Dead World Spinning

“If you follow Jesus, you will be persecuted.” I’ve never heard a sermon like that, and certainly never heard an evangelist close with a “come to Jesus, he awaits to give you a life where people treat you like garbage.” As I laugh at the very picture of that, I realize it would be ridiculous to expect anybody to pull off a line like that….except Jesus did.
Who wants that? I have my full quota of people who treat me badly enough; why would I willfully choose more relational difficulty and potential humiliation for my life?
That’s how I see the offer. Because my perspective is, well, warped…at best. It belies my true values, and I don’t mean the hardware store kind, I mean the kind that attaches itself like a summer tick to the skin, burrowing itself head deep…to the things of the earth.
My home is the earth. My people are its inhabitants. My values are their values of success, importance, significance. My world is this world. Yes, I’m at home here. But this casa isn’t supposed to be my casa. My citizenship is in heaven.
If I dare take on the perspective of the Kingdom, I see the world clearly…as a dead world spinning. It will pass away, God’s word will stand. Earth’s values are in contradiction with the ways of Jesus. God’s Kingdom will last, it isn’t made by hands. HIS Kingdom is written on my heart.
Of course I will take it on the chin for living like Christ. Jesus was called the prince of demons; he tells us not to be surprised when we’re called his Mini-Me.
Everything about Him flies in the face of the world’s system. Yet it’s not just evil alone in a vacuum. This kind of evil is systematized, acculturated, and all those who challenge it’s flow will be caught in the rapids. Choosing the Kingdom makes me the kid at the mall going UP the downstairs escalator…with all the disdainful looks of the riders (and the ire of the mall cop booking it from Sears on his segway at the report of the juvenile delinquent who dared break the rules). But Jesus says He has overcome the world, and we live FROM victory.
Put your eyes on the Kingdom; fix your eyes on Christ. Do not hold fast or attach yourself tightly to this earth. It’s time is short. There is a new heaven and earth coming and our reward lies there.
Give up the frustrations, the yearnings, the insanity of the earth’s system and trade it in for a heavenly perspective of this cursed blue marble and its spinning ways. Surrender your very life into the hands of your loving Father…and find it.


Forever Forgiveness

Scripture: Matthew 9 

When Jesus encounters a paralyzed man, the expectation of healing was present. “Hey, watch this! He’s been healing people all over the joint and this guy can’t walk…miracle alert!” But Jesus pulls one out of the hat and offers forgiveness to the man. Forgiveness? 

“Wait Jesus, you’re not doing it right.” Jesus just juked us. He’s waaaaay off topic here. The religiously righteous especially took umbrage. “Your sins are forgiven? Who does he think he is? God?”

I love a show, but Jesus’ “show” was not for the sake of getting TV ratings…it was to “show” who He was and is. “The Son of Man has come….to seek and save the ones who are lost.” 

Healing? No big deal to Jesus. That’s a prayer and a snap. And eventually, even if He was to resurrect a guy or two (which He did), they’d end up dead in the end. Because our spiritual condition is terminal. But to forgive sins? Now we’re in the eternal implications. Which is greater, Jesus asks, to heal or forgive sins? To fix my physical ailments works for me, let’s reverse some aging and I can quit watching those infomercials of products that don’t work. But Jesus is looking to heal something greater-that wound of the soul for which there seems no cure. Even were I a perfect physical specimen of a human, when I’m alone and nobody else is watching, if I’m honest…it hurts. I’m wounded. I’m a cosmic screw up. And it’s self inflicted. 

Jesus offers the greatest healing, the deepest freedom, the loosening of the greatest of fetters that bind me….forever forgiveness. My body will die and is dying…fact of life. But Jesus, triggered by a simple response of submission and faith in Him, reversed the course of my life-my eternal life- with a simple phrase that He backed up with His very own blood. Only One could do such a thing…”Your sins are forgiven.” 

Who does this Jesus think He is? God? You’d BETTER believe it.