I never remember my dreams. Ever since I was about 13 and had a strange occurrence of a series dream, I can’t recall many if any of the dreams I have had since. The same was true this morning and pretty much all day today, but then, as I was sitting in a state of prayer, my dream from last night overcame me like I was watching it on a television. I had dreamed of having a conversation with myself. There were two of me, and we were having a chat about the fruit of the spirit. I’ve been thinking about and praying about the fruit of the spirit for a while now, and the dream brought it all to fruition (pun sort of intended).
We were in a room I had never seen before, sitting on couches, and I remember saying to my other self “It’s all that has been on my mind, and I know that it’s where my next sermon, or blog, or video, or song, or something will come from…but for the life of me I just can’t put it down on the page!” and I casually turned to myself and said “Well there’s your problem.” Just as quickly as it came to me, it was over. Im not writing about the fruit of the spirit per se in this. Nope, but I needed the fruit of the spirit to get me here.
The question I have today is a tough one, and I’m thinking it really doesn’t have an answer, but let’s ask it anyway shall we? How do you know another person is saved? I mean, let’s break this down. There are lots of loved ones out there that we want to be reassured we will get to see in the New Creation, and we need to preach the Gospel to them in order to ensure they hear it and can get there right? So, is there a red flag of sorts to say “Hey, this one’s good”?
I recently had a conversation with some of my Burrito brothers about something akin to this. I’ve always said that true Christianity is marked by repentance, and in my personal experience, I feel that my salvation has called me to action. A lot of people don’t share that view though. It’s very much just “Accept Jesus, sit back, and experience Grace” type mentality, but what about folks like Solomon. The dude wrote books of the Bible, built the first dwelling place for God that wasn’t a tent, and is considered to be one of the smartest folks to ever walk the planet. However, there’s nothing in our canon that speaks of his repentance once he got off track with chasing all those lady folk.
Of course, when our loved ones get off track and dive into sin, most people jump into Matthew 18 and make it all the way to that whole “treat them as you would a tax collector” part without taking into account the part before that when he calls this dude Levi, who was a tax collector to be one of the 12. Don’t remember hearing about Levi, yeah that’s because he changed his name to Matthew. You know, the guy that wrote the book that has that whole “tax collector” piece in it. He thought that was important to include, but he was a tax collector, so are we missing a divine irony there?
I’m pretty sure we’re JUST called to love people. I’m reminded of a quote I stumbled across recently “Love the sinner, hate the sin? How about: Love the sinner, hate your own sin! I don’t have time to hate your sin. There are too many of you! Hating my sin is a full-time job. How about you hate your sin, I’ll hate my sin and let’s just love each other!”-Mark Lowry. Yeah, I think that sums it up. We just have to love people, we have to forgive them, and we can’t know the deal they’ve got with the Big Guy.
So, what are we to do with “True Christianity is marked by repentance” and “salvation calls me to action” and things of that sort? Well, we keep living by our convictions there, and we keep on loving the rest of these folks, no matter what, and that’s what sucks about this Christian life so often. We can have as much Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Self Control, Gentleness, and Faithfulness as we want and more and when we are attacked, hurt, beaten, broken, bruised, scarred, put down, or just downright mistreated we can show it all the more by loving the folks that are doing it, regardless of circumstance. An audacious, scandalous, and downright scary love that we know because we did all those things and more to Him, and He loved us anyways.
- Boycott The Burrito (zacherock.wordpress.com)
- Blogging Tips from the Fruit of the Spirit – Temperance (faithfulbloggers.com)
- The Call of Matthew – “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (tvaraj2inspirations.wordpress.com)
- The 5 Ways to have Relentless Radical Love (davidsbodytemple.wordpress.com)
- Tax Collectors and Pharisees (goldenbible.wordpress.com)
- One More Chicken Burrito… (zacherock.wordpress.com)