Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene.
Funny thing about people. We are quick to praise or brag about all the good things in life that happen to us. Usually, we claim that we are deserving of all the good things due to our own efforts while we are just as quick to blame or curse God for all the bad things that happen to us.
We live in a world of self promotion and denying responsibility for our actions. If a mistake is made, it is always someone else’s fault. A boss blames his secretary, a manager blames a lower ranking employee, a parent blames a teacher, and the list goes on.
When we do seek supernatural sources –Jesus Christ is usually the last person on the list for many. More often than not, the enlightened people seek direction from spirit guides, Ouija boards, eastern religious meditation and other like sources.
Due to our pride and sometimes a bad experience within the Christian community, we end up developing a distorted image of God and how God views each of us.
This Sunday, March 28 is Palm Sunday. It is the beginning of the traditional “Holy Week” – the last week of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ prior to His Crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary. He was born to die that you and I might be reconciled to God again and live eternally in God’s presence. His death paid the price for all our sins that we might not face judgment upon our own death. Yet, He also said He came to give us life and that life in abundance.
Simply put, God is working in and around us at all time. This is what makes life good.
However, we still live in a broken world seeking love, hope and peace in a world that cannot give what it does not have. Jesus came to give us the peace, hope and love that comes straight from God and if we accept His gift that is where the idea of life in abundance comes in. It is an offer that we often refuse and wonder why we are in pain.
Funny thing about humanity. God offers love, hope and peace along with forgiveness and yet many will reject it because they are afraid of what it will mean.
Or they use the adage that there is no such thing as a “free lunch”. In this they are correct –salvation’s cost was great. Jesus paid for it with His life. The innocent for the guilty. Salvation’s cost is great in that it will cost you your pride, your self-love, your attempts at good works to please God.
Jesus Christ is the true Son of God, our Saviour and Messiah. His death does not automatically cleanse you from all sin and change your destiny. You must ask for God’s mercy and grace when you ask God to forgive your sins.
The missing piece that is missing in life’s equation is that of “free will”. Everyone has free will as a part of their DNA. What we often forget is that everyone’s life will affect the lives of those around them.
Many a millionaire or billionaire have used their free will in decision making to create great wealth for them but at the expense of many others who work for them or are in the same industry. Many innocent people have been hurt or killed as a result of the free will decision of others. People in positions of power have often used their power to favour some while hurting others.
Funny how the response of many who have been hurt through the misuse of the free will of others who go to church or not, end up blaming God for the actions of others.
It is time to stop blaming God and embrace Him. Yes, He will judge everyone regardless of whether you choose to acknowledge Him during this life. He will judge with righteousness and all our sins will be exposed.
However, He also provided a way for our sins to be forgiven and forgotten by Him. He also provided a way for us to have a blank slate or second chance at life through His mercy and grace afforded us through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Reread the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John this week and notice the love of the Lord to those who were the vulnerable or hurting in society and how he came to save sinners.