There is a Disconnect

...between an emphasis on the law, and on love. Both are important, yes, but the extreme of either is dangerous.

Pharisees focused on the law, and it hindered their ability to love others, or even accept who Jesus was. Then there's the progressive, modern view that accepts everyone, no matter what... including their sins, without ever giving biblical counsel. "Loving" unconditionally turns into accepting their sins - which isn't conducive either.

The law is important.. but so is love? How do I truly love someone, seeing them as my neighbor and how Jesus did - forgiven - without overlooking the importance of the calling to a holy life? What does this apply to?

I think its that loving others comes first, because Jesus set the example on that one. If we truly love them, maybe we can show them what the Bible says about sin and a holy life, but God is the one who convicts, not us. We can be honest with them, but condemning or convicting is not something that is our job, or should come in the way of our love for them.

In the gospels, if I'm not mistaken, those who come to Jesus had already felt the sting of conviction. Jesus didn't look at them and say, "You're a dirty, rotten, ugly sinner, and you're lost without me so you'd better come running!" No. He said, "Your sins are forgiven." They already knew that He was their only hope. They already knew they were wrong. Jesus simply loved.

So what do we do? Sit here waiting for the broken to come to us? Pray fervently for God's judgement to rain down so that people get scared into turning to Christ? Hang out with sinners so they know that we're not too self-righteous? First of all, the Pharisees said, "He eats with sinners and tax collectors." Jesus said, "I eat with friends."

I don't know what we're supposed to do. I don't have the answer. I do think it takes a lot of prayer, though. And I think that we need to focus on our own 'holiness,' both individually and within the church, and to befriend others - to show love. We (I) need to trust that God will take care of everything, will show us when to speak, and when to embrace.

"God judges. The Holy Spirit convicts. We are to love. Too many Christians try to do all three." - Billy Graham

End: Doesn't it all go back to trust? Do I trust that the Holy Spirit will do the work in their heart, without me shouting out commentary on the sidelines? My job is to love. To be the body of Christ.

To read a more thoroughly articulated post on the sentiments I express here, see this article, "In Search of a Better Gospel," by Micah J. Murray.



I give, and I take away.

What I have the power to take, I also have the power to give back. That doesn't mean that I will. Just live what you believe: in My sovereignty.

If I hadn't taken this, you wouldn't see the situation for what it really is. Trust Me.

I love you. I want the best life possible for you. I want you to wrestle with questions instead of being pressured into feeling like you should have the answers. I want you to go into battle with the idea of who I Am, and come out stronger on the other side.

The time will come. I have heard your prayer. Let go of your timing. Let it go. It would have sucked anyway.

You are lost. you need me. You 'know' the right answer in your head, which makes it easier to arrive at your heart. But in the end, I do that anyway, so 'easy' is arbitrary.

Please just trust me.

Learn to do that.
Learn about yourself.
Learn about others.
Learn about Me!

You won't ever get this time back. Ever. This is your discovery time. Embrace it, pursue Me. Let me use you in others' lives, and I will do the same for you.

Don't get caught up in the misconception that there is no 'end goal.' The end goal is eternity, with Me. Not in this life. You won't find it here. You'll always have questions, more questions... and they will bring you closer to Me. They will mold you. They will create you.

Uncertainty is not bad. I welcome your doubts, your fears. I Am your Answer, I Am your Courage, I Am your Comfort.

I Am.

I never let you go.
I have redeemed you.
I have come for you.



I sometimes get this sense of urgency when I think about how disconnected we are. When we hear that word, most people think that it's referring to the world - as in, we're disconnected from the world around us, due to the fast-paced nature of society, the pull of technology, and other sorts of the similar. But lately, I've felt as though most of us are actually disconnected from ourselves. We don't spend enough time in thought, or in full consciousness, being aware of the beautiful world around us.

Now, I'm not going onto this whole "be in tune with yourself and follow your heart to find true peace" thing. I think that a lot of people use that particular sentiment as a substitute for pursuing God. I don't claim to be fully in-tune with Him, but I do feel as though, if each of us is made uniquely in his image, we have a responsibility to embrace that. Embrace humanity, embrace individuality - because it is one of the many gifts given to us by our Creator. And, in all things, remember that He knows us better than we know ourselves. He is constantly molding and shaping us into a purer version of ourselves, to be perfected in eternity... and I don't want to waste any part of my life and graze over who exactly it is that He is making me.

I don't know what form this will take or how I will accomplish it exactly. I have a few ideas, but all I know for sure is that these past two years have flown by, and I can't remember to what end I have worked so hard. Basically, I don't want to waste life. I want to invest in the people around me, embrace myself, and pursue God. And while I know that only He can give me the power and resolve to do that, I do have a few things on my mind that I think everyone, especially me, should aim to include as part of their self-discovery/molding process.

Here's a few for the immediate present, and I'll add more later.

Reading. I love reading, and I almost never do it. It has partly to do with my schedule now, but I've made time recently, and I don't know why I didn't make adjustments sooner. I'm talking about classics, memoirs, adventure, scholarly articles, short stories, historical fiction (and nonfiction), works from other cultures, everything. I have a huge stack of books here (and an even larger one at home) of books on my "list." Reading stimulates your creative side, and challenges your beliefs. It enables you to consider other points of view (for example, the antiwar novel my sister gave me for my birthday... doesn't exactly align with my worldview, but I'm reading it to understand the minds of others). I think I can make time to read once a day, even if it's just a few pages.

Being outside. It's beautiful... any kind of weather is beautiful. Even right now, when it almost never gets above freezing and the sun doesn't come out for months. I miss sunshine, and I don't have to make an argument for being outside when the weather is nice, but even if it isn't, it still smells fresh, and makes snuggling up with a big blanket and a cup of hot tea that much more soothing when I get back inside.

Writing old-fashioned letters. I don't really have a texting problem, because I get bored (haha), but I want to write more letters. Writing helps me to really think about what I'm trying to communicate to the person (who I probably haven't seen in a while and deserves my undivided attention instead of whatever half-hearted message I would send otherwise), and it requires focus. In the age of the internet and technology, our attention spans are dwindling (I'll do another post on this later), and this, along with everything else here, can help to combat that.

And that's all for now... it may seem simple or strange or maybe even typical - I don't want this to be another get-off-the-computer-and-go-do-something post. But it's a start for me, and hopefully for you.

Also, here's a song my roommate showed me this morning that made me feel inspired and ambitious. Enjoy :)