***I've had this in my drafts for about two weeks and yesterday my preacher preached a sermon on almost the same thing.***
I am in Community Bible Study, abbreviated CBS. This is a non-denominational group that studies the word of God very in-depth. As in, we are studying Genesis for a whole school year. It is very encouraging. I've never really thought very much about Genesis being encouraging, but it is.
I have always been one to always cut myself some "David" slack every time I screw up. I mean the David of the Bible. The youngest, smallest shepherd boy in his family who became a king. It was through his lineage that Jesus was born. He's the one that killed Goliath. The one that lusted for Bathsheba: Long story short-he watched her, then had her brought to him, used her, and impregnated her. To conceal his sin, he commanded her husband to come back home in hopes he would think the child was his. The man did not want to come home and would not sleep in his bed because his men could not sleep in theirs. This integrity caused David to send him to the front lines where he was killed to cover up his sin. (And you thought the Bible was boring!)
I like to think I have not done anything much worse than that...however, God has David in the Faith 'Hall of Fame' (Hebrews 11) and called him a man after his own heart. We serve a mighty God who can redeem ANYONE!!! AND He WANTS to redeem everyone. I digress!! Studying through Genesis at this slow pace has revealed to me that almost every person God did mighty things through also made some pretty big faux pas. Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Lot...and we are only up to mid-Genesis. Abraham has become as great a source of encouragement as David. And Sarah, oh my did she ever try to do things her own way!!
It reminds me that not only is the Bible full of stories of redemption, I am a story of redemption!! It is amazing that I am the person I am today when I know the person I was 20 years ago. You wouldn't have liked me much then, I did not like me much back then. I took a huge turn from pretty good kid to doing everything I could think of to sow my wild oats. Okay, I was still likeable, but I was not making any wise decisions about life. I am a miraculous work of God. AND, I'm not even anywhere close to finished-He will continue to grow me and make me a better person.
Sometimes I see other Christians really look down on others. REALLY judge them harshly. "That guy is nothing but a drunk!" "He is a dopehead!" "She is a total slut!" IF we have professed Jesus as our savior, we are holy and blameless. Our sins are separated from us as far as the east is from the west...sunrise, sunset.
I am so glad that the labels people might put on me or others can't stick. I am who God says I am. God says I am HIS and I am forgiven. God says all people are WORTH IT! All of us are His and it is our job to be a part of helping Him draw all of His children back to Himself. We won't ever do that by hating, hurting, guilting or labeling. We will do it with love, mentoring, and discipling AFTER we have bothered to build a relationship.
My life here on this earth may just be a vapor or tiny blade of grass, but my life still has a call on it. A call to love other people as much as I love myself. To love others with the love of the Lord.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.