The Fine Line Between a Pharisee and a God: Why I want to be like Jesus instead.

jesus-christ-and-pharisees-1138112-printThis message has been sitting in my heart for a while now.

As a Christian, I constantly ponder where my balance of Grace and Truth should be. My whole life, I grew up knowing the truth. I grew up in a Christian household. Being questioned about my faith is something that I am very much accustomed to. I grew up being questioned about everything I believe in. If you grew up with any kind of belief system, I’m sure you can relate to being questioned.

Back to growing up as a Christian. I have known so many different Christians. There is the unapologetic Christian, who is strong in faith in God, and no matter how society drifts, they still remain strong in the bible. …But sometimes… Sometimes they hurt people. Sometimes they add emotions…Sometimes they are not merciful and loving. Sometimes they let emotions get the best of them…Their hurt causes them to lash out and say something about their fellow Christians who are more enabling. Sometimes, they go based off of strong emotions so much so, that they get the scripture wrong. They become Pharisees. Then there is the un-unapologetic Christian, who is also strong in faith, and takes note of society and fellow humanitarianism. They still also remain strong in faith in God. …But sometimes…sometimes they get hurt over how harsh and heartless Christians can be. Sometimes they let emotions get the best of them…Their hurt causes them to lash out and say something about their fellow unsupportive Christians. Sometimes they side with drifting views that contradict the bible so much so.. that they start associating the sinner with the sin..  Sometimes, they go based off of strong emotions, and they get the scripture wrong. They associate the sinner with sin and compromise. They compromise the word, their faith because of hurt people. They become their own God. They make their own rules.

So where do we stand?
The older I get.. the more open minded I get. I used to be so close minded… I was the rude Christian.. Then in college, I went through an enabling stage. Today our Pastor spoke about homosexuality in the church, and although it was cringeworthy subject… he was super graceful about the subject. Homosexuality is a touchy subject, because there are so many linked emotions behind it. Our pastor did an excellent job of not adding anything else, besides word. He did not discuss his opinion, or preference. He spoke on what God says. That is how we should be. When mentioning homosexuality, we should also talk about alcoholism, gossip, sex before marriage, envy, greed, gluttony, anger, etc.  We are all guilty. We should disassociate sin and the sinner.  1 Corinthians 6 states: ” Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I don’t want to be a Pharisee… I don’t want to make myself a God.. I want to be more like Jesus. Jesus came and was crucified by the Pharisees. I do not ever want to make devotion a God so much so that I crucify Jesus every time I make devotion a God. I also do not ever want to compromise the word of God by enabling any sin and making myself a God by disregarding his word. So how do we prevent this kind of thinking…? We prevent this by acknowledging God, his word, his mission. We acknowledge who God is by acknowledging his absolute unchangeable love and righteousness. We acknowledge God’s word by meditating in his Spirit, all while knowing God. We acknowledge God’s mission, when we realize that Jesus was among sinners, but DID NOT partake in sin. He acknowledged truth and gave grace. We have the opportunity to carry out God’s mission. We are not to partake in sin, but be among sinners, just as we are, and rally for them and care for them just as Jesus did. We have to change the way we think. We have to deny ourselves and earthly ways each day, and love on people just as Jesus did. We deny ourselves by making ourselves living sacrifices each day.

Romans 12:1-2 
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Hope your day is great, Jesus Bless You. 🙂

 

Car Values, and such

  
Yesterday I realized something, as I was scraping off ice off of my dad’s car, that if I were to scratch it, my dad would freak out. The value of the car would decrease. I realized that’s how we see the world. Every time we mess up and every time a relationship is flawed, the value of it decreases. That’s how we see it. Every time we hear about someone messing up, in our mind, they have devalued themselves, therefore they are less valuable. But God.. God doesn’t see us like that. 

I grew up purchasing used cars with my dad, because I could not afford a new car. When we would buy, by private owner, my dad would turn into a whole different person. He would be extra assertive and and alert. He would deny any cars that have been in accidents, and would even comment on any scratch the car would have, knowing the owner would lower the price. Owners would lower prices whether they wanted or not, negotiating an even lowered value of the car. But even when you were as assertive and alert as possible, you can still get the wrong end of deal. My first car was bought fast, because I had been pressuring my dad, and it turned out the car had been in an accident and needed a new transmission. I never drove it out of town. The owner rebuilt the exterior, but what really needed to be fixed was the interior. 

Many of us can Identify with my car situation. We focus so much on putting on an aesthetically pleasing front that does not match our unhealthy, used and abused, messed up interior. So why do we beat ourselves up?? Why don’t we change? Why do we continue the cycle of wallowing in guilt, in shame, and in self pity?? Why? Because we grow up knowing that when something is flawed, it loses it’s value forever. A Car can be made new with new parts, but the owner will always know, and that’s an indicator…the car needed different parts, thus changing it’s value to being renewed to a beautiful aesthetically pleasing, yet, still damaged car. 
You might have gotten in a few accidents, maybe a few small ones, maybe a huge one that kept you from functioning properly.. But I am here to tell you that God is bigger than what we know and what we were raised knowing. His value is instilled in you, not by what you have done, but who you are. You are his, and you are loved. That’s how it is, and how it always will be. God can make you completely new. There is no need to keep beating yourself up and returning to mess. Isaiah 1:18 says: “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God TRANSFORMS you he transforms you from being red as crimson to being white as snow. He TRANSFORMS you to flawless wool. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Ezequiel 1:19 says: And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

God can change you like he changed me. He can make you new. Free from guilt and shame and fear. He conquered hell. He can conquer limitations our minds place on him. Today I encourage you to place trust in Gods definition of our value and not the worlds, and walk in faith, victory, and renewal. 

More verses on renewal :http://www.openbible.info/topics/new_creation_in_christ