Who want’s to be smarter, faster, stronger?
I think most of us want that. If I was just stronger in this tough situation. If I was faster in accomplishing all that I have to do. If I was just smarter I wouldn’t be in this problem. The thought is more strength could power us through adversity, more speed will get us ahead, being smarter would give us the ability to think our way out of our problems, or keep us away from trouble.
There is a certain truth to those thoughts, however there is also a weakness in them. We all need to be involved in personal development. To become stronger, faster, smarter simply because we need to constantly be growing. To constantly become more capable and effective in living out our lives. But here’s the thing those thoughts cause us to become to focused on ourselves. “If we could just change then that change would change everything else.” Looking in the mirror to long never helped anyone. It’s good to know who you are, it’s good to know your issues, getting healed from those things is amazing and something we all need. But if we can’t get past our own reflection it’s time to start breaking some mirrors. Personally I think we need to have broken glass all over the place (then we clean it up really quick because I have little kids and I don’t want anyone to get hurt) as a testimony that our reflection do not determine our destinies.
There is one who is Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Smarter, who strongly desires to work through you. One who has as a incredible desire to be your solution to everything you face. There is one who has a passionate love to be your righteousness. Of course I’m talking about Jesus, I’m talking about walking through life with Jesus and Jesus being our everything.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
Does this make the issues of life disappear? No, but when they are approached with Jesus, when you seek God for the answers you will find that He has the solution and is the solution. It might not be the solution you want or would desire, that’s where we need to really trust him. Here is one of the most important things we need to remember when we face issues of life. When you approach the issues of life with God you will find that success or failure in overcoming them is not what determines who you are. What determines who you are is Jesus, and he has determined that those who would follow him are righteous! That’s a reflection we all need to see in the mirror.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:1-5 NIV)
This week during Pastor Carl’s sermon we heard about the boldness of some friends of paralyzed man. They felt the strong need to bring their friend to Jesus for healing. The crowds made it impossible to get close so they boldly dug through the roof of someone else’s house. An amazing act of boldness.
Would you do that for your friend? Would you take apart a strangers house to bring a friend to Jesus for healing? But here is another question of personal boldness and compassion. Would you go to the same extreme measures for your enemy?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)
To love your enemy in such away is incredibly bold. I’m pretty sure to live this way constantly is beyond us, it’s something that can only be done through God. It is not in our fleshly nature.
When we love our enemy we demonstrate the love Christ had for us. That He came and died as a sacrifice for our sins even though we were His enemy. When we love our enemy we do the very thing the world cannot do. We do something that is very countercultural. We in fact bring our enemy to Jesus to be healed by Him. We get to participate in bringing change to our World.
You can’t change the world with a gun. You can’t change the world with a credit card.
Not with force, not with money, only with the Love of Christ. Do we really want to Change our world?
This is where we are called to become bold. When we begin to love those that we think are not deserving of it (that means everyone including you). We love those with all of their warts exposed, we share the incredible love of Christ and begin to change the world with an expression of Gods Glory through love. An expression of God Glory by loving those we would have considered to be our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Abraham Lincoln
Here’s an idea, how about we teach lifeguards how to swim? Teach them how to swim with the tide, navigate the currents, to become comfortable in the watery environment that is hazardous to human life. If we were to do this they wouldn’t have to stand on the shore hoping and praying for those who are drowning. Waiting with anticipation for the drowning person to make it to the edge of the water so that they could be saved on the dry land.
Of course what I’ve just wrote is ridiculous. But I’m tired of not knowing how to swim well enough in the currents of this Culture and World to help those who are drowning. By the time the drowning make it to our shores it’s often to late for them. They can’t swim to it, they’re drowning they need someone to go and get them.