Friday, January 4, 2013

Outside of that crazy thing called love, there is no God? how He is crazy in love with you! {Amazing YOU}

Some people are just good, maybe. 

Others, are lots of things. 

I am of the latter. 

What? Surprised? I know, I know... not so much of a surprise, huh? 

Truth is, it's the truth. 

I'm a mess.

I think, however, I am finding-- being a mess is the new "in" as far as Christian culture goes. The days of looking like the cookie cutter perfect Christian are going by the wayside and the "I'm not perfect, I'm flawed and I need Jesus look is in." 

And I wear it well. 

I am very flawed and crazy in need of Jesus. 

The trouble with being this new kind of "cool" is: We're all here.  I'm here, you're here, she's here, he's there, some of them are there, our parents are here, and even some of our grandparents. Problem is, being cool is harder than you think. 

Track with me here. 

I wonder if being "messed up and in need of grace" is really as cool as we think. 

Take myself for example: Let us expose my "coolness" - shall we?

I don't like crosses. I don't have them in my house, I don't wear them as jewelry, or apparel. I don't say, "God Bless America", and I don't pledge my allegiance to a flag. I like secular and christian music both, I love to dance like crazy with music loud and crazy kids. I drink the occasional glass of wine, sometimes a swear word comes out in adult conversation, and I often justify my haughtiness towards people who look down on the poor. Sometimes, the bible totally confuses me-- even makes me question, religious people make me super sad, I don't know where I totally stand on abortion or gay rights, I struggle with feeling worthy or of worth. If you eat processed foods often, I have to remind myself, it's OK. My children don't watch Disney channels or follow any of the recent "Bieber" type fads... sometimes (OK, always) I wonder why other children do.  Why do I do that when it's none of my business? *sigh* 

I digress. 

I don't wear or own crosses because I don't feel it is something Jesus would want me to make a fashion statement or "bling out" I think he would rather I smile, show love, talk with someone, help someone, rather than wear an item of fashion. (I know you do all those and wear crosses) I also realize it is a big step for some to wear a cross. It's OK, It's just me. I don't judge your crosses. 

I don't say "God Bless America" I'd rather say, "God Bless Everyone" It's just me. 

Come on, I don't listen to hard core rap or anything icky. But I love me a little Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger (but we can't watch their videos), or Train from time to time. Along with various folk songs. 

Hold it, hold it, I like wine occasionally-- I didn't say I get drunk. And when in paid ministry, daily attending to the needs and mentorship of teenagers and parents, wine was not even a thought. You can't tell teenagers not to be drinking if you are, no matter how rare it is. 

I don't know where I stand on abortion or gay rights because I think everyone has free will- we can't force non-Christians to follow the ways of Jesus and we can't pretend to walk in other peoples shoes.  Now, government funding? I know where I stand on that, not a fan. 

There are days when I justify all of these and there are days when some of these make me fall to my knees. And this is just to name a few.  There are days when I wish I could just wear by best dress to church on Sunday morning, sing some songs, listen to some talking, go home feeling all christian and be happy- be safe.

Honestly, there are days when following Jesus is hard and confusing. Things I use to think were important aren't anymore. Things I use to think we're "Biblical" maybe never were, and always I'm starting back at square one. 

On my knees. Literally. Asking, begging, pleading with God.

"O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above"

One thing never changes.

I am absolutely in love with our savior.

How do we serve a non-changing but totally supernatural GOD of the universe? How do we just love. Love unconditionally. How do we condemn people for things of today when people of 100 years ago would have condemned us for what we Christians now do and allow in our homes today? How do we confront sin in a brother instead of talking to another brother about it? How do we forgive those hard to forgive people? Better yet, how do we forgive ourselves?

Do you see what I mean? Where is that church dress, fancy music, and sermon? Buffet afterwards? I need to just feel "safe" and quit thinking!  Maybe this "cool" messed up club isn't very fun.


How do we protect ourselves from the enemies lies of worthlessness? After all, he is always out to destroy us. He is always reminding us of all our wrongs. To have it his way: we would be his next reckless, Adam Lanza. He wants to get inside of us and destroy our minds, our relationships, our everything. He wants our yuckiness to spill over and infect all those close to us.

He wants to steal our gift. 

Our gift of grace. He wants us to think we are not worthy of such a gift. As though he would understand worthy. HA!

He whispers little lies like, "Oh, it's not that bad... is it?" OR "Remember what you did? God wouldn't choose someone like you." He is the king of justifying our sinful, selfish nature and then reminding us of it.  Because he wants to devour us.

He's out to steal our worth.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8NIV

 Looking for me. Looking for you. 

Sometimes he makes us feel like we are better than others. But how can that be when Jesus loves us all the same? Sometimes he makes us feel more holy because we "do" more. Or he makes us feel worthless because we just don't do enough. 

Sometimes, he simply tricks us into staying so busy-- trying to be perfect, that we don't make time for being broken.


Lean near and let me whisper something sweet into your ear, friend. God is so in love with you. Broken, messy, wonderful, you!

And he is bigger than everything you could ever imagine. He is bigger than any storm, he is bigger than any lie of worthlessness or self righteous. He is bigger than any hurt and can heal any wound. He is bigger than politics, secular music, and processed foods.

You will never figure him out, you will never know all the answers. you will never display him-- outside of love, correctly.

Outside of love, there is no God.

 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8

He designed love.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us."
John 3:16
He didn't come and rule with a strong hand, he came to die. 

A friend of mine recently said, "My way of seeing the world continually shifts. But through it all, the beauty of Jesus who sacrificed his life for the Kingdom of God compels me. His vision of a new humanity caused him to not only die for a cause, but to die for a cause when he could have killed to force his vision upon the world. "

He reminds us of it's attributes. 
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6

Love is the only absolute when it comes to understanding the complexity, the diversity, the absolute magnificence of the one true God. 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55 8-9

The drunk, He loves.

The gossip, He loves.

The preacher, He loves.

Me, He loves.

You, He loves.

That, and that alone is our secret weapon.

May His love silence out the roaring lion in your life and may you feel like the treasure you are. 

May you feel His love today and always, friends. And may that love cause you to be radical, different, and outstanding, you!

Simply because you are loved. 

Related Topics:
Because sometimes the enemies lies are louder than His whispers
A Painful Memory, the story of grace.