11 August 2016
How Can You Know Me – Closing Thoughts – By my Love
Greetings Dear Reader,
Please forgive me if I get a bit preachy this morning. I am so tired of those who claim to follow Christ failing to be recognizable by the mark their Maker demands they carry. I fail at times, but I genuinely want to love everyone at all times. I do not want to judge and condemn. That is just not my job as a Christ follower. Let me start with a true story.
There was a time when my Sons, Avalon, I, and others engaged in an annual paintball war. One summer my eldest kept trying to get the drop on me. In fact he did several times but for one reason or another I always shot him first. Perhaps it is because I have learned how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
In any event the last time it happened I said, “Hey Son…”
He said, “I know dad, you love me.”
I tell people I love them. Sometimes it makes them uncomfortable. I try to live it much better than I did in those days of paintball and family shuffling. I am so weary of anything taking precedence over us loving each other. I am weary of a world on its way to God tripping over those who claim to know him. Our benchmark is LOVE, full stop. If we do not show love to every friend, follower, neighbor, and enemy we are failures.
Dear Reader, I call on you to hold those who claim to be Christians to this standard. We need to stop shooting our wounded, hating our enemies, and crucifying the fallen. That is not our place. That is not my duty. My first duty is to love God and every human. My heart needs to be broken over the needs others (it is).
There is nothing inside the church building that can rescue you or guide you that you should not be able to find in the quiet praying guy in the next cube row. There is not a sermon, song, or sacrament that is more important than you learning to have faith in the one who came to seek you out so that he could love you.
I am just a sinner saved by grace trying to get home. I have no right to judge, condemn, or pick up a stone. None of Christ’s followers have any ground to stand on when it comes to judging others. We are to be known by our LOVE, full stop. I was the lost cause. I am an outcast. If I have any hope to find the love, grace, and forgiveness I need then I must be honest that I am not better than anyone else.
I call on my fellow followers to stop being anything but loving to the world. I call on those who do not follow Christ to hold us accountable to do just that. I do not have to accept everything as acceptable or right to do this. I can say that we all sin and that comes in many flavors and still love you. I cannot condemn, divide, and hate and love you. Saying something is wrong is not hate. Failing to see that my sin is no better than yours is lying. Denying that I need something beyond me to redeem me is a lie.
We are all on our way back to the Father through the Son. If you cannot obey the singular command to love then you need more love from me. I get that. Until you are willing to love unconditionally everyone made by God then please don’t tell anyone you are one of his. Your political position, religious sect, or social issue does not matter if it does not align with the commands to love the Father with all your heart, soul, and mind the command to love your neighbors and enemies.
I was the lost cause. I am the outcast. It bears repeating lest I forget that I was on the other side of faith headed toward a life of death and destruction. I stand by the door. I refuse to turn anyone away. I refuse to see anyone as unworthy of love, grace, and mercy.
So Dear Reader if you are one of his put down your signs, cross the lines, and love like Jesus does. If you are not one of his don’t listen to anyone who does not do this. I love you. I will fail. I will not condemn you. I will defend you from those my tribe who do. Please take an honest look at us sort out the noise from the truth.
“By this will all men know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another,” - Jesus
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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