Unfailing & Unchanging Love

5.24.2012

I know that before I even start this post that not everyone who reads it will agree with my words. And that’s okay. As I said in my previous post, this is my blog, therefore, I have the right to say what I think and make no apologies for it.

For the majority of my life, I would consider myself a Christian, but it wasn’t until the latter part of my freshman year at Appalachian I would have called myself a “follower” of Jesus Christ. To some, the two may be synonymous, but to me, the way I live my life as a “follower” is much different then before I became one. I won’t go into details or my testimony, but please feel free to read it. Also, I truly believe that a person's testimony is ever changing, so though that was mine several years ago, there is so much more to it now...

My college Pastor used to say that church people were crazy, and though I would laugh with the rest, I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant. We were in church when he said it and we were people. Odd. But at that time, I was very much in the safety bubble that a small college town provides. I had certainly met people from all walks of life, but my closest friends all went to my church and we all believed the same thing and thought along the same lines. Now, being a full-fledged adult (unwillingly at times), I get it. Too many times "church people" are the ones that want to deliver rules and guidelines to having faith. They're the ones that sit pretty in the pews on Sunday, but live lives that don't mirror the words that they should've heard while sitting there.

We all know people like that and we also know the ones that want to make sure you've checked all the boxes and read the fine print before you sign the line to follow Christ. Those people bug me. Though I adamantly and 100% believe there is only one way to Heaven (John 14:6), I believe there are many ways to get to that point. Some people grow up in church and Sunday school and don't make the learning process any harder than it has to be. Others may go down a road that proves to have snags and potholes and bumps of various shapes and sizes. It also might be a road that is longer and windier, but it’s still a road that leads to Christ. If I’ve learned anything in my 26 years on this earth, it’s this; people are different. But we’re all the same different. We all walk down the road of life and no matter what our road presents, it’s the road that God laid before us. That’s the thing about God that is so incredibly different than us. He is patient. He realizes that for some the road that leads to living a life for Him may be longer and harder than it is for others. He waits. Whether we are walking or running, He keeps stride and waits until we’re tired of doing it on our own.

Patience is one thing most of us of the human persuasion lack. We lack patience with one another and we certainly lack patience with God. If we meet someone that isn’t living their lives just as we believe they should (no matter how well placed our intentions are) we want to rush them down that proverbial road I mentioned. We want them to see that if they don’t turn their lives over to Christ immediately, it will be fire and brimstone and only an angry God that awaits them. But what if God’s will for them is to keep going down their road? What if there are still things they need to walk through and experience before they can truly turn their lives over? Then what? Do we chalk them up as a helpless cause? Too often times, that’s what happens, but it shouldn’t. What we need to do is give back what was given to us so freely; love and patience.

Love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), and in order for someone to care that sin makes God angry (Psalm 7:11, John 3:36), they must first care that His love and mercy for us far outweighs His anger (Micah 7:18-20, Romans 5:8). Only a God that loves deeply and unfailingly would willingly send His only Son to die to save all that believe in Him. If the bible said nothing else about God’s love for us, John 3:16 alone would allow me to know that God’s love is above all else.

There is a Rascal Flatts song, Unstoppable, that I have always believed to say it best;

Love, it can weather any storm
Bring you back to being born again
Oh, it's a helping hand when you need it most
A lighthouse shinning on the coast
That never goes dim…
Love is unstoppable

Now replace the word “love” with “God.” That is the God that people need to know and that is the God we all should be serving and striving to emulate while here.

I know this was somewhat lengthly and rambling, but it's been heavy on my heart that people know the love and grace of God.  Living a life for Christ shouldn't be about strict rules and unreachable standards, for we all fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:23-24).  And we would all do well to remember that God didn't send His Son into the world to condemn it...
 
...but to save it.
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7 i love your comments!:

Bethany Scruggs said...

AMEN! :) LOVE this.
So, you need to get a button so I can post it on my blog!!

short stack said...

<3 you!

Casey said...

Amen, lady! May His grace abound to us and save us over and over! ...and all our friends, too :) Just discovered your sweet blog and your sports blog, which, I have to say..was so excited about! Can't wait to read more in fall {hopefully!}. Have a great day :)

the lovebirds said...

this is lovely! Thanks for sharing. That quote is great at the end! xo

LBR said...

love this friend :)

Kristin said...

Oh wow. I have been having discussions on this very topic with anybody who will listen and engage lately! It's so frustrating to be connected with the label "Christian" when many, many "Christians" (here in the south especially) simply give Christ a bad name. How can we break that mold? How can we love so hard that they see beyond our label to our hearts? How can we show them Christ? How can we live in order to be far far away from the legalism and rules that dominate the Christian culture.- If only I knew the answer. - Anyway, just happened upon your blog for the first time today, and am SO glad I did! Look forward to reading more!

With Glitter On Top said...

love the rascal flatts song, such a great blog you have here :) please come check mine out some time :D

 
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