2.02.2012

Called To Community?


But go and learn what this means: 
‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ 
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Matthew 9:13

"My biggest hurts in life have come from being in community. During the times I felt betrayed and rejected, I felt the brunt of expectations. I withdrew from community."
~Bonnie Gray

I wonder why it is so hard to be a Christian sometimes.
I know it's not supposed to be easy.
I expect a struggle within because of my own flesh, pride and selfishness.
I know I am at war with darkness that comes from outside forces in the world.
Still for me the biggest discouragement comes in the "ring" with those who are supposed
to be on the same side.
My partners. Brethren.
Fellow journeyers on the path.
Those who supposedly know grace but lack compassion, sensitivity and kindness.
Occasionally, common sense, clarity and reason.

 I think of the Zealots who followed Jesus, sure he was the answer and when He refused to be wrapped around their political agendas, they were shocked.

The Pharisees refused to accept Him, because He refused to conform to their religious agenda.

The Disciples were blinded by the smallness of their own perceptions and desires.

How quick we are to serve ourselves and our pet projects. How soon we embrace blindness and turn from the purity of grace, to serve lesser things.
In ways that detract from His true purpose. For ourselves and others.
His Agenda.

How we get out our soapboxes, and parade our agendas.
Deceived into believing it is His work.
How we ride through waving banners of hate, in our own self-righteousness.


Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
James 1:21



I think of the Crusaders.

I think of my own passion and zeal, and how I have been unkind.
Lacking gentleness,
graciousness, patience.
This is what I believe I am called to do:
share the truth, in love.
Truth. Love.
As He leads. Not my will but thine.

To know Him, believe Him, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him,
freely giving as I have received.
Grace.
Truth.

I don't have all the answers. I don't have it all down.
I am on a journey with a gracious God.
I never forget I am a sinner, saved by grace.
Imperfect and saintly.
Righteous through Him.
Ridiculed and Peculiar.
Learning.

Called to forgive the unlovely, the unrighteous and the hateful.
Called into a community of siblings I have not chosen, by His grace.
Purchased for an irredeemable price.
So that I might live an inexhaustible life.

How can I refuse Him?
He tells me to forgive.
To pray.
To look up at Him.
No, not there, to the right.
No, not there,at them, on the left.

Only when I fix my eyes on Him can I walk into the community He is 
making without crushing, condemning or colliding with His children.
Even when they behave badly.

My eye is on the prize.
The prize is Him.
His eye is on me!
____________________________________


I love how Bonnie put it on her Blog today:

"You see, community isn’t about belonging to a group.
Spiritual community starts with sharing your real self with others.
As followers of Jesus, we share in a kind of community that’s organic.


It grows out of living our lives in the open — because we’re learning to grow in grace and love. In other words, we trust that God is at work in each of us.
As we are.
Not as we wish we were.
Not as we once were.
As we are."
-Bonnie Gray
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 Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.
Hebrew 12:2 (Phillips)


Look to the LORD and his strength; 
   seek his face always.

Psalm 105:5


5 comments:

  1. Dawn - how I wish I could add something besides a, "Yes sister!" and a "Amen" and a "been there, still struggling with it."...thanks for the blessings are in this post!

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  2. Wow, Dawn! What a special and amazing post. At least you are aware of this - not many are. All we can do is continue to ask God for strength and help <3

    <3-Cami from First Day of My Life

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  3. Whoa -- this was A LOT to take in. Just sitting here reflecting on it. Going through something today that's a might similar to the core of this post and desperately trying to deal with it in a godly manner. This message is RIGHT ON TIME, my dear. Praise God for it...and for you!

    Grace & peace,
    Pam

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  4. Exactly! Why are we so hard on each other? I've been through this way too many times that I've actually backed down from getting close to people in church! Great post as usual!

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  5. I think it is no easy thing to be a Christian - we have to give up some things and stay on the right path when others don't. But it is rewarding. Love, sandie

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)