Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A season of Hope?

Our problem:

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.  For your hands are defiled with blood And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken falsehood, Your tongue mutters wickedness.  No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth. Their webs will not become clothing, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And an act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil,  And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace. Isaiah 59:2-8

Our solution:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;  he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1

Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth;  And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;  You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ Isaiah 58:8-9

So here I am, it's nice to see you again.  Yes, I know I am a bad blogger.  I'm sorry for that, and really I only have myself to blame for this.  But enough of that, let's get to the meat of today's post. 

I suggest everyone read the book of Isiah, if you already haven't.  In my opinion, it's one of the more deep books in the Bible, because Isaiah doesn't shy away from either himself or humanity and our relation upon standing in the face of a Holy God.  We fall short in so many ways.  And it's that difference of who we think we are, versus who we really are in the sight of God that Isaiah gets.

I guess in this world of self-help and wanting to hear how good we are, this is a stark contrast.  Because, let's be honest.  Anyone that says "I want to hear how bad I am" is lying- you and I know this.  But it's truth.  Truth that hurts.  Truth that causes pain.  Truth that cuts to the core of who I really am. 

As I sat here in quiet to collect my thoughts, I was drawn to a sermon I have linked to my browser.  I am attaching it below.  It is from Art Katz, and it is very convicting.  It's from a sermon called "And They Crucified Him", and his point is simply, we fall short.  Even our "best Christians" fall short of the plan of God.  Looking at what the Apostles went through, we fall short.  Even though we have every advantage concievable (such as most people have an idea who Christ is whether they believe or not, or that many of us live in such a manner that we can give to others both time and money), we fall so short of the mark of Christ, it's silly.  And that point emphasizes the idea that I stated above, which is simply "we are not who we think we are." 

Don't be deceived.  You are not ok.  I am not ok.  This world is not ok.  It's a corrupt, defiled, worthless piece of crap, and we, who are just as corrupt, just as defiled and just as worthless, are stuck right in the middle of it.  It's no wonder that Jesus tells us to store up our treasures in Heaven.  Because as far as I can see, whatever you get here on Earth is worthless.  Worthless.  Has no value.  None.

This is a different take than what you typically hear at Christmas.  "The season of Hope."  It sounds kind of hopeless.  And I guess that is what makes Christmas so amazing.  Not the whole presents thing.  Not the magic behind Santa- if you believe that.  Not even that Christ came.  No, the amazing thing is that God even entertained the idea to come.  We are so screwed up, this world is so screwed up, the fact that God even entertained the idea is profoundly amazing in itself.  And yet He did.  That's the Love your Creator offers, and the same Love we take for granted, because "we are ok." 

So I guess the obvious question now is what do we do with this?

Stop here and watch the video.  And I'll pick up in a second.

It's funny that this blog comes out right before Christmas.  I didn't plan it this way.  Really, I didn't have a plan to begin with.  A season that is supposedly filled with hope brought me this message.  Kind of ironic if you ask me.  And yet the truth offered here is real.  We are full of ourselves.  A false sense of hope that is offered when one is not honest with themself. 

I wonder what Christ was thinking when he finally arrived as a human.  Maybe it was something like, "What have I gotten myself into?"  At Christmas, we celebrate His birth, and the love He brought that led to the Cross.  However, without the Cross, what's the point of Christmas?  I mean, does it even have a point?  So, even now right in the middle of Christmas, it's the Cross that's still the message.  And it's our inability to pick up our own crosses and follow Him that's still the problem.

So I asked you earlier, what do we do with this?  I'm not sure about you, but this is a tough message for me to read.  Cause truth hurts.  And this is Truth.  I have some choices that I as an individual, and that my family, as a family, have to make in the near future, that could completely re-shape the way, the how, and the where we function as a family.  I need God's wisdom and leadership to do this.  The only way to get that is to acknowledge the above, and acknowledge the Love He shows me, and humble myself to the point where God can use my family to do what He wants.  It is only through that I can ask him for guidance, because I cannot do it on my own.

As far as you are concerned, my advice to you is to seek His face.  Humble yourself, just like He did when He became a man, and take up your cross and follow Him.  Cry out to the Lord.  Ask the Lord to guide your steps.  And do what He commands you.  Don't just sit around and wait on God to put neon signs in your front yard.

There are commands in the Bible right now that "Christians" do not follow.  Take care of orphans and widows, for example. Love your enemies.  Those are just a couple of commands right off the top of my head.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas

No comments:

Post a Comment