Saturday, April 7, 2012

Faith: Saturday's Show

Yesterday, I spoke about love.  Today I thought I would talk about faith.  There are so many different avenues that I could take with this topic.  I'm not sure how this post will turn out; I think I will just share my heart and hope that it makes some sort of sense in the end.

My belief in Jesus requires faith every day.  It takes faith to be a follower of Christ.  I cannot see Him; I can only see the change that is taking place in my life.  The biggest change in me immediately after asking Him to take control of my life was the unexplainable peace that I felt.  The situations in my life didn't instantly change, but somehow I did.  However, even now I still have days when it takes faith to believe that He loves me.  Especially after I feel that I have really messed things up.  I know He does, but unfortunately I am still influenced by my encounters with people and media.  It appears that we live in a world that says it's ok to abandon people if they are an inconvenience,  if they've hurt us too much, or if they are too "messed up.  While I know that it's tempting to take the easy way out in relationships, but that doesn't mean we should.  Real Love, as I mentioned yesterday, will require sacrifice and selflessness.  Amazingly enough, God did sacrifice everything.  He didn't have to, but He chose to because He loves us.

Christmas is incredible, to say the least, in that God sent His son Jesus to live among us for years.  Jesus chose to come, but He also opted to be born in a barn among farm animals and to be raised by poor people in a teensy town called Bethlehem.  He could have done that differently.  He could have chose wealth and power, but He wanted to show that He is available to everyone.  He lived among us for 30 years, working as a carpenter - not the easiest job on the planet.  The next 3 years He went about healing people, raising people from the dead, loving on kids,  standing up for prostitutes, and hanging out with what was viewed as the "messed up" people of the world.  Impressive crazy love, but He wasn't finished.  This is the part about Easter that blows my mind.  Jesus came to atone our sins; He had a purpose, and that was to remove everything that separates us from God.  Again, He could have taken the easy way out and waved His hand declared us forgiven and went back to heaven, but He didn't.  He chose to actually pay the price - to become the sacrifice.  Crucifixion is humiliating and brutal, yet that is what He chose so that we could be forgiven.  That's a crazy love.  I can't fully wrap my head around it.  I can't understand this love, but I feel it and it overwhelms me.

I understand that a lot of people feel that they are too far gone.  I've been there.  Some feel that God can't love them because they are too messed up.  It's tempting to believe that, but if you look at His life you will see that He has proven time and time again that no one is too messed up or too broken.  He loves you with a crazy love.  People may have given up on you, but He hasn't.  The stories in the Bible of some of the things Jesus did show us that there is nothing in our lives that is so broken He cannot heal it.  There is nothing or no one that is too far gone; He will resurrect it if needed.  He will walk upon the waters to get to you during the storms of your life.  He will give you back your vision.  He will heal the thing that has crippled you.  He has even given His life to save you, and He rose from the grave to be with you for eternity.  There is nothing He cannot do, but He waits for us to use our faith and ask.

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