Friday, July 24, 2009

Who we are.

God you are everything. To live for you is to live fully alive. Who are we without our creator? Without the One who has designed us, and shaped us, who knows who we are, inside and out? Have we forgotten who we are, to turn our back on our true love, or is it that we think we can do it better on our own?

We will always have questions in this life we live, whether its short or long. Questioning everything it seems like;trying to figure out why we are here, what were supposed to do, who we are to fall in love with, and where we are going.

I ran into a homeless guy today after work, his name is Ron. About a year ago, I met him at Monroe Park in Richmond, Va with a group of friends from church. We had an idea to go and hand out food and water, and build relationships with people. It seems like organizations that feed the homeless are just feeding them food and leaving. However, we didn't have much food or water, but we stayed and talked to people at the park, and listened to their incredible stories. Ron was someone who sat down and listened to the heart of why we were coming, and we saw him a couple weeks in a row. Occasionally I would see him at gas stations and street corners in the city, trying to get back on his feet.

After seeing him today, I stopped at the ATM and pulled out $20, drove back to the corner where he was standing with a sign, and asked him, “If you want to make some money, then hop in”. I had him cut the grass at the house, then had a interesting conversation about God. Like so many others, he is on his own, everything is in his control, and he holds tightly to his life. He asked me, “ If there is a God, then how come the world is so messed up?”

After he left the house, scripture was racing through my head, idea's and questions about this life, this world, this desert of a place. I thought to myself, God has given us a promise to live forever, yet it comes with a choice, and He loves us so much that he does not force any lifestyle on us.

It says in Galatians 5:13 “You were called to be free.”

Like so many other people Ron is weighed down by the cares of this world, and he is tired. We are not supposed to have affliction that weighs us down. We are called to be free in Christ. Yeah, the world isn't perfect, and neither are people. Since the fall of man, it's a constant pursuit by God to have communion with his people. But its us who turn away! We are ashamed of our sin, so we turn and hide, and think we have to do it on our own. Whats the first thing Adam did when he rebelled? He covered himself up, and hid from God.

We are born into this world at war with our sinful nature. Everything is carefree, until you mention God, and people don't know how to act. We have a hard time admitting to ourself that there is a God, when everybody around us is doing it their own way. Sure it looks good, they look put together, they have what they want, whether it's a new girlfriend, or a new car. But inside they are hiding, from who they really are, who their created to be, hiding from God. I guarantee they wonder and ask, is there something more, something better, something that provides wholeness?

Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

I believe that over the years and generations before us, people have tried so hard to live a life without God, that we have obtained principles and ways of living that do not depend on God. That sin passed down through generations have caused us to find ways to suite our ways, and our paths rather than the righteousness of God. Just look at construction or tools, we are advancing in technology to make things easier for us. We have prefabricated buildings that involve hardly in labor, just a crane to set it in place. So with our human nature, we have advanced in our theology, and basic lifestyles that are very task oriented, and have an appearance of wisdom, with self-imposed worship, and false humility, but lack any value in sensual indulgence.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

God had to send his son to save us, and He had to be in human form to take away sin and death from us forever. Jesus made himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant, and being found in human likeness. He humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross for our sake. So we don't have to struggle to fit in this world. Only through the washing of his life can we become forgiven. And he saved us not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing and rebirth by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

If we can just understand this, that there is a God, that there is a hope to live for, and stop judging people and making excuses for the reasons we don't believe or follow God. We were made in His image and created in His likeness.

Why would He send a savior, if we didn't need to be saved?

May the Spirit of glory and of God rest on you and keep you. May you attain the fullness of grace that has been poured out on you. May you run the race that is set before you, and only press forward to win the prize for which God has called you.   

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A few thoughts from colossians

Reading from Colossians 3 

The chapter starts off with

 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.(2) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (3)For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (4)When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

Paul writes to the church in colosse and is reminding them about the death that has took place, by the operation of grace. 

(v.1)All he is saying here is, now that you have put down your life, and have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated beside God.  Just as Christ died, he was raised up by the Father, and is seated next to him on the throne. When we die to sin, we undergo a death, which takes away everything that we want, our desires, our plans, our sinful nature and we leave it behind to follow Christ. We then, are raised up by God the father and seated with Christ. 

(v.2)We do not live by this world, or the position it is in at this current state. We have left all of it behind, and put our life in Christ. It is him who we focus on. 

(v.3)When someone dies, their presence is gone, we know them no longer. When we die to sin, we leave this world, and we are hidden with Christ in God. People of this world do not know, or understand our lives. There is no common ground what so ever;our eyes are fixed on completely different things. Our motives are not the same, beliefs, or ways of living.  We are hidden through our death to this world. 

(v.4)When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. "Who is our life", puts it in strong words. All that we live for is coming back, and when He does, we will appear with him in all His glory.

There is a lot more, unfortunately I have ran out of time. Hope to see you soon.