace is our home; it’s like the spiritual air we breathe. So, in 2012, as we breathe it in and breathe it out, let’s be excited at the positive effects such a grace-filled life is sure to experience in this new year.Continue Reading...
There is something beautiful about Jesus that none of us can fully put into words. Something about his nature, his ways, that captivate us. He was nothing like any rabbi, pastor, preacher or prophet that came before him, or after him. He was unique; a one of a kind. Who else but Jesus could love like he did? Who else could love so consistently? Who else could publicly embrace all the people the religious condemned; who else could love knowing the religious would kill him for it?
Who else could stand before a half naked woman surrounded by the most honored scholars and teachers of the Bible, all with stones in their hands, and defend her case? Not only defend her case, but succeed in justifying her. Who else could touch the untouchable, accept the unacceptable, love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and befriend the outcast?
Who else could be completely convinced of his oneness with the Almighty, and yet create 600 liters of the best wine humanity had ever known of for a bunch of people, so drunk at a wedding that they had already drunk the bar dry, to the disgust of the religious? Who else could care so little for his reputation amongst the religious? Who else but Jesus?
Who else could embrace the worst of sinners with such genuineness? Who else could stand in the courts of the temple and expose the hypocrisy of those yoking such heavy religious loads upon the people, while not lifting a finger to help them? Who else but Jesus could walk into God’s temple and be so distraught with the corruption and hypocrisy that he took it upon himself to turn the place upside down? Who else could overturn tables; who else could chase those peddling God’s word for profit out of the temple area?
Who else could stand up against all the injustice the religious leaders selfishly lorded over people, and yet, all along, being prepared to die for them? Who else can love the lost with such an embrace, and love those who counted themselves as his enemies with the cross? Who has such a love like Jesus? Who can compare to his courage, his honesty, and his selflessness? Who else but Jesus?
Who else could declare: “I am the light of the world” and have us believe it? Who is his equal? Even Pharaoh’s magicians could copy miracles; but tell me, who could love like Jesus? Who has ever loved like Jesus? Does he have an equal? Who else but Jesus could love enough to be the savior of the world?
What a heavenly blessing it truly is to be made one with Jesus; to be given the gift to participate in his love. To know his love on a personal level. To be embraced by his love. To know him; to know the One and only. To be made one with the Love of God. What a blessing to know Jesus continues to live and love in us. What a gift God gives us; that we can partake in the interaction of his love in this world.
Life has many wonderful moments, but none so wonderful as when we feel the love of Jesus in us reaching out to others around us. Oh, to love! To let Jesus love through us – what a grace to be given! For to feel the love of Jesus, living and active; to be part of his love in motion, is to experience heaven on earth.
Today my very first ‘Searching For Grace’ comic book is being released. Yes, that’s right, Pastor Moses and the gang are ready to baptize your coffee table in Christianese.Continue Reading...