But go and learn what this means:
‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
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.
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.
I think of the Crusaders.
I think of my own passion and zeal, and how I have been unkind.
This is what I believe I am called to do:
share the truth, in 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.
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.
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 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:
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.