A few month ago I was reading the book of John Chapter 14. This chapter is before Jesus was taken to the cross and He was being very clear to the disciples that if you have seen Him, then you have seen the Father. As I read this chapter, I began to weep. I can’t really explain it, but I felt this understanding of Gods heart toward everyone that overwhelmed me. Jesus says he only does what he sees the Father do. So as you watch Christ throughout the Gospels, you begin to get a clear picture of how God desires to treat all of us. How we are to handle life, is revealed through Christ because we are made in His image and we are to be imitators of Christ. And God IS Love! It becomes so very simple and beautiful.
Over the past few months, I have had many conversations with people of a lot of different beliefs systems. And many don’t really know who Christ is and many don’t believe in evil. Some carry a very strong opinion that God doesn’t like “particular sins” and we need to be sure to “separate ourselves” or “take a stand for Christ” against such people. But, if God is Love and never changes, how can a God of the old testament carry out so much wrath and destruction and he must be doing that today?
I went to God with all I had been hearing and asked Him for some clarity. You see, God created the law and throughout the old testament, man could not keep the entire law. They had sacrifices to atone for not upholding the law. If you look across many religions around the world, they understand a blood covenant and sacrifices for their gods. The sacrifices were always the purest or the first, the best. So man was always in a state of trying to please God. Trying to pursue God. His wrath was apparent in the Old testament. But instead of leaving us in this striving state, He sent Jesus to earth to show us His heart. To reveal Gods nature and desire to be reconciled to the people he created. You see, God hasn’t changed, but His covenant has. After Christ had spent 3 years revealing Gods heart and desire for his creation, He was sacrificed and defeated death, so we would be fully reconciled to God the Father. It is the power of the Blood covenant. In many other religions, man continues to try and please and chase after and try to get to know their gods, but in Christianity, God pursues and lays out his son for us. Its beautiful!
God did all this, not so you would have to join a church (though its not a bad thing), and follow their rules, or pray a prayer or else you will burn in Hell. God did all of this out of Love. So you could see who he truly is through the life manifested and poured out in Jesus. He loves and desires each of us as a man pursues his future bride. All He wants us to do is turn around and embrace the love He is giving to each of us. For us to see His grace and mercy and extend it to others. To radically, pursue his heart and love Him back with the very love He offers us. And in this place, is a place of rest. And from this place, we extend our hands to others, offering them, this same gift of reconciliation. God is passionate for every person created. We all have a created value and purpose. Its to be loved, so we can love.
You see, its the GOODNESS of God that draws a man to repentance. Not us pointing out the flaws in each other. As we rest in the fathers love, His goodness shines through us and exposes our own darkness and struggles, but He takes these things from us, IF we allow Him too. Then, we allow His goodness to shine to others, even when they don’t “deserve” it in the worlds eyes. We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for others. We no longer get offended, because our love is rooted in God and its no longer about ourselves but Him. His love fills our hearts and from this place comes the “doing”. It does say we will be judged by our actions. But our actions are always a reflection of whats in our hearts.
If anyone out there has been hurt by people who are Christians. Don’t judge God by what people have done. We are all learning. If you want to know what God is like, take the time to get to know Him through His Son (read the gospels). Just like you don’t get to know your spouse by talking to all his friends, you don’t get to know God by talking to those who say they know him. Go to Him and find out for yourself. He is a beautiful God of love, mercy, and forgiveness.