Friday, January 18, 2008

Greedy Disciples

We were having a conversation/debate in class the other night and a gentleman made the comment that he wanted God’s justice. As holy and righteous as that sounds, my initially reaction is my eyes open really big, then my eye brows lower, my mouth opens and I let out a huge, “paaaahhh-leeeease!” The issue we were discussing was one in which a lot of church folks think they would rather see justice than grace because they are not willing to give grace. I am reading through 2 Corinthians right now. It is beautiful when you read the Word of God and you are reminded of something that you’ve seen that acts out or reminds you of the principle taught. I saw a modern day illustration or example of what Paul must have been talking about in the beginning of 2 Corinthians though.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer (2 Corinthians 1:3-6, NIV).”

The idea put forth here is that we are given compassion from Christ so we can give it to others; much like grace and forgiveness. We take the love, the forgiveness, the compassion, and all the other great benefits that we DO NOT deserve that Christ gives so freely, but are not willing to extend them to others. There is something wrong with that picture. That is why Jesus raised up disciples, so they could learn to live kingdom minded like He was and teach others to live like they were already in the Kingdom. We have a hard time giving away what we are given. We are greedy little disciples. In regards to forgiveness, Jesus says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15, NIV).” God expects more from us, He expects us to give what we receive, in fact, I would gamble to say, the only reason we have anything is to give away (or serve).

Do we want God’s justice, really? I don’t! I am thankful for the grace given freely to me, without reason, I can’t understand why He loves us, but he does and I accept the grace He gives! Shouldn’t you, if you do, you are obligated to give whatever he gives you, especially love and grace, because out of these flows an abundance of life!

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