“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A wonderful haunting image

The images haunted me again this morning. The images of genuine righteousness.

I was leaving a campmeeting in which I had taken in much that had displeased me. The preaching was not Christ-centered. Though He is the one great champion of goodness and purity and love, His life and character and heart were not lifted up for all to see and then to return home with a blessing for their neighbors. But a menagerie of bland religious information and smiles of self-manufactured joy filled the sermons, concerts, and testimonials.

So I was leaving to go home worse off spiritually than when I had come there, happy and full of expectation of hearing something different than I had at work and among the world. I was going home again to fight the battles and to rummage through the Bible for spiritual things by myself in order to keep my faith.

My head still spinning and chock full of the benign sights and sounds of emptiness, I pulled in to get gas before leaving town to drive the hundred miles home. My eye caught a car parked off to the side, beside it standing three Mennonites: a man, a woman, and a teenage girl in their traditional in-town garb.

Apparently, they were saying goodbyes. But it was far from being our typical cool parting. The teen was overwhelmed with grief at leaving this mother and father couple. As her tears flowed and the girl and woman exchanged quiet words I was gripped by the sorrow, and my blasé mood disappeared. As I watched, I saw love expressed back and forth as the mother, fixed on the weeping eyes and following the woeful young mouth, face meeting face, and only a cubit between, the women clutching each others’ arms, I stared frozen in time. As love flowed back and forth, my heart flowed again, their hearts giving mine CPR. The intermittent hugs throughout the separation added to the display, and to my dismay.

Genuine love, genuine righteousness—how they catapult us from a world sunken in apathetic idolatry and hypocrisy! The death of self, and the loss and suffering that created the genuine article of love alone can pull us out of sin and self-sufficiency, and lead us to the great and full redemption.

Those Mennonites showed redemption to be not just some theological doctrine. The reclamation of the soul is real and the one great necessity in this short life. Wealth and luxury and power do nothing to heal the woe upon the spirit of the human race. It’s the holy, burning love, the helplessness and humility, the natural goodness and forgetfulness of self that restore man into the path of benevolence and constructive action in the world.

What I witnessed in a snap-shop, Christ declared every day, every moment. His gentle touch, His fatherly care, His love exuding from every pore of His face and body brought new life to everyone He met. His constant desire was the attraction of love to pull the hearts of the people to Him and to His Father in heaven. Their trust in Him healed their maladies and then He carefully placed their faith in God from whom the power to heal originated. The Creator was glorified and again worshipped by people full of faith.

The Spirit of God uses all of the suffering and sorrow that life shows us to guide us to the one great sacrifice that will finally redeem our souls. “He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to His own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:3-6). When, with eyes illuminated by the Holy Ghost, we are escorted into this drama of the ages, faith in God and in His plan of salvation shine forth in truth and reality. All the suffering and death this life brings us work as lesser lights leading us to the greater light of the deepest love ever comprehended.

That our Creator, the Creator, would not leave us to our vices, but yearn to have us back with Him again, in the same original love exchange that He had with us when He made us, changes us from self-protective, destructive creatures into peaceful, helpful, constructive members of the family of earth.

Not a theory, not a doctrine kept only in church books, not an abstract or a cliché, God’s redemption in Christ is real and is the foundation to the soon-closing Investigative Judgment that will produce a people that can stand before the Son of man when He comes with His heavenly hosts with flaming sword to take vengeance on them that know not God nor obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love and righteousness will change us and prepare us for the kingdom to come which will function from only this genuine love and righteousness. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5).


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

I want to thank you so much my brother David for this wonderful post. surely Love is the reason that Jesus came and died. Its because of His love that we are forgiven and are taking a trip that leads to Heaven. Once again thank you, this must have been done between you and the Holy spirit.

12/27/2011 9:19 AM  

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