Another Choice

If I ask God to do something, and He doesn’t do it, I say, “Well, He must not exist.”

If I ask for God to do something, and He does it, I say, “That would have happened anyway.”

So exactly how is He supposed to reach me?  What can He do?

God will allow the natural pain of my own choices to drive me to another choice.

But I numb the pain with alcohol.

I am distracted from the pain with sex.

I blame others for the pain.

When nothing stops the pain, I see the other choice.

I can blame God for the natural pain of my own choices.

Or I can ask Him for help.

If I blame Him I am saying He is real, but He is evil.

If I ask Him for help, He will help.

Then I can say, “That would have happened anyway” and I would know I was lying when I said it.

And the pain would begin again.

Or, I can say, “Thank you, my Heavenly Father, you are good and you are real.”

And He will never leave me.

When satan works through "christians"

It has been reported that a close city has the most bowling alleys, bars, and churches per capita of any city in the USA.  I don’t know if that is true but I definitely know we have a lot of churches.  We have a lot of Christians here, people who know Jesus personally and follow him daily.  What I am concerned about is those who say they are Christians, but don’t follow Jesus.  They are driving away people who might otherwise come to know Jesus.  Let me explain.

There are Christians who pray at an abortion clinic.  They convey the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus to the many times scared, vulnerable women who are dealing with the most important and difficult decision they may ever make.  But recently another kind of “christian” has been found outside the abortion clinic.  I have heard a first-hand account of someone being yelled at, being told they are going to hell, insulted, etc. while going into the clinic.  They were not pregnant, not considering an abortion, but nonetheless traumatized by the hatred of “christians.”

When I heard this from her I apologized for the people using the Name of Christ as they acted contrary to the Will of Christ.  We agreed that Jesus would not have acted that way.  She is not a Christian however she understands Jesus far better than his supposed “followers.”  She has said she hates Christians and I understand why.

There is a bumper sticker I have seen that I never experientially understood until now.  It read, “Dear Jesus, please save me from your followers.”

Jesus anticipated this.  He said a tree is known by its fruit.  A good tree does not produce bad fruit, and a bad tree does not produce good fruit.  You will know them by their fruit.  These “christians” are producing bad fruit and Jesus says they are not his representatives.  He doesn’t know them.

If you are investigating Jesus, remember, anyone can call themselves a Christian.  Real Christians aren’t perfect and they will tell you they are not perfect.  But you should be able to sense the kindness and humility of Jesus from them; not a spirit of self-righteous condemnation.

The Antidote for Arrogance

I find I am most arrogant when I feel worthless or insignificant.  And when I am feeling confident, affirmed and supported I feel I can risk humility.  This seems to fit the “opposite rule.”  That is, the arrogant are really insecure.  The tough guy or girl fears they are weak.  The boastful believes he or she is nothing of value.

When I am arrogant, tough, or boastful, please give me grace.  Remember that what I need from you is love, affirmation and sense of worth and value.  They may be the last things I deserve and the last things you “feel” like giving.

But watch God make them work.

Can my relationship with Jesus ever end?

In reading the entire Bible I have read portions that suggest that after I know Jesus, and He knows me, that I can choose to reject Him and spend eternity without Him.  I also have read portions that suggest that if I reject Him it is proof that I did not ever know Him and He never knew me.  And, that if I ever knew Him, and He knew me, He would never leave me.

So what does it matter?  Who cares?  Is this a game of words without consequence?

When I was first found by God I thought I had to “persevere” to the end of my life with my “faith” to prove I was worthy of heaven.  I had to make it to heaven based on my performance.  Then I came across the idea that my future has been secured by Jesus.  My relationship with Jesus did not start based on my behavior and it will not end based on my behavior.  My future is based on Jesus power to save me from start to finish; not in my ability to not reject Him.

One of the things I learned while severely mentally ill, was that I am totally depraved without Jesus.  I had the illusion of being “pretty good” in my own eyes.  When my mind left me and with it all perceived respect from others; when I had no support from family and friends; when I was powerless to get what I wanted or needed; when there was no pay-off for being “good:”  I chose evil.  I sunk lower than I ever believed I would.

I do not pretend that there is anything good in me, apart from Jesus.  And, if my salvation is based in any way on my ability to keep it; I am as good as lost.  I have told Jesus I give up the choice to reject Him if, in fact, I have that ability.  I told Him that I am completely depending on Him to keep our relationship forever.

And Jesus is answering that prayer.  Now, I don’t have to fear failing. And so I am free to say to Him, do whatever You want in my life, Lord, whatever You want.

And He does.