I don't think I have any right to judge without expecting the same judgment in return. I really want to see people through God's eyes. I know that isn't possible, if for one moment I could see the worst person who ever lived through God's eyes, my life on earth would be useless. His eyes see through grace that transcends the greatest love I could have for another human. If God allowed me to see any person with His eyes, the rest of my time on earth would be devoted to that individual's needs. His love doesn't compute in our brains. He loves all 6+ billion people on this planet, that is multi-tasking! We can forget the questions of evolution, age of the earth, or if there was a big bang, and why these unanswered questions cause people to doubt God's existence. His love for all could make many doubt, because it doesn't seem possible.
The love of God is greater far, than any tongue or pen can tell.
It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.
Those days or moments in our lives that make us seem so far from God, because we don't feel we live up to His expectation of us, or because we blew our testimony, doesn't dent the grace He shows us. He never stops reaching for us with unconditional and unmerited favor. Grace is received by faith, totally free, totally incomprehensible. Acceptance of this free gift is realized the moment we believe, and forgotten the moment we become religious. When I, the believer begin this line of reasoning, I need to pray more, I need to read the Bible more, I need to get closer to God, I need to ask God to be with me today, I need to get to church more, and so forth, religion has set in, I move into the realm of the spiritually dead, and rigor mortis sets in, spiritually speaking.
That is hard to accept for me. I figure that somewhere along the line that there is a price to pay. I know that I have to "work out" my salvation...the Bible says so. I have to work for it. In a short time, my spiritual numbness becomes my spiritual dumbness. Then I can take my place in the pew with all of the rest of the religious atheists, praise God at church, give Him my whole being, and then take control back immediately after the service. I forget just that quickly...don't WE.
I don't need to pray more, study the Word more, visit the sick, imprisoned, or serve more. No siree, uh-uh, I WANT to! Grace is free received, freely given, I cannot earn this gift. Because of grace received, I desire to know God and crave any knowledge I can devour regarding Him. It is the goodness of God that led me to repentance, He was good to me before I ever knew Him. Now I want to defend what is said contrary about Him by ignorance and unbelief, those things different than what He says of Himself in the Word. I don't have to say God, just be with me today, or just be present in service tonight...O please, that's ridiculous. He is Jehovah Shammah, always here, there, now!
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Is.55:8-9 (NKJV)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Eph.2:8-9 (NKJV)
We cannot work our way to salvation, nor heaven. We cannot clean up our "act" to become acceptable to God, then repent...that's the dead religious thinking that many of us knew before Christ, you know, that thinking that we can help poor old God out. No, forget understanding it, just receive, it believe it, then give it away to keep. Oxymoronic, paradoxical, baffling, isn't it. I keep it by giving it away. I lose it by figuring it out, or trying to with religious thought. If we just accept this unmeritted favor from God, and remain grateful for it's freedom, we will not fall into religion, but develop a relationship that will give us a hint of the mystery of God's goodness.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith