Tolerance or Love??

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From what I’ve read and seen, a large portion of Evangelical Christianity seems to think that since we are called to love in the Bible, that means we are supposed to be tolerant of people’s sin.  Because, you know, we love them, and that means we shouldn’t interfere, and God loves them just as they are anyway!  No!  Love is not tolerance!  We need to love people enough that we are willing to talk to them about hard issues such as sin, hell, and judgement.  We need to love people enough to get over our political correctness and tell them the good news!!

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV

This is amazing news!!  And we can’t just sit here and stay silent with it burning in our hearts!  Let’s do something!  Let’s “Tell the world that Jesus saves”!!  The apostles never let the popular opinion govern what they said!  They broke all social guidelines and stated the truth boldly!  Let’s do the same!!  No more fluff and candy, let’s give them life-saving food!  (Cool analogy, right? I made it up on the spot!)

Squid

Do You Believe?

Believed for so long
“Known” to be true.
Evolution from soup
Of me and you.

Creationists laughed at
But would you believe it?
Call it science?

Growing from soup
By process unknown.
Little to no proof,
Wait, hold the phone.

You want me to believe that?
I’m just an accident?
With the design I see
All around me?

I’m sorry, no I just can’t,
There is no evidence.
Design always spawns from a designer,
Of that I’m completely sure.

Does this beautiful world look accidental…
To you?
Perfect systems in place
To keep us all glued.

I think that they’re wrong,
That we’ve been lied to.
I believe there’s a God,
He loves me and you.

Instead of nature, creation
Purposeful and perfect
Made with a plan
But we ruined it.

Instead of our eternal happiness,
We disobeyed, and on us a curse was placed.
Death and troubles, separation from God.
Could this be the end?  No it was not.

A sacrifice for us,
Taking the penalty,
Death’s new victim,
Oh! No, it couldn’t be!

Jesus Christ, God’s only son
Loved immeasurably, loves us as one.
He took our punishment, the grave.
Overcoming death, he saves!

Oh glorious day!
The curse has been broken,
The shackles fall down,
So why does the world endlessly frown?

Because Jesus saves,
We owe a debt gladly paid,
Telling the world
That they can be changed!

But the debt is unappealing,
Bondage!  They say.
They can save themselves,
It’s “easier” that way.

But they don’t understand
The gravity of their plight.
Jesus Christ is the only way,
The only one who can save the day.

The God of the universe is calling you,
What will you answer, what will you do?
He alone is mighty to save,
For you he died, his soul he gave.

Will you let him?
Let him save you.
Throw down your pride,
Let him love you.

Only This Life?

I believe that one of the reasons why the world has a difficult time believing the evangelical Church today is that we (as Christians) often think of only this life.  We have this mindset that nothing that we do on earth will matter in heaven, it will all be washed away.  Its kind of the opposite of the “I do good things so I can go to heaven” mentality.  But Jesus did not die to set us free to sin without consequences, but to set us free from sin.  And as we all know from experience, there are still consequences when we sin, no matter what our relationship with God is.  The thing is, we know that we have the power to not sin, through Jesus Christ who conquered death by the power of the Holy Spirit.  That same power lives in us!  So what are you going to do with that power?  Are you going to let it sit and rot inside you?  Or are you going to try resisting the Adversary’s schemes and stand up for Jesus?! 

Squid

The Opposite of Love

   I was talking to my dad about dc Talk’s song Luv is a Verb, and he told me this; that the opposite of love is apathy.  You would think it would be hate, but its not.  Hate is how you feel.  Love is how you live, making apathy the perfect antonym.  A good antonym for hate would be liking something a lot.   Does that redefine how you’ll witness to people about Christ’s love? 

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.   And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.   We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:10-12, 16, 18-19 NIV

Squid

“I don’t have a dad.”

This sentence was spoken to me by a 8 or 9 year old girl at a water park in Orlando last year.  She had come up to me and asked me my name, how old I was, the typical questions you ask when you want a friend at a water park.  You know?  Then she asked if the man who had been talking to me was my dad.  I said yes.  (It was) She said bluntly, as only a child could, “That’s my mom over there, but I don’t have a dad.”  I knew I couldn’t get into a discussion about genetics with her, so I asked just nodded and said something like, “I’m sorry.”  She then asked my dad if he could be her dad for the day or something like that.  He said OK, as he loves kids, even if they are not his. 🙂  (He majored in youth ministry in college)  We three played around in the water, getting dumped on by the giant bucket, squirting the rest of my cousins, and just having fun.  That was back in June or July of 2014.  I forgot her name, but I haven’t forgotten her story.  She is only one of many, many kids who are growing up without a dad in our country.  I never realized how blessed I was to have 2 dads.  My step-dad at my house, and my real dad whom I see 2x a week.  Every week.  This little girl, and so many others like her, don’t have another parent.  They don’t know anything different, and its hard to miss what you don’t have, as I learned with having divorced parents, but do you know how easy that makes it to witness to them?  Looking back I wish I could have told her that yes, she does have a father!  He created her!  He loves her immensely!  But I didn’t.  And that’s in the past.  But now I’m writing about her, in hopes that I can make up for that missed opportunity.  If there is someone you know who needs Christ, look for the thing missing in their life, the hole that only God can fill.  It’s there, don’t worry.  Ask God to reveal it to you, so you can effectively witness to them. 

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 68:5 NIV

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