Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lists Part 2

So I want to unpack some of the thoughts I scratched down last night. Lets start with the list of things I believe. I believe these things because they are directly derived from scripture. I believe the scripture to be an accurate reflection of the heart of God, as he spoke it to the world. By believing in these things does it make my life any easier, in some aspects I would say it does. Does it mean that if you believe something different you are wrong, no, not in my opinion.

I'm not the type of guy that enjoys a great debate, or loves an argument, just for the sake of arguing. Personally I feel that most of the people I know like that just like to "win" and are often under-educated in the subject they are talking about, or have become so emotionally engrossed in it that it loses logic. Politics is an arena where this is prevalent. When people argue or discuss or defend politicians, or viewpoints, they are often mismotivated. If the goal is to educate, then do so with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman, someone who will say what it takes to get a point across, throwing ethics to the wind.

Sorry, rabbit trail...anyway. I believe that the bible is the breathed word of God, and is given to us as a tool, a guide, or a road map. Jesus actually did walk the earth, he did the things that are written, he was crucified...check that against Roman history, it is fact...and he did rise from the grave after three days. What does this mean in my life? This is a question that I think has no definite answer, but an ongoing journey to discovery.

Bottom line is this...and this is gonna be a little strange, maybe uncomfortable and it may piss someone off. Equally, let nothing I am about to write discount what happened at the cross, it is real, grace is real, forgiveness is real, Hell is real, eternity is real...there is a place on the other side of your life. Let nothing I write take away from that. Jesus dying on the cross, God sacrificing his son was the greatest act of compassion the world will ever know. That said, the more and more I watch people around me, the more and more I learn about Christianity, the more I am beginning to believe that God's plan for us is not only about about the salvation that Jesus brought, but about how to get the most out of our lives.

I think that so many people, especially young (new) believers are won to Christ by the salvation aspect of the gospel, which is awesome, but perhaps at that point they are tuning out. There is more to the story. God desires all of us to not only surrender our lives to Him in an eternal realm, but in an earthly realm as well. Why do we live in the richest nation ever, with between 70 and 86% of Americans professing to be "Christian". Why are there so many people who have settled? Why are people ok with just eeking their way through life, but not being moved to change their worlds because "we're going to a better place when we die" or "one day, there will be no more tears."

It hurts me to see people I love genuinely struggling through life, fully knowing the promise of God's grace and love, but still hampered by the everyday junk. I guess what I am trying to say is that this Christian walk is not like a hike. I don't believe that it is a journey to somewhere...and if we can just push through we'll one day reach the summit, that one day it will all pass away and we will sit by the glassy sea and sing hallelujah forever and ever amen. I do believe that one day we will spend eternity in perfect harmony with our Lord. I just don't think that God desires us to eek and struggle for the sake of appreciating the end result more. Are you understanding where I am with this.

I really feel like this Christian walk is just that...a walk. I believe that God has promised salvation and he delivers that, through Christ. But moreover, he wants each of us to experience this life on earth to the fullest. When God created the earth, the animals, and Adam and Eve, he looked at everything he had made and said "It is good!" He designed the system in a way so that we can enjoy the things he has given us. I just feel like the Christian life is not merely a means to an end...or a road to eternal life, because once you get that through Jesus, you have it, and God will not forsake you. This life is an experience, and one where God has given opportunity and blessings for us to enjoy, and to tell others about it.

Think of it like this...you are standing in an art museum. You are at one end of a long hallway. At the far end is an incredible piece of art, something very very famous. Everyone is focused on the statue at the end of the hallway. You can see it, gleaming in all its glory, it is going to be more than anything you could imagine. But in your haste to get to the amazing work which has so much wonderful promise, you fail to notice the masterpieces that line the walls of the hallway. In fact the pieces that line the hallway are just as beautiful and as valuable as the statue at the end.

Are we caught up in eeking our way to the end because of the promise and glory of what is to come that we are missing all the wonderful opportunities that God is presenting us with along the way? Everyday we are given the opportunity to affect the lives of those around us in such a way that can impact them for the rest of their lives. Stop focusing on what is to come...it will come and it will be more than we every imagined, embrace the present. Christ is coming back, but instead of praying for that and waiting in front of the window in anticipation, don't you think he'd rather us be out, living full and rich lives, enjoying all the blessings he pours upon us?

Just a quick thought.


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