I have faith. I love God.
I was a horrible math student growing up. Ok, let’s be honest. I was a horrible STUDENT and I still stink at math. Except for basic adding and subtraction. I like to figure out a reason for everything. Of course, I have figured out that most of the time I can’t find a reason. I have faith. I love God. When I can not reckon all the atrocious things happening in our world, I know one thing. I know that God is good.
Let’s say for a minute you accept that there is a God. (Because I know many of you don’t believe in him at all.) If we could agree that God is indeed real for the sake of argument, now I have to convince you that he is good. This is where well-meaning religious folks lose people. The first question is if he is real and he is good, how could he possibly allow the horrible disgusting atrocities that happen to innocent people? My answer? I have no idea! I only know that he is good. I believe it deep in the pit of my stomach.
I know that one way or the other the vile beings that hurt children and the innocent will be punished severely. Why? Because I know by faith God is good. If I want a little proof to back that up, I look at everything he created in nature, animals, the sun, moon, stars, and galaxy and it is beyond perfection. Often times it contains his sense of humor. Look at a flamingo; both beautiful and goofy.
Now people, on the other hand, are a whole different story. I believe that the majority of babies are precious gifts that are innocent and sweet. (I guess you could find a case that every once in a while one is born evil? Although I certainly have never met one!) Babies are precious and perfect until the adults in their lives (or not in their lives) royally screw them up. Even if a child manages to make it through growing up without a single adult causing damage, you can bet that another child or children raised not so fortunately will.
If we agree that God is good, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the opposite of good is readily available to destroy the good in people? If you are an atheist I think you and I can agree that the world is certainly not as happy as it once was. That there is anger, tensions, innocent babies and children being treated worse than trash
God is God
Is this God’s fault or is it the fault of people? God’s not doing these things, people are.
So my question is for Christians in particular. Are we doing enough? Or are we hiding in our homes and before Covid in our churches? Jesus’ ministry was in the streets! With suffering and with the broken.
New International Version
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
He Loves Everyone
He loves everyone. He loves Everyone. He loves EVERYONE!
He loves blacks, whites, Latinos, every nation, Democrats, Republicans, all religions, homosexuals, heterosexuals, addicts, prostitutes, corrupt politicians, etc.
He loves them all. Jesus wants everyone to know him. Why don’t we? I mean who do we think we are to judge people? Unless you know a person’s totality, and even then we are told not to judge.
New International Version7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I know it is common to pick and choose from scripture to accommodate and justify our actions for either. Was Jesus Democratic or Republican?
He was neither. We have lost our focus. We have dirtied up the name of Jesus to unbelievers. They see most Christians as judgemental and self-righteous. Not loving.
And honestly, as much as it pains me to say, I have felt and acted the same.
At such a time as this, it’s time to love our neighbors and quit judging them! Provide for their physical needs. Not binge-watch another show. Most American Christians are lukewarm.
New International Version
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”
What are we doing?
DO you know the onset of COVID started perfectly with Lent, then Passover, and then Easter in 2020? Did you know that Quarantine is Italian for 40 days? Next week we roll into Lent on Wednesday, February 17th. It is the 40 days that lead up to Easter.
I am a former Catholic, so I am not obligated to observe Lent, but what a beautiful way to prepare our hearts? It’s time to humble ourselves. We must turn back to God. Pray, repent, and get right. Pray for God to show you people that need encouragement and support.
Passover is March 27th– April 4th. I am married to a Jew and I love his Jewish family! I have felt such an honor to be able to observe all the Jewish holidays with them the way Christ did! For those of you who don’t know, the last supper was Passover.
We then roll into Easter on April 4th.
Guys, it’s been a year. I know we all have some COVID fatigue! I miss my family. I miss Pittsburgh!! But how will you emerge from COVID? Bitter, resentful, and worn out? Or ready, refreshed, and kind? Are you full of the Holy Spirit or have you grieved him?
The world suffers, and it is our job to love. Not hate.
“1 Corinthians 12
New International Version
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers, and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
God is Good
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.”