Wake Up, People *cough* Christians *cough*

Let’s face it: At times, Christians are viewed as judgmental, holier-than-thou people. It’s time we quit feeling/acting superior toward others, and here’s why:

Sin is what separates us from God. One sin doesn’t separate us farther from God than another. Lying isn’t “better” than murder, for example. We’re all sinners. We all sin. We may be tempted to think that our sin isn’t as bad as the next person’s sin, but we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We all need God’s gift of salvation – His free gift of grace that He extends to each and every one of us. No one is better than the next person. God loves us all the same. Once we realize this, Christians won’t be viewed as such judgmental people. As Brennan Manning says in The Ragamuffin Gospel,

“Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude [the fact that we can’t do anything to earn our salvation, and that it’s only by God’s grace that we’re saved] causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. [The Christian who truly understands the undeserved gift of salvation] is not all exhaust and no intake. She does not impose herself on others. He listens well because he knows he has so much to learn from others. [Her understanding that she has no reason to feel superior] enables her to enter the world of the other, even when she cannot identify with that world.”

We are in as desperate need of a Savior as the next person. And remember, no sin is too great for God to forgive. God’s forgiveness extends to all who ask, and it blots out any and every sin. To think God can’t forgive your sins is to put Him in a box – a very small box. As Christians, we recognize we’re sinners. We’ve accepted God’s gift of salvation by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believing in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9) We didn’t do anything to deserve or earn that gift. So why do we (at times) feel… superior to others? We’re still sinners. We still make mistakes and mess up because we’re still humans. Yes, we do our best to live for Jesus, but we’re not perfect; we still sin. So why do we look down on others who sin, as if we’re somehow perfect?

Our job is to tell others about God’s free, gracious gift of salvation, that others might experience the joy we have in Christ. Let us show and share God’s love to all, remembering that we are still sinners; the only difference is we’re saved sinners whose job is to tell the world about God’s wonderful kindness and love.(Acts 20:24) We’re just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. (D.T. Niles)

If you’re struggling with how God could forgive you for what you’ve done in the past, know this: He can, and He will, forgive you – if you ask Him. God is bigger than any and all of the mistakes you’ve made. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NLT)

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What Do You Want From Me?

Micah
christianstatements.com

Recently, a friend asked me what I wanted to do, in terms of a career. I said I felt called to go into the ministry but I wasn’t positive where God wanted me. A fellow classmate saw our discussion, and offered me some words of wisdom:

Just ask and pray what God wants you to do and what He wants from you and you’ll get an answer. Keep the faith, and build a solid prayer life with God.”

At first I read his words and thought, “Yeah, I know. I’ve done (and am doing) that.” But then the phrase “Ask God..what He wants from you” struck me. I’m not sure I’ve asked that before. I’ve asked, “Where do You want me?” I’ve asked “What do You want me to do with my life?” But have I ever asked, “What do You want from me?”? Have you?

As I pondered that question, and actually asked that question of God, Micah 6:8 came into my head.

“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.” (NLT)

That’s what He wants from me.

“Do what is right.” He wants me to always do what is right – to always do what He would do, if He were in my situation. WWJD?

“Love mercy.” I am to show mercy to those around me. I shouldn’t be quick to judge; instead, I should be quick to extend mercy toward others – toward anyone and everyone.

“Walk humbly with your God.” There are two things to this phrase. First, I need to be humble. Pride is the root of all sin (think Satan wanting to be God, Eve eating the fruit so she could be like God, etc.) Besides, what do I have that God hasn’t given me? Secondly, He wants me to be so in-tune with Him that I can walk with Him. Two people who are walking together must know where to go, or they’ll end up walking in different directions. In the same way, I need to be so in-tune with God that I can walk with Him without ending up walking somewhere on my own because I’ve lost sight of Him, the journey, and the final destination.

Do what is right.

Love mercy.

Walk humbly with your God.

This is what the Lord requires of you.