Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Jesus says, "hey tired people, all you guys and girls who've been running around try to get better, be better, look better, think better, speak better - stop it. It's not going to work. The world has put something heavy on you that just won't work. But I've got a new thing, I've got a new way, it won't be easy, but it will be rest for your soul" (Matthew 11:28-30, sort of...)
Jesus isn't at all concerned, though you may have been told different, in you getting better. In fact, when he looks at you, you're perfect because he sees what he's already done on your behalf at the Cross. So let me rephrase that; Jesus is so concerned with you being perfect that he did everything that needs to be done to make you perfect, in his Fathers eyes anyway, so stop trying so hard to do what he's already done. Don't get me wrong, you're going to get better if you hang around with Jesus, it's just the natural reaction to being in the presence of someone who loves you perfectly, you start to be more like them. Of course the opposite reaction is also true, if you hang around with someone who thinks they're perfect but really isn't - every human in the the history of humans - you tend to get jaded and cynical and angry. (see Pharisees for more info). Jesus came to make you free, and you are indeed free from all the worldly nonsense and religious gobbledygook, if you want to take up his way and find rest for your soul from all the world is throwing at you. So attach yourself to him and see what happens.
If you're attached to Jesus you'll love better, because he loved us first. And all he's really called us to do is love others with that same love. Fortunately, you don't have to muster up that love, he gives it to you in endless supply through the Holy Spirit that he joins to you're spirit when he makes you a new creation. Don't worry, when you need to love someone, he'll give you what you need to love them.
If you're attached to Jesus you'll think better. He gives us freedom from the ridiculousness of sin that traps our minds in all kinds of foolishness. Right now you may be thinking, I have to manage this thing that I struggle with, I have to try harder not to sin, I have to do some things to make up for all the mistake I've made, I have to be careful not to let anyone find out what I'm really like, I don't want to live anymore, I don't deserve to be happy, I want that person to die, I hate... (add any lies you currently believe to this short list). Now, turn around, walk away from those lies, and think about Jesus, who he is, what he's done, what he's offered you free of charge, what he promises for you now and for eternity. (perfect son of God who gave up his life on the cross in order to set you free from the wages of sin, making you holy, spotless, blameless, righteous in your Fathers eyes, because he loves you so much and want to hang out with you and the Father and the Holy Spirit permanently).
If you're attached to Jesus you'll see better. Ok, he might or might not heal your physical vision, that's up to him, but you'll get spiritual vision. You'll start to see that he's in everything, all the time, even the stuff that is crappy. Even in the trials. He'll start to show you how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. He'll start to reveal the truth about your Father in heaven who loves you and is not angry at you because all his wrath was poured out on Jesus instead of you, he's wrath-less toward you. You'll see light in darkness, you'll see hope in despair, you'll see faith in action, you'll see joy in hardship.
If you're attached to Jesus you'll live better. No prosperity gospel here, that's no gospel at all. He's not promising a fat bank account and a nice house in the burbs. He's also not promising you'll have to go live in poverty with an unreached tribe in the Amazon. He could be offering either of those and anything in between. Really what he's offering is an abundant life in Him. He's offering you the chance to be so enamored with Him that you won't really care what you're bank account looks like or that you might get eaten by a giant anaconda in the jungle. He'll give you thankfulness and gratitude and satisfaction and assurance. Faith, Hope and Love.
Just a few things (there's lot's more) that will be better if you're around Jesus. The more you get to know him, the more it becomes true. Here's the amazing part. He does it all. ALL. He's given His spirit, his mind, his vision, his life, what more could we ask for. All the striving and penance in the world won't get you any further in what God has done completely on your behalf at the cross. The hard part is to accept this reality, that his 'yoke really is easy and his burden really is light.' His rule book really is easy, the law is fulfilled, the ransom has been payed, now love Him (don't worry he'll give you the ability to do this) and love others (don't worry he'll give you the ability to do this), and you will find rest for your soul.