Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Living in the freedom that God has given is a bit hard to swallow. I had always been taught growing up to make sure you confess and ask forgiveness for your sin before you die, or else... The bad fire, as my wife calls it, or hell as the church calls it. You say a bad word in traffic, you had better ask forgiveness before you crash and waste a life of service to God and end up in hell anyway. This was one of the biggest reasons I refused to accept the Good News Of Jesus... Because the Good News they were giving was not good news at all. It was no different in my eyes than not knowing God at all because inevitably I would forget to ask forgiveness for sin before I died unexpectedly and end up in hell anyway. It was hearing the Good News the Bible teaches that brought me into His freedom. I remember lying there on a set of train tracks and wondering to myself, while shaking in fear what hell was about to be like. When God sent a friend to pull me off of those tracks before I got hit, literally a few feet from being hit, I remember thinking for days about the Good News I had learned growing up and it didn't make sense. I was a man that sinned a lot, I was disgusting in every way and here God has saved my worthless life, or was it worthless? I couldn't figure it out in light of the so called truth I had always known, so I tried to die again in a bathtub, but this time I decided to consult God once and see what happened and here I am... Alive. The so called truths of the churches I grew up in were not truths at all, they were lies, they serve to keep God's people in bondage to sin when Jesus paid for it in full. The word Jesus used on the cross when He said, "It is finished," was tetelestai, which means paid in full, this was an accounting term, when a debt had been paid this was the term used and the term Jesus used on the cross to describe what He had just done. The battle fought, the battle won, it is finished, all debts paid. Believe. Jesus says BELIEVE. With Jesus comes freedom. We need not worry about hell, we need not worry about earning our way into anything, God says we could never do that anyway as our good deeds are filthy rags. This is grace and freedom, but why is it so hard to accept personally? Personally we beat ourselves up for sin and that leads to more sin and more sin until God says enough is enough and pulls us out for us to go and do it all again because we cannot accept the freedom we have. You can never earn your place in God's grace and you can never earn your way out. Belief is what the Bible says we need to do. That is how we are saved, and if you want to love God, which comes when we have the Spirit of God inside of us, God says keep His commands, which are all summed up with loving God and loving others. We have true freedom, when you sin confess it and move on, that sin is gone, forever.
I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.