I hope that you all are finding this entry well. It has been a while since either Lance or I have blogged. I apoligize and want to say that it is not because I do not think about this website, on the contrary. I have been wrestling with some themes in my life and have been trying to walk with some brothers in accountability. Needless to say, I have a wife and three kids and a full time job along with all the other responsibilities that come along with being husband, dad, deacon and ministry leader.
That being said, I was at our Wednesday night service last night and one of are pastor's preached on the Beattitudes. Three of the themes were Mercy, Peacemakers and the pure in heart. His challenge was for us to pray for one of those attitudes in our life if it were lacking. Again, as I said previously, I have been trying to walk with two brothers in accountability and at times catch myself (with my discernment) actually judging the situtation instead of being merciful and realizing that they are broken and in their sin. That it will take more than them just confessing their sin and abstaining from it and to work toward repentance and sanctifcation.
Here is the thing, we can hold absolutely no one in accountability if they so choose to lie and/or avoid us. This is when it hit me. The whole thing that the World keeps forgetting and we as Christians choose to avoid. When there is judgement every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Whether you are an agnostic, athiest, "cold" Christian, "luke-warm" Christian or on fire for Jesus type of Christian. If you name is written in the book of life then your actions will be judged and tried by fire. WOW! If that isn't enough to make you get down on your knees then I don't know what is.
Romans Chapter 2 puts it this way: " 1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. 12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
So there it is, God will judge the secrets of men through his Son Jesus Christ.
The hardest part for me tonight to pray for is Mercy. I want to exude all eight attributes of the beattitudes. There are times when my life models some, but I really want to be merciful all of the time. After all, it isn't up to me to judge, but to serve. To come closer to God, so that He will come closer to me.
By the way, the eight Beattitudes:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."