When Jesus was visiting the home of a Pharisee named Simon a woman washed His feet with her tears, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. Simon was repulsed and referred to her as “[that] kind of woman” and a “sinner.” Who do we most identify with in this story? I think most church people identify with the Pharisee and for this I have a theory.
Recently, I had trouble going to sleep. I finally feel asleep only to wake up early. Why? I was replaying a scene in my head where someone had been offended and I was the offender. Maybe you can relate. You replay the scene like a choose your own adventure book. You relive the moment but this time, in your thoughts you say the right thing and do the right thing. If only we could change the past, right? Better yet, if only we could forgive ourselves. What if I told you that forgiveness is giving up the fantasy that the past could be any different.
Romans 6:1-7 (NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Salvation is not limited to any temporal aspect. It is not limited to any specific time and place. Salvation is all encompassing. Salvation is through Jesus Christ and includes the past, present, and future. To help us connect salvation to the past we will refer to it as our justification. Salvation in the present is our sanctification and salvation in the future is our glorification.
“…One of the deepest longings of the human heart is to be known and loved unconditionally,” says Ruth Haley Barton as she begins chapter six of her book Sacred Rhythms. A common desire among us is that we want others to be authentic and transparent. A byproduct of this desire is that it requires that we be open and transparent with others. We want people to “be real.” We also want to be known and loved for who we are. We fear though, that if we act as we want others to act with us, with openness, then they will reject us. Being open opens us up to unwanted ridicule and judgment.
(This post is based off content originally posted at thepalmerperspective.com.)
Look at these headlines:
- Teacher Says ‘Higher Power’ Told Him To Attack Kid On Skateboard
- Mom Allegedly Tries To Drown Son In Puddle Because Jesus Told Her To
- Attorney: Women Thought God Told Her To Kill Her Sons
Because of those type of sinister events our minds tend to be suspicious when we hear someone say, “God spoke to me.”
We are groomed to be that way.
Let’s be clear, if God speaks to you he will not ask you to harm someone else.
Also, I know with that statement that there is an assumption that God speaks to His people. Know this, you do not need to hear an audible voice from God to hear him speak. I believe that all followers of Christ want to experience God in profound ways. I also believe that most people want to be able to discern events, and the times, and what they should do with their lives. I think this is generally true, whether they believe in the same version of God as you do or not; whether they hear an audible voice from God or not. Continue reading
You may wonder, “How do I build healthy relationships that last when I feel so broken? My relationships are broken because I’m broken.”