Reflecting Jesus

I’m glad I’m up and ready to see what You have for me today!

Ephesians 5:1-14

Father, we are to be a reflection of You, spreading Your light into an ever darkening world. I understand watching what I say, how I respond – and we know I am far from perfect. I pray that Your Spirit will prick my conscience when I am out of line.  Then I pray that I will respond to your prompting and learn to move forward with an attitude and mindset to change my ways to align with Your ways.

I understand that I am to “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness” But how do I “expose them”? Of course the big thing that comes to mind is homosexuality. How do I expose it for what it is and still extend your love to those entangled in it?*

I know it’s not going away just because I don’t act on it. It is definitely something that I mull over quite frequently.  Speak to me, Father. Help me to respond as You would have me to…not as tradition or human mind sets would.

May 4th, Mon, 6:24 am

*I wrote this entry in my journal almost two months ago and though I knew that the US Supreme Court was looking at the same-sex marriage case, I was still struggling with my personal understanding of this extremely controversial matter. I have friends on both sides of the issue, from one extreme to the other. When the court’s decision was announced, honestly, I was grieved…I wasn’t angry, I just felt an overwhelming sadness. Over the next couple of days I wrestled with the whole thing, just trying to wrap my mind around it. I read a lot of articles from people I respect; Christian leaders whom I believe are true followers of Christ. (Here are a couple:  Chad Holtz {<- click here} – an American UMC pastor and Carey Nieuwohf {<- click here} – a Canadian pastor.)

I finally came to the conclusion that all we can really do is to apply ourselves. We have got to be true followers of Christ. And the name “Christian” cannot just be a name we slap on ourselves because we go to church. It’s not because we accepted Christ as children or were baptized or whatever – we have to live it. We have to live as Christ would have us to live. That’s the only way we are going to make any difference.

My son, Massey, and I have talked extensively on this and many other subjects and I have said over and over that we cannot legislate morality. (An excellent example is the US Prohibition of the 1920’s. The public did what they wanted, with or without legal approval. The legislature didn’t address the heart of the matter, and instead led to more problems.) It just doesn’t work. We have got to live it. We have got to impact people. We have got to touch them with Christ through our lives…and that’s the only difference we are going to be able to make.

No matter who is in leadership on whatever level of government, they are not going to be able to fix this world no matter how hard they try. We may be anxious about all the “what ifs” and none of them may happen or all of them may happen, I don’t know, but remember this – God is still in charge…period. We may think we are controlling things and are pulling all the ropes, but God is still in charge. And we know in the end He, and he alone, will be victorious – every knee will bow every tongue confess that He is Lord.

We are in the middle of it. And Paul was in the middle of it. He lived in the Roman Empire, a very oppressive world regime that ruled over every aspect of their lives and controlled multiple countries. It was by no means a nation that had any desire to follow the precepts of the one, true God. In the middle of all of this, Paul was stalwart and he rejoiced wherever he found himself serving God…and we are called to do the same.

Do not hate! That’s one thing that bothers me more than anything else is that Christ’s name is being drug through the mud. Not by people who don’t know any better, but by those who should know better. They hate and they scream their hatred! I don’t care who ‘they’ are, or how bad ‘they’ are or what ‘they’ have done – they are no greater sinners than we are. And we are the ones dragging Christ’s name through the mud. We are humiliating Him. We are tearing down His reputation because we feel that we are right and that our rights have been violated! We are in the wrong!

Love others! I don’t care who they are or what they’ve done. Love. Each. Other. Love God foremost and go forth – that is what God calls us to do. And this is just not off the top of my head; it’s not just what my dad taught me. It is where I have been struggling for days. God loves us.

I have quoted Ephesians 1:4 many times in recent days. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…” There are no exceptions in there. He doesn’t say I love you and choose you unless you’re a homosexual, unless you’re a Muslim, unless you’re a this or that… There is nothing in that passage that excludes anyone! Everyone is loved, everyone is chosen and we are called to be followers of Him.

So our challenge is to love each other as Christ loves us. And we know that that is way beyond anything we can wrap our mind around. We know He has loved us and given forgiveness where no forgiveness was due. We do not have one right to any forgiveness from Him, but He is merciful and He is gracious and He gives…and He gave until it killed Him. He was victorious over death and the grave and we have victory in Him. So we can be victors in our own lives.

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