Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friend of Sinners



Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away 
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing 
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth's become so hard to see 
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me 
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded 
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided 

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, 
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers 
Let our hearts be led by mercy 
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors 
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours 

Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who's writing in the sand 
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands 
Help us to remember we are all the least of these 
Let the memory of Your mercy bring your people to their knees 

Nobody knows what we're for only against when we judge the wounded 
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did 

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, 
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers 
Let our hearts be led by mercy 
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors 
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours 

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast 
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came 
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast 
But you died for sinners just like me a grateful leper at Your feet 

'Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever 
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever 
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever 
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever 


I have spent a lot of time pondering this song by Casting Crowns.  Every word of it is so true.  It is so easy for me to just judge an unbeliever; it is more difficult to reach out in love.  Jesus didn't attract crowds of people because he was constantly judging them.  No, he reached out in love first, and then gently showed them what they were doing wrong. He alone had the right to judge them, but he didn't do it.  

Meanwhile, the Pharisees were constantly judging people, and judging Jesus because of the people he hung out with.  Two thousand years later, we Christians can tend to act more like the Pharisees than like Jesus.  

It IS easier to "stay out of it" or to avoid people who we're not comfortable with.  But God didn't call us to something easy; rather, He calls us to something glorious.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Content


You can have money, and cool friends, a ring on your left hand
But it's never gonna be enough, if you don't have love
You don't have love
You can have a fast car, a mansion, and everyone's attention
But it's never gonna be enough, if you don't have love
You don't have love, you don't have love

I heard this song on the radio today and I realized how true it really is.  The message is so simple, and yet so powerful.  We can have everything that we think we need.  We can even have everything that we want, but if we are not fully content in the love of God, we will never be happy.  

I love Philippians 4:12-13,

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

It should be announced everywhere.  We know the secret of being content!  We know the way to have joy even in the darkest of circumstances!  It is the reason why the poorest man in the world can be more joyful than the richest.  

And what is the secret? "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  That is so good to hear. I don't have to do it on my own.  He gives me strength to push through when I don't think I can.  He gives me the self-control to be kind when a sibling is getting on my last nerve.  He gives me forgiveness when I make mistakes over and over again.

What a mighty God we serve!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Better

Last week I was at Disneyland.  Yep, the happiest place on earth, as it's called.  I had a blast spending time with my family and enjoying the parks.  One night, we saw a show called "World of Color" at California Adventure Park.  It was absolutely incredible.  Streams of water colored by light shot into the air, while sheets of water formed projection screens in the background.

While watching this, my thoughts kept going back to how amazing God is.  At the time, I thought it was strange that a water performance of "Under the Sea" brought God to my mind.

That night, my mom got a call that my Great-grandpa had died. He died only a few minutes before the show began.  We had heard a few days before that he was sick, but we never expected it to be so sudden.  He lived a very long life and loved Jesus with all his heart, but it was still hard.   It was especially hard to be so happy and so sad all at the same time.

Later that night, I realized why my mind kept coming back to God during the show. I was watching one of the most spectacular displays of human ingenuity.  Technology and beauty came together in an incredible way. Still, that was only what man had to offer.  While I was watching a earthly presentation down here, I can only wonder what my great-grandpa was watching up in heaven at the exact same time.  If I saw the beauty of what man can do, the shows that God puts on up there must be far greater.

I love the song that says,

Better is one day in your courts
Better is one day in your house
Better is one day in your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

We are sad that our great-grandpa has left us, because we will miss him a lot.  But we are happy for him, because he has gone to someplace far better than any place on earth.