“Do you believe in G-d?” the man asked, as he cornered his co-worker at the door of their office. “Of course!” his co-worker answered glibly. “Are you going to Heaven?” the man pressed. “Well, yeah,” his co-worker replied.
The man then proceeded to go down the list of the 10 commandments…pausing at each one to see the reaction. He didn’t get too far before his co-worker stopped him, saying, “G-d is all about love, right? He’s not going to keep me from Heaven. G-d isn’t an angry, vengeful god”…and he walked away.
True story. Unfortunately, a good friend of mine was the co-worker and he told me this story thinking I would laugh that he ‘put this guy in his place.’ I was silent…and so the conversation moved on to other more irrelevant subjects.
This isn’t the time to elaborate on the strategy of the office ‘missionary,’…although it could probably be fine-tuned a bit. My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that he is a ‘new’ believer and zealous for others to know the truth. He’s obviously walking with G-d…therefore G-d will refine him as he grows in the Kingdom.
What I am interested in, are my friend’s responses. I know what he believes. We’ve talked about it. It involves an overall energy (god?)…rocks and crystals…psychic readings…being thankful for 10 things every morning…and a lot of self-help, flowery quotes.
Hate the sin, not the sinner.
and the beat goes on…
Over a million people gather to witness an historical event at our nation’s capital. A new President of the United States is inaugurated and cheers echo through the multitude. Chants of hope…chants of change…chants of unity and ‘we are one!’ Then a pastor approaches the podium to pray.
The prayer is eloquent. He beseeches G-d to look over our nation and our new leader. He asks G-d to give our leader wisdom, courage and strength. He prays for the new President’s family. He prays for the new President’s Cabinet Members. Sounds good, and I’m praying to G-d right along with him.
He then begins to rhyme different shades of skin with different little sayings…”if you’re yellow, stay mello” is one of them. Okay, that’s a bit odd, but okay. The crowd laughs and seems encouraged. Racism is a terribly destructive thing and I guess the pastor wants to address it in a humorous way. You can’t ‘be one’ if there is racism.
But now the pastor pleads to the Heavens that no matter where someone worships; a church, a mosque, a synagogue… that we will all stand together. My prayer immediately stops and I’m left with the question:
What god is he praying to?
Hate the sin, not the sinner.
and the beat goes on….
A woman sits in her living room watching the news while her children are doing their homework. An openly homosexual priest is being interviewed by a reporter and she sighs. Her 17 year old son picks up on her apparent disdain and asks, “What’s wrong?”
He knows what’s wrong. She has talked with him about it several times. About how the world is traveling a path away from G-d. But he chooses to challenge her anyways. He accuses her of being hateful. He accuses her of being close-minded. And he confirms that he doesn’t have a problem with the things she thinks are offensive to G-d.
The mother knows that her son will have to figure this out on his own. She knows that he has a path to walk and all she can do is pray for G-d to watch over him. And pray for the strength to stand firm and continue to teach even if her words seem to fall on deaf ears. So she calmly explains to her son, who is looking for a fight, that she loves him and that hating a sin is not hating the person who is sinning…
and the beat goes on…
In the words of my favorite singer/songwriter, Bob Dylan, “you gotta’ serve somebody”
You may be serving yourself, like my friend. Or serving a ‘no god’, like the pastor. Or serving Our Sovereign LORD, like the mom. But you have to pick a side. One side is Light, the other darkness…there is no in between.
I want to encourage all of you to stand firm and know G-d! If you call yourself a believer, show it and understand exactly who it is that you serve. You serve the God of Israel… the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… the God who created the heavens and the earth with a purpose and a plan… the God whom Yeshua (Jesus), your Redeemer and King, now sits at the right hand of.
You serve the Living God who declares exactly what He is all about in Exodus 34: 5-7
5 “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him (Moses) and proclaimed His name, the LORD”
Remember, ‘name’ means ‘character’. G-d, Himself, is getting ready to share His character with us.
6 “And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious GOD, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished…’”
G-d reveals who He is. Conversely, who we serve…and what we stand firm in…reveals our character. It reveals who we are.
The beat of the enemy is pounding in this world and we have to answer that with our own melody; a melody honoring and serving G-d with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength.
In the words of King David
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
my eyes are not haughty
I have not walked in great things
nor in things too wonderful for me.
But I have set myself and quieted my soul
like a weaned child with its mother
like a weaned child is my soul within me
Let Israel hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore
Blessings to you all!
And the beat goes on…
Author: Jennifer Ross