Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Some of my friends have talked to me about my latest post, and have come to the conclusion that I have let my standards slip.
No, I am not advocating profanity
No, I am not advocating alcohol abuse
No, I am not advocating a godless lifestyle.
The point of the piece was that as a church, as the people of God, we need to be accessible. If we are closed up in our ivory towers, then like the crown jewels, we are off-limits to a large number of the people who need us.
Looking again to Jesus as our example: He welcomed the tax collector, who was known for swindling. Because of that encounter, the tax collector was changed, repaid all the excessive charges with 20% interest. Jesus welcomed the woman caught in the very act of adultery, telling her to go and sin no more. If I had been that woman, I would have been so grateful to escape stoning, that I would have kissed His feet forever.
This is what Jesus came to do, restoration. This is why the church must be relevant. There are many, many people who think that God just wants to knock the snot out of them. As a child, I was told that this would happen to me. I can tell you from personal experience, that if this is what I can look forward to, I will keep quite a bit of distance between myself and the ‘knocker.’
However, this is not the case. Jesus is the restorer, the lover of my soul (my mind, will and emotions) He is not looking to knock me into next week. He is looking to provide a life that is full of abundance. That is so much more appealing to me. I need someone who understands me. Who loves me even when I mess up. Who wants to take my mess and make a message. We are to be the conveyor of this grace to those who have stumbled, who are tied up, who feel they don’t measure up. None of us measures up.
Relationship is better than rules. I know that the Ten Commandments say ‘Do not commit adultery.’ If I were tempted to stray, I would not probably think of the Ten Commandments. I would think and reflect on how my actions would hurt my husband, and I would not continue on that course of action. Not because of the rules, but because of my relationship with my husband.
This is true with God. I do not hold myself to a high standard of holiness out of respect for some rule keeper. I try to do what the Bible says because I love Jesus, and I am so thankful of His sacrifice for me (read—I don’t want to be a crispy critter), that it is a small thing to do the right thing—out of love for Him. We love because He loved. As we become relevant with our love, (which is really His love) then we will draw all to Him.
Everyone is looking for love. God is love. People don’t know they are looking for God… We have to be the bridge… the link in the chain. It’s not about the rules. It is about the relationship. The relationship makes the compliance with the rules a non event. The rule without the relationship is a heavy burden. Which is more enticing?
Until next time,