Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just Keep It to Yourself

The other day, someone posted something on Facebook that began, “I am a Christian…”

It went on to express an opinion in a way that communicated love and a willingness to talk about issues without judging or condemning others or engaging in name-calling.

Of course, someone replied who stated they were not a Christian and did not believe in the Bible. “Live and let live,” she wrote, “and stop condemning others. Just keep it to yourself. That is all I ask.”

“Just keep it to yourself.”

I’m going to have to respectfully decline that request.

As a Christian, I believe God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, our God not only created all the glorious, awesome wonders of the universe, he spoke them into being!  “Let there be light,” He said. And there was light!

From each and every atom and proton and neutron and quark—from things so small no microscope has ever viewed them yet they make up the very substance of everything in the universe—to the insects  and the birds and the fish and the plants and the mammals, to the oceans and the mountains and the sweeping plains where they live—to this big, blue ball of atmosphere and water and minerals—to the solar system—to the galaxy spinning in space among an infinite number of stars and asteroids and comets and planets and other galaxies—He made them all!

All of this He not only created, He designed all in beautiful and miraculous ways. From the precise distance of the earth to the sun, to the incredible properties of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, to the amazingly-engineered DNA molecule that holds the code to every living thing on the planet, to the precise mathematical formulas that run back and forth through all sorts of living creatures, to the absolutely stunning miracles of all life’s interrelation and dependence on all other life on the planet that cannot be explained away by any number of billions and billions of years of random chance—He made them all.

But there was one thing he did not speak into being:

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7 NIV)

With His own hands, He formed us in His likeness.  With His own breath, he gave us life.

He designed us to love and be loved. He designed us for a perfect relationship with Him.

But evil came along and we decided, of our own free will, that we would rather be god than let Him be God.

Whether atheist or Christian, whether Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim, all of humanity agrees that human beings are flawed and imperfect. We all know something is just not as it should be.

But as Christians, we believe that God had a plan to restore us to the perfection for which we were designed from the start.

Only Christianity teaches that God Himself restores us to relationship with Him. Only Christianity teaches that God Himself would take on flesh and allow Himself to be tortured, mocked, beaten, and unjustly murdered to balance the scales of perfect justice and restore us to the relationship He designed us for.

Only Christianity teaches that simply believing and having faith in the One who died for us saves us.

Only Christianity teaches that the very Holy Spirit of God will come to live in us when we believe that.

Only Christianity teaches that the presence of the Holy Spirit is our guarantee that we will live forever with God in perfect harmony with Him.

Only Christianity teaches that God knew all of this all along and He had a plan from the beginning.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1: 1-3 NIV)

And the name of the plan is Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Only Christianity has grace.

Only Christianity has Christ.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17 NIV)

So, no, I cannot and will not condemn anyone because I am no better than anyone. No one is perfect. No one is blameless. We have all committed that sin of trying to make ourselves our own god.

We all need Jesus.

That is why I cannot keep silent about Him. I cannot just keep Jesus to myself.

For to not speak of Jesus is to condemn you to a life without knowing the love, the mercy, the grace, the incredible joy that lives and moves and has its being in Jesus Christ.

So please excuse me if Jesus makes you uncomfortable.  I would humbly ask you to consider that maybe, just maybe, what makes both of us uncomfortable about Jesus is not what we see in Him, but what we see in ourselves.

Today’s Praise

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. (Acts 5:42 ESV)

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