Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. (Matthew 5:3)

A comment that I read this morning on Facebook made me begin to reflect on WHY I ever decided to be a follower of this God/man Jesus Christ.

When we get caught up in our Christian bubble, with all our Christian friends and our Christian music and ways of life that have become rote, and habit, sometimes it is easy to forget that desperation that brought us to our knees in front of Him, our Lamb sacrifice.

And I believe there is a hidden form of persecution that hurts the Body of Christ as much - I think I will go ahead and say MORE - than people who hate Christianity. And that is people who claim they love Jesus Christ and are following Him and are not.
There are pretenders in every social group, every political group and every religion. People who need the group for protection, or anonymity, status or to further their gain. But it is particularly outrageous when a person uses Jesus's name to represent evil. It is the antithesis of who Jesus Christ was and is, and this form of persecution hurts His church and it hurts everyone else who might come to Him but don't because they can't figure out who He is because of these play actors who warp and mar His name and character.
Faux-Christians would like you to think that they are part of an elite group that is good enough. They are mighty. Righteous. Not like you - but above you. Perfect - or close to it. Their agenda is deemed higher than all others because it was given to them by God. But in actuality, these people are the persecutors. They are wolves in homemade, faux-wool, sheep's clothing.
And you know it because when you finally see the real sheep, there is no mistaking it. Sheep are lost all by themselves. They are desperate for food and water. They are smelly and oily and....animal-y.
Wolves are like that too. And Jesus loves them just as much as He loves the sheep. But the wolves don't care about that because they have their clean, cotton, puffed, detergent smelling lamb costume. And they try to fool everyone, sometimes even themselves.

This group, this body of people who make up the followers of Jesus Christ is not elite, nor exclusive.
We are the desperate. The hopeless. The grieving. The meek. The simple minded.
We are the sinful. We are the liars. The beggars. The diseased. The thiefs. The cheaters. The killers. The abusers. We are the mockers. The haters. The enviers. The self- absorbed.
We are dirty, stained and broken.
We are just like you.
And everyone else is just like us.

Except for Him.

He - Jesus Christ - was different.
He didn't come for those who were different too. He didn't come to show us that we could choose to be different.
He just came to redeem, all alone, all by Himself, all of that awfulness and brokenness that we have inside us. He paid for it. He named us clean. He named us worthy. He named us His family. He called us loved. ALL of us. The whole world. Everyone who ever lived and ever will live.

It is just that some people want Him in their lives and some people don't. And then some people have on a costume. And think they are not who they really are.

I came to love Him because when I came to Him I had nothing.  I was a wolf with a stupid, itchy costume.  I was a liar, a thief and a cheater. I was broken and hurt and he tended my bleeding soul. He gave me a heart that I didn't have before. He changed my outlook on this hopeless life. He brought me out of the miry pit of self despair, the never ending joke of self-accomplishment and the abounding weight of anxiety. He made me into a sheep. A real one.

Not to say I don't struggle with all of these things. As long as I am on Earth I still have the capacity to sink and do all of these things I don't want to do. Which is why I am following Him. It is not a one time turning. It is a coming to Him every day. It is staying near Him. It is keeping my eyes on Him as much as I can remind myself to do it. His proximity to me is my food and water. Because without Him I would become that same broken person again.

Don't be swayed by the "perfect Christian" who doesn't act like Jesus Christ. Go to the source and see what you think about Jesus Christ Himself.
 It's not a costume party. Just go as yourself.

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