I am not a fashionable person at all. When I buy clothes, I buy multiple numbers of the same pair of pants. I buy the same shirt with differing colors. Fashion doesn’t really matter to me. Though recently, I did give in to the trend and bought a bow tie. I’ve never owned a bow tie in my life, and certainly don’t know how to tie one. So now that I have it, what do I do with it?
God speaks to us constantly. It’s up to us whether or not to listen. Sunday was one of those days for me, where despite my stubbornness, God spoke to me and I listened. Sunday was our children’s Sabbath service, one of my most favorite of the year. Led by the different children’s choirs, it’s always a fun service to attend.
Last week in a blog I wrote, I mentioned someone who I disagreed with politically, but that I still valued as a friend. He wears a lot of bowties, so I asked him to show me how to tie it. It is humbling for a man to admit to not being able to do something. It’s especially humbling to have someone have to do it for you because you can’t.
One of the songs that the children sang during our service had this line: “I am who the great I AM says I am.” That is simple but a vastly deep theological statement. So, who does the great I AM say that I am?
Those who accept Christ as Savior are clothed with Him. God does not see Jim when He looks at me. To that, I say thank God! Rather, when God looks at me, He sees His own Son. Second Corinthians 5:21 lays out the plan of God’s redeeming love for man: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Then Galatians 4:7 describes my new identity: “So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God.” Then, for the home run shot, Ephesians 1:7 tells me that He had it planned this way all along: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”
My meager writings all eventually come back to one main point. You are a chosen child of the Most High God. He chose you before the foundation of the Earth, to be His. Knowing that man was sinful, He designed His own plan of salvation for man. He gave the Law to the Jews to guide their lives, but He knew upon its dissemination that they were not going to be able to follow it. God always planned to draw man back to Him because He knew that man was incapable of doing so no matter what law was given. Who doesn’t like free stuff? That’s a little flippant, but it’s true. If you were to say there are free donuts in the break room, there would be a stampede of people to get them. That is what is so marvelous about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing you ever do can redeem you to God. All our attempts are futile. God, though, loved you enough to pave the path of salvation back to Him.
Back to my bowtie buddy. He graciously showed me how to tie my bowtie, without asking my opinion on any issue of the day. Why? Because he, like me, is capable of disagreeing with someone without hating them. When we put ourselves in the place of judgment, we are no longer focused on Christ. By all means, stand for the faith but do so in love. Instead of seeing someone you disagree with as an enemy see them the way God sees them. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
Disagreements among Christians are going to happen. Remember Paul and Barnabas? It’s safe to say, that God is capable of handling the petty squabbles of man.
God speaks the same message to us all daily: “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction (Deuteronomy 30:15)”.
No matter what side of what issue you find yourself on, choose life. Jesus gave His so you could.