Thursday, January 26, 2012

We're Number One! - And You're Number Two!

One of the biggest dangers all saints encounter is the 'better than you' earworm that invades our minds and hearts as we try to proclaim what we once denied.

'Better than we used to be' is quite true, and yes, if we are led by Christ and have received his forgiveness, we are 'doing better' than another who does not know Him or has not been given His righteousness.

But the idea that we ARE better simply because we are safe, or nothing truly bad has happened to us, or because we belong to party 'X' is absolutely false for all human beings, everywhere, everytime. God is out to save our souls, not our bodies [though He does still heal bodies, Virginia].

Job was one of the first victims of this mentality that if something bad is happening to you, you are being punished by God. Not so in his case: he was enduring a particularly vicious assault by Satan.

But it WAS for a season - and God DOES justify Job, so we do know what was going on behind the scenes; Job was not getting his come-uppance; Job was getting his inheritance of being a righteous man in a world "with devils filled."

Comedy Is What Happens to You; Tragedy Is What Happens to Me
I wonder if the reason we watch the local news night after night - or watch horror movies - or chase after anything that has an unredeemable ending is because it helps us feel better that it did NOT happen to us, thank God!"

And when things DO go bad?

Well, of course, we blame God.

Not Satan.

The negative side of being a cozy-at-home TV-watching hobbit is the laziness attached. "No adventures for us, thank you! - but if you will show them to me from a safe distance I will peek at them!" We see it in what information we consume: movies, news, gossip, 'reality TV', etc.

Smug, safe, secure, we honestly think that God will judge us kindly for having 'stayed out of trouble.' For being 'wise' and politically savvy.

Jesus answers that false belief in Luke 13:1-9:

1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?

3 "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?

5 "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

For Non-Christians Who Are Smug in their 'Non-Hypocritical Rationality"
Look, I know its hard to do this in an election season: to not feel smug or better than the 'other guy' who [insert foolish concept] which will destroy the country, destroy the rights of [group x]. I have certain, strong, Bible-based, God-breathed commands about what kind of man I can vote for and what kind of man I cannot.

But God forbid I forget that I once WAS on the other side of the political fence,slamming my vote card down AGAINST ALL CONSERVATIVES and ALL WHO DID NOT HELP 'THE LITTLE GUY'!

I slowly and surely found out IMX that those who voted so 'wrongly' were DOING what I was mouthing about. They were helping the poor, loving their families, and more forgiving than a thousand of 'my kind.'

And Jesus showed me that. He showed me that to be 'righteous' was agreeing WITH HIM and not a party, nor a particular ideology.

When Jesus is telling the folks above unless they repent, they must have been shocked.

But He knew. He knew that the words they were saying meant "Yeah -they really got it bad - must have deserved it, huh Jesus?"

And He HAD been hoping they would get the point [this 'crowd' had been around Him for some time] - He was the one doing the miracles, not them! He was the righteous one come to save them, not affirm how good they were being!

So He says plainly: "Unless YOU - yes, YOU - repent, you will also perish [meaning NO EVERLASTING LIFE]." Dead to God means 'DEAD' spiritually and thus, eternally.

So if you think you are number one because you are a Republican or a Democrat, liberal or a conservative, American or blessed to be born in another place, Jesus has one word of warning for you:


Repent!


I think that is clear enough, don't you?

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