December 20, 2010
“I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-perfromance, I’ll be looking the other way. NO matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer.” Isaiah 1:14-16 The Message
Why is God so harsh …?
Because He hates what “it” is. He hates what “it” does to you and in you. He hates what “it” does between you and Him. His “Old Words” often seem harsh and punitive. It seems that way, because we become so dulled by “it”. “It” deadens the nerve-endings around our lives and causes us to tolerate “it” or think we can get a grip on “it”. And God hates “it”! He hates “it” so much that He decided to Love “it” to death in you. “It” is a harsh word and fills your thoughts with all kinds of images and memories. Sin …. . Three little letters that cause unimaginable chaos and damage everyday. And God hates “it”. And greater than His hate of “it” is His love for you. He loves what His love is restoring .. perfecting .. healing .. forgiving .. reconciling .. and making-whole in you. He loves what His love does between you and Him. You are who “you are” through Christ. Son … Three letters that create Life in anyone who trusts in Him. It’s His life in you that makes your life generous for others. It’s His life in you that gives you a peace-filled urgency of passing it on to others. “It” is still out there and tries everyday to dull your senses and lead you into thinking that trusting-in .. obeying .. and following this resurrected-Son Messiah is yesterday’s news and not today’s living news. God loves to watch His generous gift being passed from person to person. He loves to watch what happens in you when you let this generous Son stretch out His life through you. You’re no longer known as the “once-it people”. God’s generosity has turned you into the “set-apart ones”. And He loves to work in these moments …
“His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as So of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus.” Romans 1:3-5 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to men and women passing along the generosity of God’s gift in Christ. (firstname.lastname@example.org)