June 4, 2015 by pastorjdo3
The Tuesday Group met, healing wounds, and administering care. Missing our last meeting, we comforted our group member who experienced the loss of his father. As we listened to his expression, we could hear the expressed faith, and sheer love and admiration; yielding the floor for the Holy Spirit to used each of us to speak into the life of another. The eyes of compassion, accompanied by the understanding ear of all was reassuring. In our time of grief, experiencing God through others serves as a great reminder of who God is, and how marvelous it is to be in fellowship with others that are connected not just to the divine, but to us!
The study was amazing. Starting with a dialogue about Bruce Jenner, now renamed Caitlyn, spurred a conversation that tied the last two lessons and the nights study together. Though there is much debate, even questions that arose in the group concerning Jenner’s decision, actions and God’s response, we were able to sum up all things in the lesson.
Our first text, Isaiah 43:24-25. Though Platt emphasized the 25th verse, we included the 24th to set the stage for verse 25, and to further identify with the text. “You did not buy me aromatic reeds: you did not present to me the fat of your sacrifices. Yet you burdened me with your sins: you made me weary with your evil deeds (V. 24).” Wow, each member found themselves hanging their head for the moment. As children, we can all identify with these actions. Far too many times we find ourselves not offering, not sacrificing, and not making the effort when it comes to God. We, covenant people, sons and daughters of the King, heirs to the Kingdom, blood bought, love restored and spirit filled people, find ourselves in a one sided relationship with God, often forcing Him to split time with the idols of our affection. The question was asked, “What would God say about your relationship with Him if He were talking to His friends about you? The majority of the answers were not pleasant. It turns out, that we don’t spend enough time with God. We don’t talk to God enough! We don’t return text messages. We ignore calls. We flag emails. We even store God as “do not answer” in our spiritual phones as not to be interrupted during our sinful encounters. He is often our last concern, and the object last to receive our affection. He is taken for granted!
On the other hand, we run to God any time we have need. He is our source of comfort. Our covering. Our encouragement. Our strength. Our provision. God shows the strength of His love, “I am the one who blots out your rebellious deeds for my sake; your sins I do not remember.” (V. 25) Though we fail Him; He is always reaching out to us to restore a right relationship with Him. He honors His covenant, and desires to keep us pure and righteous, not for our sakes, but for His sake. Focusing on the word “blot”, we looked at the definition, highlighting the nature of blotting in reference to lipstick; seeing how God is able to remove the layers until there is no longer the presence of the prior. No matter how much you have done, God reminds us that He is able to erase the deeds of the former to a point of no remembrance. God literally empties the recycling bend! There is no recollection of the past, because God is focused on building a relationship with us in the future.
He reminds us that we are not just rebellious to Him in our life prior to Him, but rebellious to our life currently with Him. Sin didn’t stop the moment you met God. Though we should be caught up in His love, and so appreciative of His sacrifice, we still loose battles with our flesh. Which brought us back to Jenner. How great it is to see the life of others. As opposed to spending the time making judgements about ones status with the King, we are reminded by seeing the failing of others of our own humanity and failings. We all are rebellious and need the forgiveness of God to continue. Our righteousness is not earned or validated like parking by our deeds, but are a mere reflection of our desire to display our appreciation for what has been done for us as undeserving vessels.
Luke 7:40-47 closed out the lesson. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.” (V. 47) One of the shames of the body, is that many of us have been fooled into thinking we are good people. It’s not evident in our speech, but prominent in our actions (particularly our worship). We approach the throne of grace, as though grace is not needed. Jesus said, the one who realizes the weight and the cost of their sin, realizes the sacrifice and effort of the one that sought to restore them, and goes over and beyond to express their love and appreciation. They don’t place value, the seek to display appreciation, not counting cost, but honored to sacrifice. They show an acute awareness of themselves by expressing not just privately, but publicly their love for the King. Is this you? Are you the one that loves much or the one that loves little? It’s not a reflection of Him, it’s a reflection of you, and just how much you believe you need Him!
Jesus is there to forgive. He makes himself present to us, and has given us direct access to Him. We can seek Him in our time of need and distress, and He is faithful, and quick to restore! He received her expression of love, and responded immediately by forgiving and sending her away in peace. Though we have sinned against the Lord, studying abortion, pornography, and the multitude of sinful topics we have addressed over the weeks of study, it was healing to hear that God is so willing to forgive us. Remember, we are all rebellious, and rebellion has one remedy; Repentance! And God being so loving has one response; Forgiveness!