Jesus: Semper Fi

I struggle at times believing that God loves me.  Especially when I sin.  It can be a big dark hole and satan doesn’t hold back saying that God doesn’t love me, how could he, I’m not a Christian anymore and I never was one because Christians don’t do things like that and on and on he goes.  I feel I have no defense.  I have a flash of fear that satan is right.

I remember that Jesus offers forgiveness, but satan says that is just too good to be true.  It doesn’t apply to me.

I remember that Jesus died to forgive me.  Satan says nothing.

Jesus said He loves me as I am.

He reminds me He is the friend of sinners.

Jesus tells me my relationship with Him didn’t begin based on my behavior and it doesn’t end based on my behavior.

Jesus says I am seated with Him in heaven.

Jesus says that His love never fails.  It is stronger than death.

I choose to trust Him.

And I start talking with Him, asking, how do I turn away from sin?

This will help stop the violence…

I think the real issue is not too many guns but a lack of mental health care.  Let me explain.  It shocked me to find out that, generally speaking, the cities with the strictest gun control laws have the most crime and the cities with the most guns have the lowest crime.  Internationally, when comparing countries, the same principle plays out.  Conclusion? When the people bear arms there is less crime.

So if gun control will not stop “crazy” (President Obama’s word) gunmen what do we do?

The mentally ill must be offered treatment.  And, as you consider paying for that last statement, realize that one of those receiving treatment just might eventually be you.

Half of the people in the United States will experience their own mental illness in their lifetime.  That is 150 million people.  Yet voting for funding to meet this challenge isn’t popular.  Ignorance, fear of the unknown, stigma, blame all contribute to distort the perception of the disease and its treatment.  Medication and behavior therapies can dramatically help a dramatic number of sufferers of mental illness.  And it costs much less than paying for the prison stays many, many sufferers of mental illness are forced to endure.  It costs less than hospitalization.  And, if you value human life, it costs less than suicide or homicide.

But that is just the start.  Because when you treat mental illness you rescue someone from a prison of intense psychological and sometimes physical suffering.  You release the person to be what God intended them to be.  They can even stop costing taxpayers and start becoming taxpayers and actually start paying back those who funded their rescue.

Since getting the correct meds and taking them starting in 1985 I have worked for 23 years as an Advertising Designer.  I have given back in taxes and charitable giving, roughly between $150,000 and $200,000 during that 23 year period (adjusted to 2008 dollars).

I have also had the privilege to marry my beautiful wife and adopt out of foster care the two boys I love.  So much beauty can happen when someone who is mentally ill gets the right treatment.  Financially it goes from negative to positive.  And, humanly, it goes from a living death, to the light of life.

 

Will God Do What I Ask?

If I believe I will receive, right?

Yet belief does not create reality, it recognizes reality.  And that reality includes God and all He chooses to do.

If I have enough faith God will give me what I ask for, right?

Not necessarily.

Faith is trust.  If I trust God I will ask Him for, and receive from Him, what He wants for me.

This can be what I need in order to carry out the mission He has given me.

This can also be a new red sports car.  Can I ask Him for a new red sports car?

God is amazingly generous and many, many times He has given me even more than what I have asked for; but He has only promised to give me what I need: food, clothing and shelter.

And I can learn to be content with that; because Jesus said that even in abundance my life does not consist of what I have.

It consists of Him.

Did Jesus hate the Pharisees?

There are many lies about Jesus.  One of those lies is that “Jesus hated the Pharisees.”  They were the religious leaders of the Jews and Jesus called them snakes, and hypocrites and fools and told them they were headed for hell unless they believed He was the long-awaited Messiah or Chosen One of God.

For some reason they didn’t like being called that.  And I believe that was one of the reasons they killed him.  But Jesus did something incredible because He loves them.  He not only prayed for their forgiveness in front of them; He preached to them from the cross: that He is who He claimed to be, in a way they would understand.

In Jesus’ day the Bible did not yet exist and the Scriptures were not referenced by chapter and verse numbers.  Many times, the first few words of a book or chapter identified the passage.  If you look at the first line of Psalm 22 it reads:

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

and the verse continues,

6    But I am a worm and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7    All those who see Me ridicule Me;
    They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8    “He £trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
16b   …they£ pierced My hands and My feet;
17    I can count all My bones.
    They look and stare at Me.
18    They divide My garments among them,
    And for My clothing they cast lots. (NKJV)
 

Jesus, hanging and dying on the cross, cared about the Pharisees receiving eternal life with Him so much, that he cried out to them the reference of the Passage of their beloved Scriptures that talked about what was happening before their eyes.  The Pharisees prided themselves on knowing the Scriptures and would have certainly known this Psalm and what it said.

They experienced what Jesus had told many earlier:
When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He…” (John 8:28, NKJV)
 

Jesus met the Pharisees where they were at and gave them what they needed.  Jesus had told them earlier that the only sign they would get would be the sign of Jonah, meaning, Jesus would be dead and buried and rise on the third day.  Sunday, as astonishing news traveled around the community, they knew that He done this as well.

If Jesus loved those who hated Him enough to do all that so they could spend eternity in Heaven with Him is there anything that you need that He would not do for you?