"On the first Sunday following the tragedy of September 11th, 2001, Carter Conlon delivered this soul-stirring message at Times Square Church in Manhattan. The sermon was titled, 'Run For Your Life'... "
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
...who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:10 (NKJV)
We live in a society that is becoming increasingly antagonistic and hate-filled. A friend, Dara Stoltzfus, made a recent observation that stuck with me: "if someone knew nothing of Americans except for what they read in the 'comments' section of YouTube...one would assume that the US is full of angry, critical cussers who can't spell..." What a true statement that is. Rich versus Poor. Black versus White. Muslim versus Christian. Republican versus Democrat. Gay versus Straight. Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life. The list could go on and on.
While I am a firm believer in absolute truth -- "I am the way, the truth, and the life" -- God has kindly revealed an ugly tendency within myself to use particular truths that I know as a measuring rod or club against others. My "gift" is to take a truth that I know -- measure others with it -- if they don't measure up to that particular truth, as it has been "revealed" to me, I beat them with it. "I'm giving you the truth here." "Don't you understand that you will be better off if you would receive this truth?" "Why are you running away from me?" I know..I know...my brilliance is being revealed. Please don't fall of your chair while you laugh at my stupidity. But all joking aside, Why is it that I allow myself to do this? Not once, not even twice, but over and over.
God recently challenged me to look at others as he sees them. I know that sounds clique but it's much deeper than that. This isn't about looking at others with eyes of compassion (although there is a time for that) this is about looking at others as a "completed" work that is covered by the blood of Jesus. This requires me to look past the failings they are currently walking in and look for the strengths that Christ has placed in them. People don't need/want pity. They need/require significance and value.
"...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it..." Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
He wants me to look at others as he looked at His disciples. Alive in their giftings, operating in the fullness of what He has for them, and covered by His grace. He told me that :
Those who look at others through the eyes of destiny will forever be surrounded by brilliant, loving, and faithful, friends.
...we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong... 2 Corinthians 5:16 (Message)
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 (NKJV)
Lord, help me to stand for truth with Your love and grace for others. Help me to see others as You see them. Help me to release others from bondage just as You released them. Help me to build others up with truth instead of dismantling them with it. Remove from me the yoke of fear and pride. Don't allow me to walk in the fear of rejection, or in the arrogance of inflated self worth. Lord may Your kingdom come (not mine) and may Your will (not mine) be done on earth as it is in heaven.