The differences that come from being lost and being redeemed speak volumes for the change we can see in someone’s life. It amazes me when someone turns around from a life that is leading them far away from God and down a path of destruction to a life filled with hope, grace, forgiveness and true redemption.
The church has been divided the past few weeks (and if we are all honest for the entire history of the church) with whether or not it is acceptable for someone they don’t approve of to find Christ, dedicate their life to freedom and become a disciple that can make an impact.
When this happens I am reminded of Paul. Even the most uneducated Christians know about how Saul (Paul) was the largest Jewish persecutor of Christians that time had seen. He hunted us in droves, killed and imprisoned us, and did his best to rebuke this “Jesus” they were preaching about. One encounter with God changed his life. In Acts 9 it says, “Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples… As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.”
Now, I am sure there are people who will say, “Well sure Saul came to Christ and changed. He had an actual encounter with God.”
Are we now giving ourselves the ability to judge what counts as a Godly encounter?
That is a bold assumption that we can choose to say that someone’s walk to God doesn’t count the way that Paul’s did.
The biggest name to come to Christ in a fair bit and to have the exposure, nationally, is Mr. Kanye West. He isn’t going halfway either. To see the peace and the happiness on his face as he begins this new journey and uses a platform that has the potential to give hope to millions for sharing the love of a God that gave His son for us brings me great joy. From my laymen perspective, this looks like an incredible kingdom win because there are people who look up to him.
I can’t count the times that I have been judged for something in my life by the people who stood by me in worship and served side by side in some form or another at a church that was supposed to be my home. From my tattoos, to leaving my ex husband (an unhealthy and unsafe situation). Those times I have always had to pause. Wonder if there was now something about me that was unworthy of God’s perfect love. Then the next thought is always a question. How can we preach a gospel of forgiveness of sin so that we can bridge the chasm that is between us and our Holy creator, if we choose to hold people to a standard that even God isn’t holding us to?
I truly believe that the people that choose to make God’s beloved children who have given up this world to follow Him, who are reborn and cleansed in the blood of Jesus, feel unworthy of the love and freedom that we have in Christ are broken. And they choose to stay that way.
It doesn’t matter what they say. Christ’s love is something that when you fully embrace it into your life this world no longer has power over you. Praise God for that!
The truth of this world is that religion is far more prevalent that a true Christian church experience and so often it is an institution that is run by humans with their own agenda. And sometimes the agenda that God wants for us isn’t always the one we are presenting. Luckily, He will take us back every time we stray if we truly come back with a repentant heart.
It is our job to welcome with open arms, every single person that sheds their old life to be reborn for Jesus. This doesn’t mean you have to move them all into your home, or support them in everything they do. Heck, you don’t even have to like them. This isn’t me saying let all the crazies and the toxic people come into your life. This isn’t me saying that you should let those toxic people stay. You can love people and rejoice at their salvation from far away.
Luke 15:10 says, “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Read that again.
ONE!!! Every single one of us that comes home to God, who accepts the forgiveness he offers. Honoring the life that Christ gave just so that we could be saved, the heavens rejoice! Hallelujah!
Gratitude for that party! How precious we are that Christ, our shepherd comes to find us when we stray, sticks up for us when we fail, stands between us and the judgement that we deserve. Thank you God and thank you Lord Jesus!
As you read this, and if you are one of those “Christians” who is judging others, like Kanye, because you just don’t think that change happens that way, and maybe you think that you can be a witness as to why people like that don’t belong to God let me remind you of something.
There will always be true and false prophets. True and false believers. There will be people that claim they have faith, they will work to build things in Christ’s name but Matthew 7:21 is clear.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
I certainly can’t imagine spending my life dedicated to Jesus to have him tell me where to go. (Literally)
Jesus gave us one rule before he left us. Love. Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Seems simple enough. In all of my time born again, this still seems to be one of the hardest things God asked us to do.
I could spend days writing this but it truly is as simple as not judging others, and loving people where they are. Doesn’t mean you agree with them. Doesn’t even mean you are friends. Jesus even told us to love our enemies and to pray for them. (Matthew 5:4)
I say, go Kanye! Spread the news that Jesus died for us, tell people what God has done for you. I support you (even though I don’t care for your music).
And as for anyone who is sitting at home, or wherever, thinking that it is crazy that Kanye West could be a voice for God, who cares! Build the kingdom, support your brothers and sisters and be a beacon of light and love for those who haven’t met Christ yet. Show them who He is through how you live and love and serve. Not because I said to, but because as a Christian, that is what you are called to do. Because Jesus said so.
With all my love.