UPS AND DOWNS
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:10-12
Our lives are filled with days that are like elevators. One part of the day we may be on the way up and enjoying the best day of our lives, and then all of a sudden something happens and we feel the worst we have ever felt. We live a life filled with ups and downs and the struggle is trying to find a way to give glory to God in every situation. I know that we may struggle with that from time to time, but it is a reality. We live in a world that is filled with spiritual warfare and we have to be ready for the battle against evil and the world. We may never realize it, but that really is a reality that we face each day. I just hope and pray that we are preparing our hearts and minds for the battle that is at hand. As I have heard many times, the struggle is real. Death and destruction is real. Frustration and isolation is real, and we have to really find a way to recognize the signs that surround us each day. We have to pray and be willing to hold each other accountable in so many different ways. I mean, if we are honest, our daily battles could be a full time job if there was a way to get paid for the amount of times our faith is tested. Even though our world may seem as though it is a connection of highs and lows, we must never forget that we have a CONSTANT that walks with us and that is Jesus.
That last statement is troubling for some of us. I know that we can easily say that Jesus walks with us, but there is a difference in saying it and believing it to the fullest. I believe that a parachute should be able to slow my dissent out of an airplane, but do I really have the nerve and faith to get on the plane and test it? I fully believe the words that are written in the
Scriptures, but am I willing to fashion my life and all I have on something that was written some 2,000 years ago. I know that there has to be a more modern version that deals with today. Why should I have to be tied down to the old book... I want a new and improved one that deals with my problems today. Come one there has to be a more updated version right? Have you every heard anyone say that? I have. I have watched as people's lives seem to be on a constant elevator going up and down all day long. They are unable to find a resting place for more than a second because they are not satisfied with the answers that attain. We want to change the story to fit our narrative. We want to be able to see truth, not from the perspective of Christ, but the perspective of US. I know, those without sin cast the first stone.. I am right there with you. There have been many days where I have thought I knew better than God. Not in a prideful way, but in a in the moment type of way. I have allowed my emotions to ride the world's elevator many times, and I have found myself more disillusioned and empty more times than not.
As we dig into John's lesson again today, we see the story continuing to go back and forth.. up and down. This is the third or fourth time that John is seen emphasizing the love of Christ and the importance of living that love out through action. I know that we are considered unintelligent sheep, but how many times do we have to hear the exact same message until the light bulb finally comes on? I really don't mean that as an insult, but I do believe that God is watching us all ride the spiritual elevator up and down all of the time. I believe that we continue to follow the same path over and over and over again. I am glad that John continues to preach the same message, because it seems as the church was unable to understand the simplicity of God's plan. I heard a story about a pastor one time that preached the same message for 5 or 6 Sundays in a row. Finally, one of the members asked the pastor when he was going to preach a new sermon? And the pastor responded, "As soon as every in the church finally understands the message and begins to apply in their lives. John is doing the same thing in his entire letter. He continues to reemphasize the biblical basics in hopes that the people who catch it and begin to apply it to their lives. I mean how many times can John emphasize that if we profess to know Christ or to have accepted Christ and we fail to follow the example of Christ, we are LIARS. How many times do we have to be told that Jesus is the Son of God until we finally start reacting to the TRUTH. How many times do we adhere to the basics laws of God through the 10 Commandments and live them out the fullest. If we cannot get the simple lessons right, why do we think that we are ready to take the next steps in our discipleship journey?
John sets out the truth so many times, but I want to share it one more time in a simplistic way. GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR HIGHES AND LOWS, or GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR SINS OR FAILURES. I wanted to emphasize that today, because I don't want us to have to go back and have to learn that lesson again. We can stand firmly on God's Message. We see the
proof of that statement through the example of Jesus. If God did solve us in that way, how could we have a hope for eternity and victory over sin and death. Come on CHURCH.. when
are we finally going to stand up and be the CHURCH. When are we going to stop retreating because we are afraid we might offend the world? When are we going to finally get off of the elevator and stand on the solid rock of Christ. The choice really is ours and ours alone to make. We choose how many times we are going to allow the world to continue to carry us up and down. I just pray that one day soon we will all finally get off at the top floor and begin rejoicing together for eternity. Please take to heart this message today. Our God is Greater... Our God is Stronger. Chris Tomlin did and amazing job of capturing that truth in his song. I just pray that we are willing to live it out in such a way that others will join with us in celebrating the free gift of GRACE that was poured out on the cross through the blood of Jesus Christ. Eternity is right there waiting for us all. My only question is which floor will your final destination end up.