It is important to see Scripture with the perspective of God’s character. Always. Sometimes we have to see past our interpretation, especially when it is not consistent with His character. What do we do with these verses that portray God in a harsh, judgmental light?
Another “What IF…..”, ponderable.
During the Passover celebration with His disciples Jesus states that He will be betrayed by one sitting with Him.
He goes on to say, “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
I’ve always read this with a sense of condemnation upon Judas, God’s judgment upon His actions. Yet, “What IF” in that moment, as Jesus considers what is now set in motion, He is speaking with loving compassion? What if He knows what is ahead for Judas? What if He feels for this man, a known thief who was misled, who willingly allowed Satan to define his actions.
What if this Son of Man was expressing compassion for His traitor? What if He was lost in thoughts of compassion and remorse for this man who would kill himself when he realized what he had done? What if His heart was heavy for one He considered a friend that had gone astray?
Yes, this is the character of my God….And praise this God who knows of our missteps and stands with compassion reminding us that we are forgiven, that we do not need to consider punishing ourselves, but rather are invited into His everlasting arms, embrace and love. Always!
As I consider the new year I listened for a word, a clear sounding trumpet and I heard, “the road less traveled.” This was not about M. Scott Peck’s book but rather a beautiful refocusing on my life.
What if each of us is headed toward our destination and each and every road is different? We know this to be true but we often try to merge lanes for long-term comfort or company.
What if no two roads are alike? We know this to be true yet often desire our road to be more like someone else’s, believing the grass to be greener beneath their feet.
What if our roads do overlap or run parallel for stretches of time but in our quest to hear Him and remain fully true to His leading on the unique road where we walk we find ourselves alone?
The crucible is never a shared cup, but as the cup He drank, it is individual. For us, we believe it will reveal our impurities, yet, what if in drinking that bitter cup we rather see and find our impurities removed?
What if the crucible is not the poison but brings the cure?
What if on our path and into the heat of circumstances we find that we are and always were…holy, righteous, pure, forgiven, accepted and loved?
Will we stay the course to see the impurities removed? Will we stay the course to the revelation that every impurity had been removed, at the cross, 2000 years ago and the only thing remaining to be done is to embrace and experience this truth? From this place of truth I get to be all that He created me to be – knowing it is true. I walk with conviction concerning my identity. I walk with confidence toward, and in, each storm knowing the refining effect will remove bondage and lies and free me…to be all that He created me to be.
…as the Sculptor sees within the block of stone the finished product – complete – yet needing that which is not true to the masterpiece…removed.
…as the person being tattooed remains under the painful hand of the artist, trusting that when the work is done they will be more perfect in revealing their inner self.
Will I stand or run? Will I hide or embrace? Do I trust there will be enough parallel and intersecting paths with others to encourage me when I’m scared, shaken and alone? I am encouraged as I enter this new year, tentative and with trepidation yet encased in great joy and anticipation.
I’ve just realized that the first place in the Bible where a need was revealed was with Adam as he realized He was alone. God arranged it. He brought the animals to Adam to name them…. 2 x 2 x 2 x ….. 1 as Adam looks at himself…… 2 x 2 x 2 x 1 and scratches his head.
In this realization of an unknown need – one that God reveals – that Adam was alone – we find that God had already made the answer available….in Adam’s ‘extra’ rib from which woman was created.
Such a beautiful picture repeated all through Scripture. God exposes our need so that He can be the ‘meet’ of the need.
Don’t quench your thirst. Parched is a spiritual place where He is revealed as your need-met. Drink Him in – receive from Him.