Sunday, August 27, 2006

How many Gods can you fit in your pocket?

Just one? Sort of a pocket protector God whom you can call on during calamities, but can ignore all the rest of your life? One just barely big enough to take the blame when things go wrong, but still tiny enough not to encumber you with any guilt or shame about sin? Or receive any credit for your many fine triumphs?

“Jesus On a Greyhound” by Shelby Lynne:
“I told Him I was a sinner, and He said that’s okay,
I didn’t come to change you anyway.”

That’s the Jesus Shelby Lynne was comfortable with.

Since I’m quoting songs, here’s part of one from Zion Mountain Folk:
“You got to get yourself a bigger picture of Jesus. You can’t put Him in a frame and set Him up on your shelf.
You’ve got to understand-He’s a lot more than a famous man, and a whole lot bigger than the picture that you’ve got of yourself.
You‘ve got to understand about the Father,
Before anyone can explain to you His Son.
You‘ve got to really believe
Walk in His ways to really receive
So pick up a bible and turn to the Gospel of John.”
chorus and then:
“You say you’ve heard this story about a million times,
And for each time you’ve heard it if you could just have a dime-
Well, you’d be wealthy, and could retire
See to live for yourself is your only desire.
I don’t have a dime, but you’re going to hear it one more time.”

And you will hear it many more times in your life-that God Loves you, and has made it possible for you to be restored to a right relationship with Him through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, bearing the punishment for your sins so you don’t have to. That’s love. How many times will you tell God, “No!”
before you say “Yes”? I said it dozens of times, and I was a liar all the way through, because deep inside I really did want to say “Yes”, but I wanted it to be “Yes” on my terms; I wanted that God who fits in my pocket. so I wouldn’t have to give up my life, shabby and dirty as it was. You know those stuffed toy “prizes” you see given out at carnivals for winning a game? My life was shabbier and dirtier than those.
The Jesus I met and finally said “Yes” to, on His terms, didn’t promise to leave me in my sins, in my shabby despair of a life. Instead He gave...Gave me a new Life. And in the nearly 30 years since that day on board ship when I asked for forgiveness, I still haven’t thanked Him enough.

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