I don’t know about you but sometimes I am ‘blinded by the Light’ … I’m not suggesting that is what Jesus ever intended. But there can indeed be a self-pride that comes with salvation that brings about a sort of salvational amnesia. We forget our former lives as children of wrath and enemies of God and its almost as if our minds convince us we have always been followers of Jesus … and it makes us judgmental … OK, it makes me judgmental.
As I was preparing for my weekly breakfast with my dear friend Jim to discuss another couple of chapters in The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me by Major W. Ian Thomas, I came across this paragraph in chapter 35 … and it was quite the wake-up call … log in the eye revealing …
“Even though your neighbor lies drunk in the gutter, you can love him, not for the person that sin has made him, but for the one you know Christ can make of him once He has taken over. You know what Christ has made of you, He can also make of him.”
For me, too often, I lose the vision of who someone might become in the hands of Jesus … and only see the person in the midst their sin … totally forgetting that they have been ensnared by the devil to do his will …
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV)
I have their means of escape … and by my judgmental attitude I am withholding it … forgive me Lord!
The following passage does an excellent job of reminding me from whence I have come, how I got here and the tasks ahead of me … read and consider …
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV)
A lesson on from whence I came …
- Dead in my trespasses and sins
- Following the course of the world
- Following the prince of the power of the air aka the devil
- I was a son of disobedience
- Lived in the passions of my flesh
- By nature I was a child of wrath, like the rest of mankind
Now I certainly understand why I would want to forget all that NOT how I would forget all that.
Then lesson on how I got here …
- The merciful and loving God made me alive IN Christ Jesus
- By His grace, God saved me
- He has raised me up and seated me with Him in the heavenly places IN Christ Jesus
- So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us IN Christ Jesus
And finally a lesson on the tasks ahead of me …
- Walk in faith
- Walk in the Holy Spirit (see the first half of 2 Timothy 2 passage above and compare to Galatians 5:22-23)
- Walk in the works that God has foreordained
- Love others as Jesus has loved me … and especially as He loved me as a child of wrath
- And never forget that I am an ambassador of Christ who has been entrusted with the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)
Seems like all this is really a prerequisite for an Evangelism 101 class …
Oh Lord, forgive me for my judgmental attitude … shatter the log in my eyes and fill my heart with Your mercy, grace, love and compassion for ALL!
Take away my blindness that I may see others through the eyes of remembrance and hope!