TITLE: Expect more......
By Jim Hutson
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"That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:47-48 (NIV)
My wife saw, in a documentary viewed on Channel 7 labeled "Tales from the heart" that L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County Executive, had a poster on his wall.....it said, "God doesn't give me more than I can handle, but He gives me the ability to hand it all to Him." or something to that affect. I was more interested in my wife's reaction than to the exact verbage of the poster.
Paul tells us that God will not give us more than we can handle. That is touted by many Christians to point out that someone isn't truly saved or isn't truly following God's will in the situation or their lives. I think it is one of the most abused verses in the bible.
God DOESN'T give us more than we can handle, true. But in this world of fallen natures, sinful bodies, and broken creation, there is a point that is different for everyone where they are overwhelmed; by the past, the present, or the incorrect view of the future. So, if God doesn't give us more than we can handle, then why are Christians overwhelmed? Because they aren't given the tools to catch and release. Or, they aren't shown how to give up to God what they themselves cannot handle.
God is LOVE. God desires nothing but the best for us and would never do anything to harm us. There is no fire and brimstone spoken in the modern Church because we simply wouldn't want to offend anyone. What if....what if we said that homosexuality is wrong, by biblical standards and statements.....why, we might turn away that one homosexual who was ON THE EDGE of salvation......because we are too judgmental and cruel.
Or that alcoholic that is fighting the disease, that porn-addict, or the sex-addict. The prideful individual who is in a situation of devastation and despair. The husband who is verbally abusive to his wife. The wife who refuses to believe that her spending habits are the cause of financial distress.
These are the people that the modern Church is trying to reach, with a watered down, dumbed down version of the Gospel which is no where near what Christ preached and commanded his disciples to continue with. But the Chrisitan view of tolerance has been so distorted that it has turned on those who described it originally, the Christian.
Am I homophobic? I would say, through the mercy of God, no. Am I an alcoholic? No, again by the grace of God. I have experienced and managed to escape alcohol,porn and their addictive natures. I have a healthy sexual appetite.
But the sinful nature I do fight, the struggles I do face, are just as sinful in God's eyes as the homosexual, the alcoholic, the porn-addict. And so, I am no more in God's eyes than they are. Everyone sins, everyone falls short, but not everyone is willing to admit that.
So what has this diatribe have to do with the reference found in the physician's gospel? What does the fact that the modern Church doesn't do what it is supposed to do; speak the truth in love with open and outstreched arms?
With great blessings come greater responsibilities. We are called, in our forgiven and grace-given status, to reach out with greater love and forgiveness to those still lost, those still in the enemy's grip.
We are called, with the full knowledge of forgiveness and grace, mercy and wisdom, to bring attention to the wayward ways of our lost brethren. Bring attention, not judgment. Too many in the Church today combine judgment with attention rather than attention with solution. We shouldn't water down the Gospel to reach those who would come, but teach it in love and understanding to those who are looking.
As Christians, we feel our sinfulness more than the non-believer because we know better. And it hurts us more when we do sin. With this knowledge and understanding, we should modify our evangelism to address this.
The sinner doesn't feel sin as badly, because they don't know any better. And it is that conviction, by the Holy Spirit (not us), that allows the sinner to realize the need for forgiveness.
And to seek it out.
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