I had wonderful intentions of blogging on a regular basis, but I ended up shutting down for a while. Part of it was a little bit of burnout and having a hard time putting the words down (more on that another time), and part of it was shrinking back from the recent hailstorm of hatred for all things Christian. It seemed to be coming from all angles, and the venom was so strong that I was stunned silent.
But I’m not going to be silent any more. I’m not going to shrink back. I’m over the initial shock and I’m ready to start talking about Jesus and the amazing things He has done in my life, because the Gospel is GOOD news!
Don’t believe me? The Bible says that when Jesus officially began His ministry, He announced His job description:
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as his custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
And He began to say to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-19, 21).
He was reading Isaiah 61:1-2a. He stopped at a comma though. Isaiah 62:2b continues with, “and the vengeance of our God.” That’s coming later, during His second coming, but right now we are living in the time before the comma. We are in the time of healing, liberty, recovery, and grace!
This is exactly what He has done in my life. I KNOW what I was. I KNOW what destruction I was capable of. I was so proud of my ability to make my own path, achieve my own thing. It didn’t matter if I ran over people in the process. So what if people got hurt … they shouldn’t have been in my way in the first place. I managed my life into a total mess. I talked a good talk and did my best to convince myself that I was having a blast and really succeeding in life, but that was just to cover up the miserable feeling I had way, way, way, deep down inside. And I was digging myself deeper and deeper into a pit. I SHOULD have been an alcoholic. I SHOULD have been through several failed marriages by now. I SHOULD have died a couple of times.
But He saved me! He set me free of so many problems and so many wounds that I had brought upon myself. He healed my physically, He healed me emotionally, and He finally brought total peace to that spot way, way, way down deep inside. It turns out that the deep spot is literally the core of ME, and it’s finally ok. I’m finally free to choose to NOT sin. I’m finally on a path that is leading to BETTER places! I’m not perfect, but I’m changing day by day. The change is NOT coming by following a bunch of rules. I’m changing from the INSIDE! My heart and my “want to” is changing.
We as Christians don’t always get it right. When you give your heart to Jesus your spirit is saved, but then the soul (mind/will/emotions) go through a process of change over time, as you spend more time growing in God. Some go after this with all their strength, some get stuck along the way, and some never even start the process. But people, churches, or even denominations behaving badly don’t change who Jesus is!
I’m finally a slave to something that is infinitely good, infinitely loving, and infinitely FOR me, and I don’t apologize for that. Let’s start showing people the GOOD news!