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Favorite Books

If you know me well you know it is no secret that I LOVE to read, but I haven’t always been this way.  I remember attending a large Bible Study while in graduate school and hearing the teaching leader talk about how a perfect Friday night for him was spent in God’s Word. This was so foreign to me at the time. I couldn’t understand yet for I hadn’t tasted and seen the beauty of God’s Word. It was because I didn’t yet know the Word himself, who came down from Heaven full of grace and truth and tabernacled among us.

When God in his mercy opened by blind, broken eyes so I could see him it was the written Word of God I couldn’t get out of. It was through the written Word of God the Holy Spirit watered my soul exalting the Living Word, Christ himself. The Bible became alive to me because it is the very word of the Living God who does not change like shifting shadows. You see Jesus is not just a red-lettered Christian, He is the very Word of God who all the scriptures are about and point too. He fulfilled each prophecy foretold and all the promises of God that will be fulfilled find their yes and amen in Christ. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word”(Hebrews 1:3). The Word himself has dwelt among us and we have seen his glory!

So I understand now why a Friday night in the scriptures is the perfect night because its time spent with the Lord himself as the Spirt of God teaches you and waters your Soul as you look upon the One whom you were predestined to know and enjoy.

So my number one favorite book is the Bible. I encourage you draw near to God being honest with Him seeking Him in His Word. Read the scriptures as a child leaving your own understanding behind and let the Holy Spirt pierce your heart. You must come reading as a child, not blindly with the baggage of your own understanding but fully trusting and let the Lord wash over you with his goodness piercing your heart with the double edge sword of His Word. A recent testimony of a friend coming to Christ was that she finally started reading the Bible for what it is not bringing to the table what she thought she knew about God. She simply let God himself teach her through the scriptures but she had to lay aside her false previous understanding of Him.

If you are a skeptic about the full authority of the scriptures I just encourage you to start reading it. I mean really read it. Camp in it and just see for yourself. You may just be surprised what you discover. If you are a local woman wanting to study with a group of women this summer I’m going to be walking through 1 Peter with a group if you want to join in please reach out.

Below are also some of the top books the Lord has used in sharpening me and by that I mean pointing me to the scripture in peeling away idols and wrong teachings I had believed growing up about God. You won’t find many of these in bookstores…the real good stuff almost never is:)

  1.  The Heavenly Man
  2. The Pleasures of God by John Piper
  3. The Crucified Life by AW Tozer
  4. The Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer
  5. Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot
  6. Jesus the King by Tim Keller
  7. The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot
  8. I believe this is an important one for the believer to read in this time Counter Culture by David Platt
  9. Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson
  10. Future Grace by John Piper

Ok I’ll stop at ten. Wait no… just because these are three really great ones that are easy but convicting reads that will help you grow as a disciple: Radical by David Platt, Follow Me by David Platt and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

I’m tempted now to name authors to stay away from but I won’t here…but if you are curious just ask:)) The scriptures speak of the number of false teachers that are to come and how many women will be gullible to their teachings always learning but never really seeing. Oh friend, test every book and article in scripture. Ask the Lord to give you discernment to recognize the lies of the enemy. Satan often tries to disguise himself in light but the way for his lies to be exposed are always on the pages of your Bible. You will not recognize his lies if you aren’t in the scriptures yourself consistently.

Now “I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” ~Ephesians 1:17-22

Happy Reading! May you grow in your love for Jesus more and more and handle His Word faithfully with obedient care.

~Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christ changes everything

A woman in my small group last night asked me for advice in how to approach a friend that was going to false doctrines that many are going to today. These doctrines are infiltrating the minds of the masses and have a whole lot of self and a little bit of Jesus. These are the doctrines that are so caught up in the love of God that they never look at the holiness of God. Really though these attributes of God cannot be divided for God cannot divide himself.  Jackie Hill Perry says it perfectly in a recent tweet, “The World “loves” the love of God and I do too. But what the World doesn’t want to sing, the angels will. “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” It’s the Holiness of God that makes His love, love.” We cannot separate the love of God from the holiness of God.

Oh friends it is a dangerous down hill slope to the gates of Hell when man makes up a God of his own understanding using parts of scripture. We find ourselves in an American culture of people calling themselves Christian asking, “How could a loving God send people to hell?” or saying “Love is love” or “You do you.” I find the answer to the problem behind these statements is there is a lack of people being stunned by the holiness of God. A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” The holiness and glory of God us mortals cannot even begin to grasp. God dwells in inapproachable light…. God is that glorious. Think about that. For there is no one like the Lord God Almighty. By his Word He made the heavens and the earth and all that is within them. Our very DNA the shape of a cross points to the work of His hands.

Isaiah got a glimpse of God in his splendored glory and his response was “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5).  Isaiah understood what many are blind too. He understood that God is perfect in glory making each of us deserving of his full wrath for turning away from him and seeking our own glory(sin). Isaiah also understood God is good and just to pour out his full wrath not giving any excuse before him. All he could say is Woe to me!!  For we have all fallen short of the glory of God. There is no one good not one. The only way to draw near to God is in his glory alone.  Glory came down from heaven and wrapped himself in flesh. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus bore in His body the just judgment for the sins of man against a Holy God and has made the way for the enemies of God to approach Gods throne in confidence wrapping us in His righteousness that is received through faith.

So what is faith then? If we receive Christ’s righteousness through faith I think it’s important to understand what is this faith that one must have in order to be saved? Let’s look at the scriptures to see what God says this faith is. First this faith is not earned it’s a gift from God; it is not by works so no one will boast(Ephesians 2). Saving faith is evidenced by repentance and fruit bearing, a turning from sin and turning to and abiding in Christ. James was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write “In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead.” He goes on to write, “You believe in one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.” Faith is evidenced by surrender to Christ and His way. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Mark 8:34). This faith is the proof in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the FULL assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).

So in closing here is a brief response to the question and false statements I started this post with…

How can a loving God send people to Hell?  Ahhh because it’s his holiness that makes his love, love. He is set apart and perfect in glory and cannot be approached in anyway except in his glory alone, Christ the Son. We have all chosen to go astray turning away in sin not worshipping him in perfect glory and the only way to draw near is through faith in Christ who is the glory of God who drank the judgment we each deserve.

Love is love…. Love is defined by God and personified in the face of Christ, who gave up all rights, submitting himself to death even on a cross. Jesus cried out before he went to the cross to his Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Love does not look to fulfill its own desires but to magnify God.

You be you….”As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15). This side of eternity God is continually sanctifying the believer into the likeness of Christ and renewing our minds day by day through the power of His Word. He calls us to live holy lives as he is holy.

 

All for Christ,

Lane

 

 

 

 

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The Gospel and Disney World

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We just spent a memorable, fun week with my family at Disney World. A wonderful gift from my parents that I am very thankful for. I shared several pictures on social media from the trip and God has put on my heart to tell you my real thoughts on Disney World, “the happiest, magical place on earth.”

A couple of years ago Matt and I took our oldest son when  it was just the three of us. When I got home from that trip I had this amazing amount of guilt that we would spend so much of our resources to vacation together when those resources could have been sent to the take the gospel to the unreached or serve the vulnerable. It’s a battle I still face in my mind and heart really every time I spend money on any luxury. Please know I am not saying its wrong to vacation…we just did it! It’s always the longings of the heart. What/Who am I chasing after? I battle all the time should we move to have a less mortgage so we can give more. I have to check my heart in the why am I spending money on whatever it may be from a $5 coffee drink to a house. I have to ask am I making that luxury an idol on my heart to satisfy me? Where am I laying up my treasures? Last year I had to turn from buying any article of clothing for a whole year because my heart attitude in the why I was buying something was all about me. No thing, no vacation, no person, no meal, nothing can quench the thirst in my soul except for Christ himself. And if we try to fill up on the things of this world we will be so distracted, so full that we won’t be hungry for the Bread of Life that alone satisfies the longings of our souls.

A trip to Disney World with your kids might be the epitome of the American Dream. Let me tell you though, dreams end and what’s only in Christ remains. For I have tasted and seen and there is something far better in Jesus. As I walked the streets in Disney World what I saw at times broke my heart. I saw so many parents yelling at their kids in the worst of ways and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I also do the same in different ways even at Disney World. You see special kinds of tantrums. You experience hot, crowded streets and long bus rides. Matt’s activity app said we walked about 10 miles average each day and our backs felt the effects of it. In the “Happiest place on earth” there is much brokenness. You see the effects of the fall of man when Adam and Eve listened to Satan in the garden.  God had told Adam and Eve if they ate of the tree in the garden “They would surely die.” God is always true to his Word. He always keeps His promises. And so after this first sin we see sickness, death, sorrow effect man. The wages of sin is death and we are all born under the curse of sin. God alone is holy and sin can not be in his presence and this first sin separated all of mankind from God.

The moment we are conceived we are sinners, born children of darkness. No one is born a child of God. Now each person is made by God, knit together in their mothers womb by God and known by God but no one is born his child. We are only adopted into Gods family by grace through faith in Christ alone. It is because of what Jesus did on that cross in Calvary 2,000 something years ago and rising from the dead that we may live when we turn to him in faith. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

So as I walked the streets of Disney I thought about all of this as I looked at all the people God has created in his image, that he loves, that Christ paid the death penalty for drinking the cup of the wrath of God wondering if they had ever heard of his great love for them. I wondered if they had turned to Him or wondered if they were still filling the longings of their heart with things of this world, that can never satisfy and only lead to death. And I pray, Lord your Kingdom Come quickly.

For I have been to the happiest, places on earth and it’s not Disney World. The happiest places are the places you see the Light shining in the darkness. The places you see children who were once in darkness stepping into the Kingdom of God becoming children of Light. And there is no magic to it. It is the power of God bringing people into his eternal family. It’s reality. And there is nothing else that can hold a candle to it.

May you have a wonderful weekend worshipping our Risen, Lord and King!

~Lane

 

Also if you are unsure what the gospel is this 20 minute video from David Platt is very well worth a listen. It starts at about 30 second mark:) https://www.facebook.com/Radical.net/videos/1468852606556626/?hc_ref=ARS1s6rn_T9e1MzCK3afMvg_ChWmzNVVUL4esYHYH9LD8Bpwx91uvcBFAXHV7txLcFI

 

 

 

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Mama heart

Hey friends~

Before I even write another word I must be upfront and honest.  I battle my own selfishness daily in motherhood. What happened in my house yesterday is nothing but ugly. I’m scarred to let you in this picture but I feel compelled to before I write more. So welcome to Sunday afternoon in my house.

How in the world can a house get so messy in two days is what is running through my mind? I don’t pick up for two days and now we can’t seem to see the floor. So I start my cleaning in a fit of rage. Going from room to room I pick up and put away while at the same time my one year old was in the process of literally emptying out baskets of toys all over the place(so really just doing what one year olds do). I let my husband get an earful that this is what I do everyday. I told him I was going crazy and how defeated I felt. I am not one to usually curse aloud but feeling that it was my right too I let out a word that I shouldn’t have. And that only made me feel worse. That’s what sin does. Sin enslaves you to shame. I then move into the kitchen that was now the clean room to find my child throwing everything out of his diaper bag. I tell him no. He doesn’t stop and so I only get louder and yell no again. Now he’s in tears and I feel like the worst mother on the planet.

I share all this with you because I’m in the trenches too. I fail daily and that is when I preach the gospel to myself. God’s grace is always greater when my heart wants to condemn me. Jesus took the wrath I deserve for my sin and it is finished. I am no longer condemned because of what Jesus did. And as a child of God I hate the sin that I still turn too because it keeps me from walking in the Spirit and in truth and reflecting his image to a dying world. I can’t walk in the Spirit if I’m choosing to walk in sin.  We experience freedom only in abiding in Christ and dying to self walking in his ways.

Wow so that was my intro to lay the ground work. I wanted to share the above because I’m in the trenches too.

Now to this post…

I shared this with a group of moms in my church fellowship last summer and it’s been on my heart to share it here. I keep seeing so many articles about what is wrong with todays kids. As a young mom they really aren’t encouraging at all.

We live in a world where we are constantly hearing about all that can go wrong and seeing how our peers are doing. We hear about moms who lose their child and they end up in a gorilla cage in the zoo or remember the child attacked by an alligator at Disney. Those moms are then attacked in the media. And then on the other hand  we can daily hear about being a helicopter mom or a lawn mower mom and how we need to let kids learn and be kids. We live in a world where we constantly read a new article on facebook about new dangers in the world…electric shock drowning, the toxicity of sunscreen, slides being covered with glass, a child swallowing a fidget spinner, the reality of human trafficking, the new drug of child pornography, children being shot and killed. This list goes on and on. As moms we are constantly being told things to fear and everything we need to do to help our child succeed. On tap of that we we read things posted about everything thats wrong with todays children blaming the parents.

Hear this: the fear of man is always a trap.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10). It is only in having a right view of God and who we are in Christ can we find rest. When our eyes are looking at Jesus the fears of this world fade and our thoughts are taken captive to Christ. For we can take heart in Christ for he has overcome the world. Yes, in this world we will have trouble but we rest in the truth that Jesus has overcome the world.

It is a daily battle field for my mind in this world but God continues to faithfully meet me in His Word. God transforms me and renews my thinking in His Word. God transforms my desires, my longings, my thoughts and my fears.

So Mama’s lets encourage each other and build each other up and pour into each others little ones like they are our own. Because they are. When you are in Christ we belong to each other in Christ(Romans 12). Let us rejoice, mourn, encourage, rebuke in love, and serve one another all for the glory of God. Lets not invoke fear of man or shame but encourage and build one another up in love. We need each other. Older women pour into and teach younger women in love and younger women listen. There is no room for judgement or condemnation only serving each other in love all for the glory of God.

Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. Wisdom is the right application of knowledge. We get lots of knowledge in our day of all the dangers in this world as our finger tips scroll through news feeds. We can’t apply anything we learn without first seeing that apart from Christ we cant do anything good. We must first remember and see we are sinners who deserve nothing but the full wrath of God. BUT God in his great love and mercy saved us while we were dead in transgressions. We are dead apart from Christ and without him we can’t do anything good.  Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit when you call on his name turning to him and you are sealed in Him. So when I think about walking in the fear of the Lord I think about surrendering in reverent worship and walking in full dependency on Jesus.

Wherever you are friend lean hard on Jesus. And when you feel you can’t go on lean harder on Jesus and don’t hesitate to reach out to sisters in Christ. For we belong to one another(Romans 12:5).

I can’t begin to get this motherhood thing right unless I first take each day walking as who I am a child myself…A child of God depending fully on Jesus and resting fully in the truth that Jesus is making ALL things new. And in the meanwhile I am Christ’s ambassador here in a dying world and that includes first being an ambassador to my kids.

~Lane

 

 

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A letter to the Christian after Vegas shootings

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write brothers and sisters as that is what we are in Christ for all eternity. I thank God for you! I write this letter with a heavy and tired heart. But fixing my eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, I am certain that these light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

My first initial reaction to the Vegas shootings this week was one of numbness. Day by day we wake up to the horrible realities where children are killed and ripped from their mothers wombs by choice, children are sold as sex slaves, the average refugee lives in a a refugee camp for 17 years, child pornography is a new drug, children in the city I live in have to walk past an “adult bookstore” on their way to elementary school, Heroin is easily accessible for teenagers in local schools, and children are living in places eating pies made out of mud. We see the effects of sin in us all and the effect our sin has on each other. I used to work in a skilled nursing home in Tennessee where I would cry in the bathroom regularly on my lunch break. I would go home and have night terrors during the early part of my marriage because the images of my patients laying in stone lonely rooms day after day simply surviving until the next day rocked me to the core. But eventually I had to learn to grow a thick skin to what I would see day after day. I found myself having the same response when I opened my email for the day to see that the deadliest shooting in U.S. history had happened. I simply went on to check my inbox.

I do not like my response and I grieve I had that response initially and where my skin is thick. But I have to see my response as very similar to the church in the west in our day but to thousands dying daily. Every day. Followers of Jesus are sitting back and watching approximately 70,000 people die daily without ever hearing the gospel. Without receiving the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ one faces an eternity receiving the full wrath of God. We sit in our church buildings week after week and consider missions just a side ministry that we might wear a t-shirt for every now and then. Less than 1% of the American churches money is going to spread the gospel to the unreached having more money spent on dog Halloween costumes than what is sent to the reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God in his sovereignty could open up the heavens and reveal Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to all but this is not what God in his sovereignty has chosen to do. God has chosen to use his people to GO and share the gospel so people can hear the call and be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is amazing, God has chosen to use His people to share His great love in bringing a people to himself from every tribe, nation, and tongue through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Brothers and sisters lets please don’t grow a thick skin and let us encourage one another as the day draws near. May we be a people that do not sit back and watch Billions of people perish for all eternity because our hearts were too hard to pray, send missionaries and Go ourselves.

Let’s take seriously Jesus’ words where he tells his disciples “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

Step back American follower of Jesus and let us weep and mourn with those who mourn and walk in the reality of the great hope we have in Jesus Christ our Lord and share that hope with a perishing world around us with great eagerness and joy.

“And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ” (2 Corinthians 5: 19-20)

The real gospel never ends with you!!! An imposter gospel will end with you but the gospel of Jesus Christ never ends with you.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) We have been given much!!! We have been given the gift of sonship for all eternity in Jesus Christ our Lord and what are you doing with the gospel, the greatest gift ever given?

Always preaching to myself too brothers and sisters.

In Christ,

Lane

 

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Hurting

Last week I went to a course on treatment in adult neurogenics. As I sat and listened to the presenter speak way over my head in an area that I am supposed to have great knowledge in my thoughts were turned to God. Think a moment about all the different professions that study how God made us. Cardiologists, dentists, podiatrists, neurologists, pathologists, oncologists…this list goes on and on. All different fields that go to years and years of schooling and spend a life time learning about how God made us when he “formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his nostrils”(Genesis 2:7)

I sit back in awe that we can not even begin to grasp the complexity of how God made us. We have to have a specific field to specialize in. There is no way to even begin to understand them all in full. God breathed and man was created. That is a glimpse at just how powerful God is. We have to rest in the truth that God is not like us and that is a good thing and quit trying to compare him to anything.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

We can not comprehend and we need to rest in that and let that fuel worship. If one was ever able to fully comprehend God then God would some how have some kind of measurement and therefore have limits. And if God has limits then He would not be worthy of worship for all eternity.

One truth about God that my small group talked about tonight is how God does not change. Think about this truth about God for a moment. God does not change his mind. We however change constantly. God never changes his love for you poured out in Christ. In fact today God feels about sinners “exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind!”(Tozer)  Wow!!! We also have to see that God does not change in His just wrath.

We will all stand before the Lord one day and God will not change His mind about His plans and purposes in Christ. There will be no excuse for anyone. There will be no telling God I went to church, my grandfather was a pastor, I lived on a deserted island and never heard about you, or I was a good person. The truth is every single person in this world is without excuse for worshipping God for who He is.  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Our only right response is worship and thanksgiving. We all have gone our own way though and fallen short of His glory therefore are separated from Him deserving his full wrath for all eternity. There is no one innocent not one.

But God has reconciled sinners to himself through Jesus Christ our Lord who took the full wrath of God in our place. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14)

God will not change his mind about this as God can not change. It is only by grace you are saved through faith in Christ alone. This is such good news but should bring the follower of Christ to great urgency!!!!! Currently there are billions of people that have never heard the gospel. And “How, then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14)

There is a football stadium full of people daily dying without ever hearing the good news that Jesus has come to reconcile sinners who receive him to a Holy God while we sit in church pews week after week. May the follower of Jesus walk in reckless abandon to make known the mysteries of His gospel because Jesus is worthy of all praise.

Hurting deeply for the unreached tonight,

Lane

Some Scripture references: Isaiah 55 8-11, Isaiah 46: 9-10, James 1:17, Romans 1-3, Romans 10, John 14, Colossians 1

Recommended book reading that goes along with this post:

Radical by David Platt

None Like Him (Jen Wilkin)

Knowledge of the Holy (A.W. Tozer)

 

 

 

 

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In response to the most popular tweet

It’s the early hours of a new day but I sense the urgent need to write. I pray these words only cause you to look and examine in scripture for yourself.

The headline I just read as I was checking my email was about the most liked tweet ever on twitter. This tweet was by Barack Obama in his response to Charlottesville where he quotes a portion of Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” Mandela’s full quote finishes “people must learn to hate, and if people can learn to hate, people can be taught to love.”

Before I go further I must say first the Christ follower must fully condemn white supremacy. This is not a time to be silent. I love Beth Moore’s words on this one “We cannot renounce what we will not name. It’s called white supremacy. And it is from hell. Call it. Condemn it.” See Tim Keller’s article here for further explanation. That is not my reason for writing tonight but I see the need to say that upfront. I also need to say this is in no way a post to bash Obama in any way or to bring up political debate.

I want to simply state why the quote contradicts God’s Word that was referenced in the most liked tweet. Mandela’s quote says that we are taught to hate that no one is born hating.  However listen to what God’s word says:

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. ALL have turned away, they have become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3: 10-18).

We are all born sinners. Worse than being born hating people for skin color we are born in complete opposition to God. We have all turned. We have all strayed. We all fall short of the glory of God. And in this we all are born sinners that hurt one another and oppose one another. Yes. Every single one of us. We don’t earn our sin scars we are born with them. We are born seeking pleasure for self and self alone. We each deserve the full wrath of God for our own hate against God. That’s what sin is. It’s full rebellion and opposition to God. We are born enemies of God.

But God….

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him. For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11

We have to first see that we are all born haters. We are born haters of God himself whether you realize it or not. We are born in full separation of God since the fall of man(Genesis 3). And since the fall we have all personally rebelled against God. This opposition of God we are born into crosses all races, genders, cultures, and families making us all born separated from God who alone is righteous and good.

Then it becomes clearer I can’t be taught to love. Because we are born enemies of God we cannot be taught to love. Now you can be taught to obey rules and laws but one can not be taught to love. We have to be changed by love himself to actually be able to love.

You ever wonder how much God hates sin? Look at the cross. You ever wonder how much God loves you? Look at the cross.

Jesus he has redeemed our rebellious, hateful hearts receiving the full punishment for our sin drinking the cup of the wrath of God that we each deserve. There’s a catch though. To have a Savior you have to see your need to be saved. A Savior saves from something. There’s this seeing your need to open the gift first. We have to see and confess our sin against God seeing our own deep need for Christ. Jesus himself is our peace with God. He has paid the penalty.  In Christ justice has been served. It’s all about Christ and without him there is no life.

Thankful for the blood of Jesus that saved a wretched hater like me.

Lane