What Makes Me Hard to Love?

Charlie 012220Well this isn’t going to be fun, but I feel the need to write out a self-evaluation.  While reflecting on some recent events I was reminded of the following flaws in my personality:

  1. I expect others to do the right thing. When they don’t, I want to be the one to tell them they screwed up.  (In love of course!)
  2. I have no trouble pointing out the truth of situations, but I forget few want to hear it.
  3. I seek perfection in others, and though I try so hard, I overlook that I too come up short.
  4. I do to others what I am want them to do to me, but I have learned not everyone knows that rule.
  5. If I’m willing to listen to you, I expect you to listen to me.
  6. I tend to “nick pick”, because I think people should do everything the way I do it.

I could go on I’m sure, but this hurts.  Looking into a mirror, that sees deeper than the exterior, is hard to face.  When you see who you really are, you wonder, how can anyone love me?  Then, you might ask, how can God love me?

When God first made man, he was perfect.  But God refused to have robots obey commands to choose him, so he gave man “free will”.  It was the only way to see who would love him, because they wanted to.  God first loved us, even though that “free will” opens the door to imperfection, and makes us hard to love, he loves us anyway.  There is no means to measure, or weigh how much God loves us.  Love, is God’s core nature.

But just how does God do it?  Love us even though we are hard to love?

He looks at us through rose colored glasses.  The ones that were stained, by the blood of his son, Jesus’ when he died on a cross to forgive us of our sins.  I would be more lovable if I saw others as God does.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Perfect

Charlie 234Perfection, is a difficult thing to achieve, for those who even try, but somehow, Jesus managed to pull it off.  His accomplishment has always intrigued me.  Many times I have wondered, If Jesus can do it, then why can’t I?  I now have my answer.

As I have studied the life and ministry of Christ, there are some consistent points he focused on:

  • Jesus was in constant communication with his Father, who just so happened to be God.
  • Jesus kept the will of his Father in the front of his mind.
  • Jesus only did what he had seen his Father do.

This kind of focused life got Jesus killed.

Ouch!  But God knew that would happen and was used by God to have a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  The very goal of sending your only Son to earth.

So if I achieved perfection, even for an hour, or a day, would it kill me?  No, but would it kill me to try?  If I prayed more I would know every day the will of God, and hopefully do what I knew my heavenly Father would do in all situations and in all conversations.  Dying to myself won’t forgive anyone of sin, but perhaps, it might lead others to Jesus, who can.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

WARNING!

Charlie 106Here in the Philippines, they print pictures on the packages of cigarettes, that show what could happen if you smoke.  Is it effective?  I don’t know, but I don’t see a lot of smoking going on.  Of course that could be due to the cost of cigarettes.

God told us, in his word, what would happen if you sin – death!  Is it effective?  I don’t know, because I see a lot of people sinning, including me from time to time.  God also showed us what our sin cost – the death of his only Son, Jesus.  You can pay for your sins, or accept Jesus’ payment.  It’s up to you.

”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23 AMP)

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Your View

Jesus 1

“Jesus” by Titus (age 6)

Your view of Jesus has a lot to do with how close you are to him.  Is your knowledge of the Son of God first hand, or secondary?  Do you look at him from above, therefore looking down on him?  Or is your perspective from his side, as if equal?  Perhaps one should look at Jesus from the foot of the cross.  Feeling crimson forgiveness of sin drip on you.  Hearing deep gasps of air as he spoke his last words.  Smelling the stench of death waiting in the wings to take him.  Watching the Savior of the world, arms opened, exhibiting love, even in death.

He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” (Mat 16:15 MSG)

This is the truth about who Jesus is; He is the Son of God, the only one born of a virgin, who fulfilled 400 prophesies concerning the Messiah, who healed the sick, the lame, the hurting, who spoke truth, and was without sin, therefore being the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, who died and was resurrected three days later whether this is your view or not.

We will all stand before Jesus one of these days, and he will ask us the same question, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”

 Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Forgiveness

Boulder 1Exhibiting true forgiveness, allows you to be in the presence of the one you forgave.  The same goes for God.  That is why accepting Jesus, for the atonement of our sins, is so important.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Confession

20180618_161958Confession:  I have never been inside a confessional booth.  I grew up in a church where doing so was not part of our spiritual practice.  I am at a temple where there is one.  I am writing this blog post while sitting inside it.  Not intended, but in order to see I brought a small, but bright LED light.  It is casting such a white glow I think it scared a couple checking out the temple.

Here I sit, in this small, wooden structure.  It smells old, musty, perhaps from tears soaking the carpeted board beneath my feet.  There is carpet on the walls as well.  I guess to absorb the sound, but aren’t confessions meant to be heard?

I think there is also supposed to be a man in the booth next door.  A man to hear my sins?  My wrong doing?  What if he is actually a newspaper reporter?  Wait, when Jesus died on the cross, didn’t his selfless act of love cut out the middle man?  After all, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom.  The veil that once separated man from God.  Now Jesus is our High Priest.

I guess while I am in here I might as well start talking.  Heavenly Father bless me.  It has been 23 minutes since my last confession.  You remember.  Oh, you don’t?  Then maybe I should choose to forget it also.

Now, I confess all my sins.  The ones that denied you, dissatisfied you, destroyed me and demolished others.  The sins that dishonored you, discomforted you.  The ones that would disqualify me from your presence, if it were not for your Son.  The sins that diminished others, disgruntled my employers, and devalued my wife and children.  And don’t forget the one that deflowered me before I was with the proper one at the proper time.  The ones that delayed me from being obedient unto you and your plans.  I also confess the times I digested things that defiled my body, your temple.  The words I spoke that derailed others on track to finding you.  The times my actions denounced you.  The sins that I allowed that wound up discouraging me and damaging my faith.

Forgive me Father.  I ask for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for not deleting my name from your Book of Life.  Thank you for forgiveness, and for your Son, Jesus who gives life through his death.

Now what do I do Lord God?  “Go and sin no more.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Can You Stand Naked before God?

Garden 21

Photo by Michael Wall of Wall2WallFoto

Feeling uncomfortable right now?  I know I did, at first, when I asked myself that question.  Ironically, I was about to step into the shower when the thought came to me, but then my thoughts soon turned to my current reading in the book of Genesis.

God walked through the garden.  He was looking for Adam and Eve.  He called out for them.  They hid after doing their best to cover up their nakedness.  It wasn’t their bodies they were ashamed of.  It was their sin.  Adam and Eve had disobeyed God.  You see, when the presence of God shows up the Holy Spirit convicts.  What matters is how we react to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

People still sin today.  They still disobey God.  They still try to cover up their sinfulness. They try to hide.  But I tell you the truth, God searches diligently for you.  He calls out your name.  To point His finger at you and condemn you?  No!  To love you.  To forgive you.  To cleanse you, if you will let Him.  You see, for Adam and Eve, God spilled the blood of an innocent animal to cover their nakedness.  For you, He allowed His innocent Son’s blood to be spilled to cover you.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.  (Rom 5:8 AMP)

When you accept God’s forgiveness, there is no problem standing before Him naked, for you no longer have anything to hide.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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