There are times when living the gospel is hard.
When your husband isn't perfect.
When your daughter messes up her life and thus yours.
When your son can't read and he is fifteen.
When your house is a mess and no matter how hard you work it still looks the same.
When your weight goes up more than down.
When your purpose seems so mundane that it hurts to wake up in the morning.
When children lie, disrespect and then challenge you about it.
When friends lose it right in front of you.
When you have to stick to your guns even though you don't want to.
Yes, the gospel is hard, but I believe Jesus said it would be. Luke 14:28....Jesus talks about counting the cost. The gospel cost God the Father His Son...the gospel cost Jesus His very flesh, and separation from the Father...the gospel cost the weeping of the angels (I assume) witnessing their King being beaten and tortured. Count the cost...
The gospel is the good news. The good news is Jesus. Jesus is the exact replication of God the Father on Earth and God is all righteous LOVE. Therefore, the good news is being able to be like Jesus and speak in love..."Father, forgive them for they know not what they do"....
I know that the good news is the difference between a Christ less and a Christ filled eternity, but it is even so much more.
It is being empowered to glorify God, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to live out this good news kind of love as one already walking on the streets of gold....here on earth. That is really really good news!!!
Being able to love that imperfect husband, daughter, and son. Being able to love the work that God has given you...no matter how mundane it is. Being able to love sinful children and friends and stick to your guns---IN CHRIST!!! It is all good news, but it does come with a cost.
Dying to self....over and over again...and then stop taking about what it is that is causing this death...It is Gods' not yours anymore...if you are living in the good news.
Enduring until the end...patience, deference, consistency...over and over again...and then stop fretting over what is being endured. It is Gods' not yours anymore...if you are living in the good news.
Loving sinners...saved or unsaved...it doesn't matter....over and over again...praying not prying over their sinful or frustrated behavior. They are Gods'. The battles belong to the LORD...not you...if you are living in the good news.
Being consistent...even when you are tired, frustrated, disappointed...being steadfast for the sake of training your children, because they are Gods' first and then yours...if you are living the good news.
Am I living the good news? This radical...upside down lifestyle that has the USA and other nations in an uproar kind of good news? Let's face it...the only reason we, as believers aren't shacking up, aborting, abusing our family and friends is Jesus and the Good News!
It seems to me that living "RADICALLY" for God, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit...is hard, in the flesh, but supernatural in the Spirit. That is the Great News! Followers of Jesus the Messiah can and do live on a different plane than the unbelievers. We act differently. We talk differently. We dress differently. We sing differently. We love differently! Not as the world does, but as the Messiah did and still does! Even more Good News...Jesus STILL LOVES US and sits at the right hand of the Father...interceding for us...in Love.
When people have died and returned to life, by the will of the Father...they all speak of two things. Number one...A bright clean white light and Number two an all encompassing LOVE! God IS LOVE! Hence, because we are His--we, too, can love this miraculous way of life right here on this fallen terrestrial ball we call earth!
I believe I am writing this for my benefit, because this is really hard for me. I am so full of MYself that I can stop the flow of heavenly love by my own sin...this distresses me greatly. Being raised in a home where everyone fought and looked out for number one and number one only--and if this was done in the most sarcastic and degrading way...it was praised! I was truly filled with all manner of selfish self love one could imagine....BUT ....I am no longer that person. I am a new creation! I have a new spirit, a new identity and a new home....therefore. a new way to live....The Good News Way!
It is sad how I seem to forget this divine truth! Why? Oh my! Why would I forget this life giving truth when God has given me everything and everybody? Why do I constantly go back to my cesspool of self as a dog returns to his vomit?...when I should be dwelling and backstroking in the "I will never thirst" water every minute of every day?
SIN...plain and simple. My sin. My sin is familiar...believe it or not...even comfortable. It justifies my behavior. It soothes my temper. It creates an escape from what ails me! LIES....all LIES! satan is the father of LIES! I am choosing a fallen angel of disgrace and depravity over the only true and living Saviour and King. Stupidity seems to be a gifting given to all who follow the fallen one.
The Good News...the Gospel....The Holy Begotten Son of God...has freed you and me from our sin! We can live in love. I am not talking Hollywood romance novel movie going kind of love...that is lust...there is a difference! But the Love that comes from the Father. The love that grows when we grow in Messiah... The love that turned the world upside down with only 1 God/Man and 12 obedient disciples!
We are not sinless..even if we are in Messiah, but we are saved to live beyond this sinful unregenerated flesh and live in the Good News...which is divine LOVE. Yes, we do live on a different plane, and LOVE is the soil in which we are planted and grow.
1 Corinthians 13
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.