Watered with kindness…
By Dr. Lawrence Wilkes, Crystal Cathedral Pastor
God’s kindness and redemption comes in many different forms. As we look throughout the Bible, beginning, of course, in Genesis with Adam and Eve, there is redemption immediately as they sin and come short of the glory of God as they eat of the forbidden fruit. They did what God had told them not to do.
This becomes the story of every one of us – we’ve all fallen, all come short of the glory of God, and all have sinned. But immediately – even in the story of Adam and Eve – there is redemption. God, in his deep understanding of each one of us, his beloved children, provides a way of escape…and teaches us how to grow into the people he’s designed us to be!
Prayer: Please show me, God, where I’ve fallen short. Forgive my lack of faith and obedience. Help me to trust in your greatness and to believe that positive possibilities await me as I follow you. Amen.
Reflection: Ask God to show you where you need to come more in alignment in his plan for your life. Then invite him to help you grow past your fears to new and positive possibilities that await you.
“The Church’s One Foundation”
I’m not sure at what point Christians decided to take upon themselves the task of cleansing other people from their sins. But at some point it happened: Christianity saw itself become the moral police who would call out people for their sins and institute practices such as excommunication. It became the task of each individual Christian to make people aware of their sins and bar them from participation in certain church activities such as being involved in leadership. Now, obviously if someone is involved in sinful activities that could actually do harm to someone else, those people should be barred from participation. However, we as Christians have missed a crucial teaching of Jesus‘ that often goes unheeded. That injunction was to not judge sinners, and that we should remove the log from our eye before focussing on the splinter in someone else’s eye.
Jesus was clear that when he spoke against sin, we were to take the information he provided us as a way of being self corrective instead of being critical of others for their sins. That of course does not mean we need to be guilt laden, since Jesus’ death and resurrection atone for our sins. But we are to take the commands of the Bible as ways of instilling obedience in our own lives, not other people’s. [Brandon Parks, MDIV] FULL POST
New International Version (NIV)
5 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.