Daily Devotions

God Ain’t Fair. Thank Goodness!

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"Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

 

I do not believe in fairness. I do not believe God believes in fairness either. If God was fair, none of us would be acceptable for eternal salvation. Thankfully, God takes into account the life we’ve been handed. I’ve often said, we are not all judged by the same criteria.

 

When people make moral judgments, or some Christian groups demand the same type of faith commitment in order to be “saved,” they do not understand God’s individual relationship with each of us. God’s goal is not to find ways to condemn, but to seek ways to redeem. If you have been raised by a mother who was a crack-head prostitute, God’s expectations will be less than someone like me, who was raised by a loving mother and grandmother, who were committed to the Christian faith and insisted on Church participation. Actually, having the same faith expectations for both of us would be truly unfair. As Luke 12:48 states, “For everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.”

 

I watched a documentary not long ago about adult survivors of childhood abuse by priests. Most were molested in their church buildings. Even after years of therapy, many of these individuals are unable to overcome their fear and distrust necessary to return to the Church. If regular confession, absolution, and the Eucharist are a requirement for salvation, then these individuals are outside the realm of salvation. But anyone with a sense of divine justice knows this is horribly inappropriate. These poor souls should not be forced to reenter the hell they were forced to endure at the hand of leaders they should have been able to trust. God understands and accepts them where they are in their process of healing.

 

Today, offer a prayer of thanksgiving that God is not fair. Think about the many blessings in our life and give thanks. Then, consider the challenges that you’ve had to face in your life. Thank God for the care provided that allowed you to face and overcome previous adversity. Finally, ask God to soften your heart. All of us have misconceptions in need of review and change. Ask God to provide you with the wisdom to heal from past issues, and reach out with confidence in areas of strength. Above all, never give up on the love of God

The Spirit Within

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“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

 

You are holy! Everyone is holy! When the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, about thirty-some years after Jesus’ death, the Jewish community had nowhere to look for the presence of God. The holy of holies was destroyed and so was God’s presence in the world, according to the ancient Jews. Yet, with the advent of this Jewish sect, later known as Christianity, God no longer dwelled in a building, but in the human soul.

 

The Apostle Paul is reminding the faithful of the Spirit’s presence in their individual souls because the Corinthian Church is in conflict. They are treating each other disrespectfully. Paul knew that if they recognized each other as holy bearers of God’s Spirit, then they would treat each other graciously, and attempt to honor one another before reacting harshly.

 

Through the years, I’ve had a number of church people under my care who have spent time in prison. I’ve visited any number of jails and prisons through the years. Some of the individuals have been darn hard to care about. Some of their crimes have left me sick to my stomach and often feeling personally insulted as I had been lied to by most of them. Yet, providing God’s care isn’t simply about my feelings. Even those who have committed the most heinous crimes have, somewhere in the far reaches of their soul, the Spirit’s presence. It is our task to reach out and bring the Spirit back to the forefront of their soul.

 

Today, take a moment and pray for someone you personally struggle to accept. Then, pray for someone in your history that you couldn’t stand. Finally, spend a few minutes offering God your personally confession. Each of us have hurt others and have been a disappointment. There are probably some people who view you  and me as the despised. Sin is evaluated in degrees. Those I’ve known in prison have a higher degree of sin, but all sin separates us from the Spirit within our souls. All of us are in need of renewing our relationship with the Spirit within. God bless you as you turn back to the God who dwells within.

 

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