Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Promise, not on my word , but His.

I'm reading a book right now by Francine Rivers.  It's actually a two book series, Her Mother's Hope and Her Daughter's Dream.  I'm on the second one.  Its always so neat to me how God puts things in front of us as we need them...maybe in the form of a book like this, or a sermon, a song, a friend...the list could go on.  God isn't limited in how He can communicate with us.  We could over think and analyze this--Was it really God?  Did I create that in my own head?  Am I making more of this than it really is?  Is this all just by chance?  But we aren't going to waste time with those questions today.  I've got too much running through the ole brain to psychoanalyze a message...especially when there is so much to be gained from the message.

I have had periods of times in my life where I felt I didn't hear from God at all.  Those times are difficult to say the least.  Again, I don't want to get distracted chasing a rabbit that is off the subject at hand so I'm going to try to avoid that (difficult for a wordy person, like myself!).  I've been hearing messages from God everywhere lately.  In CRAZY places.  As odd as it is, I haven't for one second wondered if it was Him or if I was just tying together random events out of some wacko mind set of my own.  All the messages are on the same theme.  They've come in a variety of ways--even lines in a TV show that I wasn't even watching and I "just happened"  to overhear.  I am thrilled to be out of a season of silence and in a season of information overload.  (PS. God, lets stay in this open-communication season!!) It makes blood pump through my veins with excitement.

So, what's the message being nailed home?  Unfortunately I can't put it all into words right now.  Its as if it is too big to be captured in a sentence or two--even in a novel.  I soak in it, bathe in it, relish it, think on it, love it.  The foundation of my desire in ministry is to leave with you a feeling of overwhelming love and acceptance that my friend and savior Jesus Christ continues to give to me.  Without much elaboration, after a lifetime of living a life that left me empty and lacking--even injured, sometimes by my own actions--He LOVED me when I hated myself.  He didn't come to me and list my mistakes or even remind me of them occasionally.  Nope, He just loved me back to health and He hasn't stopped.  I beg Him to allow me to be used to love you that way too.  Knowing all of that, the messages I've been getting lately, combined with my God given mission, made the passage from the book jump off the page at me.

On that note, as I was reading my book I came across a few lines that I knew right away I had to share here.  The excerpt is in a conversation between two women.  One who has a past of poor decisions and she has been completely redeemed by God.  The other woman is in the midst of her heartache.  She is a victim of childhood sexual abuse, she is an alcoholic who has experimented with multiple drugs, she was homeless for years, her brother was killed, and she has been kicked out of her house because she's pregnant out of wedlock.  She feels judged, condemned, guilty & ashamed.  The two women are sitting on the beach and the woman speaking in the quote below has just told the pregnant girl to go write all her sins on the beach, every single one.  She gets a few things written when a wave comes and washes away her words.  She keeps at the task as the waves continue to come one after another, washing away all she writes.  Finally, she finishes.  The quote below is what is said to her next by the woman Jesus is using to love the young, hurting, pregnant girl.    

"Jesus said He came to save us, not condemn us.  He took our sins upon Himself.  He paid the price to set you free.  God is like the waves, honey.  He washes away your sins.  He offers you the free gift of grace, the added bonus of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and eternal life as well.  You have decisions to make, but the biggest one is what you're going to believe about Him.  Ask Him in, and He'll take care of the rest."

In the end, it isn't what all we've done wrong...its about what He has done for us.  The gift of grace.  It's not a question of worthiness, that would bring your actions back into focus instead of putting the focus where it should be, on Jesus. 

Jesus came to save you, not condemn you.  Ask Him in, and He'll take care of everything else.  Believe Him.  He is able, no matter what's on your list of wrongs.  Promise, not on my word, but His.