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CHURCH CORNER: God accepts you, does not judge
Pastoring can be the greatest job in the world or at times the most gut wrenching. We get to celebrate with a family when new babies are born or mourn with a family when a loved one passes away; sometimes these experiences are within hours of each other. It’s a unique experience.
We get to experience all the wonderful people who give their time and talent to do the work of the lord. Some serve in the office making sure things run smoothly, others love service projects and feel alive when they are serving the community. I’m thankful for each person on the Plateau who serves the body of Christ in whatever capacity they can. However, I especially love the ones I get to serve with.
When compared to some of my counterparts in the area, I’m still relatively new to leading churches. I’ve fulfilled the position of servant/leader in one capacity or another for 15 years. During those 15 years I’ve had the opportunity to serve with some incredible individuals who love God and love people. I’ve been mentored and trained by very gifted and talented leaders and I’m thankful for them all.
I’m always excited when I get an opportunity to spend time with someone I’ve served with in the past. I love to share those stories of outreaches where things were about ready to fall apart. At the last minute, God sent a person or provided a solution to the problem. I love to think about all my friends who I prayed with, cried with and served with.
Sometimes, though, in the middle of those joyous conversations, I’ll find out that a dear co-laborer has strayed from their first love. These are people I’ve loved, cried with, or even been mentored by, who have now walked away from God and their faith. As I listen to them talk about why they no longer believe, I hear a common theme. “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t handle the hypocrisy and the judgment.” In their own lives and the lives of people around them. This common theme breaks my heart for several reasons. First, judgment and hypocrisy will be wherever people are. It shouldn’t be, but unfortunately it is. Second, it shows that we’ve missed an important lesson.
This lesson is found throughout the Bible, but it is especially clear in Romans 8:31-39. Paul is asking the question, “who will bring charges against you, and who will condemn you?” He then asks: “is it the Father who sent his only Son to save you or is it Christ the one who went to the cross for you and makes intercession for us even now?” He came to the conclusion that nothing can separate us from the love of God. God does not accuse or condemn and neither does Christ. For this would go against everything the Gospels stand for.
There is one, however, who does accuse and condemn, one who seeks to destroy our faith. But he’s not God. I just want to bring a word of hope and caution to any of you that are struggling with your faith. God does not condemn and even now holds off judgment. I want you to make sure you’re not rejecting the one who brings perfect love only to replace him with the one that is set on destroying you. Regardless of what you’ve done or what has been said about you, God accepts you, loves you and does not condemn you. All you have to do is let him prove it to you.
By Marcus Kelly
New Life Foursquare