Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shenanigans


Galatians 2:4 (AMP) … false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses]. (Bringing us under the life-sucking influence of that rooted in an exterior and measured performance based approach to life and living it)!

Isn’t it always the same old thing, no need of trying anything new to mislead the child of God, except for the old deceitful trickery wrapped up in a new format?

Performance based anything just doesn’t cut it when and where Love comes into play. I realize there are those who do not like the term (prefix) “unconditional” attached to the word love, but if all any of us has ever known is a love based solely upon predetermined expectations and conditions, please, don’t ever call it “love!”
Without the incursion of the furious love of God’s evaluation of our total bankruptcy, we will continue to live under the intoxicating influence of a performance based love, all the time being convinced we are loving others unconditionally.

I find it so fascinating that those who would swear (they have been raised with pure true love), what I’m trying to differentiate from, conditional love verse unconditional love, in most cases are those who are steeped in self-righteousness. Not seeing their constant state of brokenness, ergo the desperate need for a living grace.

I love what Brennan Manning has to say from his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel dealing with is matter, “Jesus, who forgave the sins of the paralytic (thereby claiming divine power), proclaims that He has invited sinners and not the self-righteous to His table. The Greek verb used here, kalein, has the sense of inviting an honored guest to dinner. In effect, Jesus says the kingdom is not a subdivision for the self-righteous nor for those who feel they posses the state of secret salvation. The kingdom is not an exclusive, well trimmed suburb with snobbish rules who can live there. No, it is for a larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle.”

The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become-the more we realize that everything in life is a gift. The tenor of our lives becomes one of humble and joyful thanksgiving. Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.”

Getting honest with ourselves does not make us unacceptable to God. It does not distance us from God, but draws us to Him-as nothing else can-and opens us anew to the flow of grace. While Jesus calls each of us to a more perfect life, we cannot achieve it on our own. To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace. It is only through grace that any of us could dare to hope that we could become ‘as’ Christ.”

Rich

6 comments:

Amy said...

Rich,
This is beautiful. I have enjoyed reading every single one of your posts. All...excellent. You are such an eloquent and vivid writer.

Hope you are having a Happy Valentine's Day!

Blessings,
~Amy :)

Rich said...

Amy,

Thanks for the encouraging words.

Yes I am having a great Valentine's Day, being a loving, serving husband to my precious but temporarly crippled wife.
She did something to her back earlier this week and has been in such intensified pain unlike ever before!

She can barely walk or anything else, so it a glorious thing seeing His total, unconditional love in operation for my precious sweetheart.

Tomorrow is our 35th wedding anniversary, another opportunity to rejoice in His continuing goodness to us both!

Blessings to you His sweetheart!

Free Spirit said...

"Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.”

Rich, I hardly know what to say. Papa's up to something bigger than I can wrap my brain around.

Rich said...

Free Spirit,

"There is no growth in Christ Jesus without some difficulty and fumbling. If we are going to keep on growing, we must keep on risking failure throughout our lives."

Free Spirit said...

And, you know what? I suspect that 'failure' is entirely
a subjective term, to us humans. It's not a Kingdom concept, at all....

Perhaps within the Kingdom, failure doesn't even really exist. Hmm...
Selah...

Rich said...

Free Spirit,


"Love never fails!"