This is sort of one of those posts that I have with not much direction but just a regurgitation of my thoughts and feelings that I want to share with whomever may stumble upon my blog. This is not my effort to build myself up or to get people to respect me more for feeling this way about others. This is simply an outpouring or overflowing of the thoughts and emotions that God is placing on my heart at this very time and moment. These thoughts are actually not mine at all. You see as a follower of Christ we are called to live as Christ lived. To talk as Christ talked and to love as Christ loved. Over the past few months as I have lived in closer gospel community, as I have listened more and more to God, as I have read about Jesus and what he taught, I have gradually felt myself feeling some very strong feelings about the state of this world, I have also found myself looking at the world through the lens of the gospel. This is not always a pleasant state to be in. When our hearts become more and more like Christ we begin to feel some of the things that he feels. And if I had to look at myself everyday from God’s eyes I would be pretty discouraged at what I saw. But then again this is me being harsh on myself, actually God does look at me with hope, with compassion and with love. Not because of what I have done for him, not because of things I’ve said, or things I’ve prayed, or songs I’ve sung to him. No, because he sees me as his child, because he died for me, because he gave up his son for me. Because I was worth dying for. Because you were worth dying for. Because of the substitution that took place on the cross, God looks at us in our most dirty, horrendous state of fleshly being and says we are his still. Ok, I rabbit trailed a bit. Back to my original thought.
I have been thinking alot lately about my place in this world, namely my place in God’s kingdom. I have been trying to live with a kingdom mindset. But I want to confess something. I have not been willing to be bold enough to live it out. I am currently involved in a weekly missional group through church. Our group called a “cross-group” has been meeting every Monday night. Our focus is to learn to be true disciples. To truly be missional in our community. We have focused on areas such as reaching out to our apartment complexes, our families, co-workers, classmates, and anybody we meet along the way. I love this mindset, I love being missional minded and always looking for a way to live in a Christ-like way and to bless others around us. Unfortunately I am a sinner and I am a coward at times. As much as I love this thought process and this idea, I have had a difficult time getting myself to live it. To get rid of my strong appetite for comfort. I have become like this world in that I cannot go out of my way to help somebody out if I think they are inconveniencing me. Anyway, this is something that I am constantly repenting of. Something I have asked others to hold me accountable to. I want to live as Christ lived and not just think as Christ thought. I want to be a doer, a goer, a blesser, a life-giver. Thats what Christ was and is still today and its what he commands us to be.
I have noticed a trend lately in how God is speaking to me. I believe he is speaking to me by giving me a heightened awareness for those that are broken. Its all around me lately, its actually haunted me at times, its in my dreams, my drive to work, my morning coffee with a friend. Its in the sermon every Sunday morning. Its on the tv, the radio and the internet. Its the realization that satan has a hold on many people in this world. Its the turning of people’s thoughts and motivations towards things that only bring them temporary happiness. People all around us are chasing after the american dream, the temporary fulfillment in alcohol, sex, drugs, music, food, cars, clothes, movies, sports, incomes, job titles, health, marital status and on and on. A little update on my life and where I am at. I recently began a new job working as a case manager in the area of juvenile services. I am in the midst of training and have lots of training to go, but this has been a huge eye opener for me. I have been in this field for about 2 and half years now serving in various roles but it hasn’t been until now that God is opening my eyes and breaking my heart for these people that I will be serving. I admit, in the past I just worked this job to have a job, with little compassion or sense of deep gospel meaning to the work I’ve done. I am super excited for God’s work in this area and for my new role. I feel God moving in this and am standing ready to be used by him to bless these people. I talked a little about the missional community I have been involved in with my wife. Its been a great blessing. I have gone deeper with other men also which has been huge. My friend BJ and I have been meeting up for coffee on Wed. mornings and have had some rich times of just processing God’s calling in our individual lives. Last Wednesday after coffee I was sitting in my car before work outside of the coffee shop when I saw two men walking toward the liquor store. At 8am! They came walking by a little later with a 12 pack of beer. My heart broke in that moment, I wanted to get out of the car and just hug them. This is just one instance of God showing me the broken people around me and giving me compassion for them. Its been very cool to have a heightened awareness for his people like I did that morning. Last night I watched a documentary on Sudanese refugees. I cried when I saw what thousands of boys went through as they walked for five years to a refugee camp because the government ordered troops to kill them. I broke down as I watched some of these young men move to the United States and face some of the learning curves that they faced. One man named John Bol expressed his confusion about our Christmas tradtions. He asked the camera man if the Christmas tree and Santa Claus was in the Bible. He was puzzled. These refugees come to America to have a better life and end up giving up there cultural traditions and views on God for the american dream and the flashing lights and fast cars. It broke me last night to the point that I am praying about how God may include me in ministering or giving relief to refugees here in Lincoln. I just want to love others that way that he calls me to. I want to see the good in people and I want to always remember that God has paid the cost of their sins and fears, and grief and sorrow. My pastor is currently preaching through the beatitudes in Matthew 5 and I have been impacted by those greatly over the past two weeks. Jesus says in Matthew 5:3-4. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. I really want to take this to heart. I am poor in spirit when I think of the broken hearted. My heart breaks for the broken hearted who do not even know that they are brokenhearted. God has truly blessed me to be poor in spirit, to be humbled by the needs of others around me. I pray that I would be useful for the kingdom of God in bringing comfort to those who mourn. Our city is mourning, our country is mourning, our world is in mourning. May they be comforted by the grace of God. May they be comforted by the mercy of Jesus. May we all be used to be light and comfort for those around us.