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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Get Off the Not-So-Merry-Go-Round

So often, we Christians get tied up in knots, chastising ourselves for not being missionaries or preachers or some kind of Super-Christian. We live on a vicious merry-go-round of self doubt, self blame, and a kind of fearful paralysis. It's when we are in that state that the unbelieving world looks at us and infers that being a Christian is dull, drab, and even depressing.

{Pulling a "Paul" here} Do you not know, brothers and sisters, that Jesus came to give us LIFE and that to the FULL? Does the above merry-go-round sound like real life to you? Hell no. And I use the word fittingly because that merry-go-round is straight out of Hell. The enemy of our souls wants us all down and depressed, looking like we were baptized in vinegar and just lost our last friend. When we are in this state, we don't do the good we could be doing. We don't love the way we could be loving. We aren't fruitful…and that makes us feel even more depressed. The merry-go-round goes round again. But, brothers and sisters, this is NOT what God wants for you.

It is for FREEDOM that Christ set you free. Sure, some are called to be pastors, preachers, missionaries, and teachers, but NOT ALL. If we were all supposed to do those callings and those callings only, who would harvest food, build homes, and…uhm write fantastic fantasy novels???? {sorry, couldn't resist that last}

Just go do what you do, but do it for the GLORY of God. Let Christ shine in you wherever you are and your life becomes the pastor, preacher, missionary, and teacher. Walk with your chin up and a smile on your face because Jesus died for you and rose for you and has been building a SWEET home for you in Heaven all these years since He left!

Sure we screw up sometimes. Sure we don't live up to God's expectations and a whole host of other imagined expectations of us. That's where God turns on the firehose of Grace, and says "I died for all that. Go, and live. Turn from sin and be fruitful."

In case you have some doubts still, recall that God's purpose for mankind really hasn't changed since the beginning. When God put Adam and Eve on earth, He told them to go be fruitful and multiply. He wanted to witness His creation LIVING LIFE. Then, after the great flood, God told Noah the same thing: be fruitful and multiply. Fast forward to New Testament doctrine, has that changed? No! Jesus came to give you life and that to the full. Does that sound like sad-sack, schlep-rock Christianity? By no means!

Can you show me the New Testament scriptures that command us to walk about in a constant state of fear, mourning, and regret? Where in the gospels are we told to hang our heads low, moaning about what we've done or aren't "allowed" to do? No, you can't because it's not there. Instead, Jesus calls us "friends, sons, ambassadors, saints, set apart, loved, and free." Go forth, be fruitful…live.

Perhaps, if we did, the world would come running to Jesus. Perhaps, if we did, Christians would be more united. I think half the time when Christians bicker it's because one side is so depressed about what they perceive as their own list of DO NOTs that they bark at the other side to make sure they are just as miserable. Get OFF that merry-go-round, people and LIVE. 

Like the loving father that He is, God wants to watch His kids play. He wants to see our hobbies, our jobs, our quirks, our dreams, our successes and failures, and all our many relationships. He wants to see us live while we're alive. Go today and live. And then, do the same thing tomorrow. Get off the merry-go-round of misery and let it rust into oblivion. Live to the glory of God.