Tag: 2016

Love Cannot Be Out-Voted, Be Brave

For many of us, the 2016 presidential election has cast an ominous shadow—these are dark days for sure. It feels like we have lost nearly everything as at the mere casting of a ballot, so many of the things we value have been voted irrelevant and many of the people we deeply love, now exposed to even higher levels of the very bigotry, discrimination, abuse, and hate that already plagues their God-adorned lives. We are nervous, afraid, unsettled, uncertain, and rightly so.  Few seem to truly understand the plight of the marginalized and oppressed, and much of America has apparently decided that no matter the cost in character, lives, justice, and truth, holding onto ones privilege and power is far more important—the emergence of equality always feels like war to the privileged.

In the very same way, at the cross, Grace appears to be dying, dead, deemed irrelevant, and all hope murdered out of existence. The forces of evil that seek to steal, kill, and destroy the very values and people God loves and affirms so deeply, seem to have won the day. Jesus is dead, Grace has been out-voted, and evil has the victory—a complete cosmos-level of shock blanketing many who witnessed that day—the nails, the dripping of blood, the stopping of breath. The privileged and religiously-spirited appear to have won the battle against the heart of God, whose manifestation in Jesus brought a radical message of heaven-sanctioned Grace, life, freedom, equality, affirmation, and acceptance for all—none are better, only different.

Yet, ultimately, in due time, a Light appears revealing nothing could be further from the truth. It took some time, but as His followers listened, allowed their hearts to be still, and remembered the Jesus they had come to love and follow, a new Hope, a new perspective, and a new path revealed Itself—One greater than they had ever known before. What looked and felt like insurmountable death was resurrected into unstoppable life. For nothing can out-vote Love.

The way of Jesus, at times, feels like a losing one filled with moments of desperation and gut-wrenching unfairness. The days ahead will be important times to mourn, to be shocked, to allow ourselves to experience the full range of emotions and empathize with others that do also. It’s a time to fiercely beat the chest of God, cry out for understanding, and be completely, thoroughly, and unapologetically honest about our doubts and disbelief.

Yet, these are also days to be still, to listen, to learn, to look at ourselves in the mirror, examine our hearts, consider our ways, and remind ourselves, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Love wins, love cannot be out-voted, and we the people of Jesus, lovers of Grace and truth, are a brave people—not just brave, but unstoppable.

Perhaps, a battle has been lost, maybe so. But we who are still yet determined, in the face of our enemies, in the shock of our disappointment, and in the quaking of our fears, to continue to love unconditionally, carry ourselves with true humility, cling to Hope unwaveringly, stand with the oppressed unyieldingly, and live the way of Jesus exceedingly, have already won the war.

We are never a defeated people as long as we are a people of Love unconditional.

Now is the time, like never before, to show the world in this season of darkness that we are the possessors of true Light—do what you will, take what you take, hate what you hate, abuse what you abuse, but we will never become the evil done against us!

Never.

We will never take up the sword over the plowshare, we will never rejoice at the mourning of others, even the demise of our enemies, nor we will ever be rendered silent in the defense of all that God affirms and delights.

Never, no way, ever!

We are Lovers, lovers all the way.

Surely, these are days to be sacredly sad, but these are also days to be unbridledly brave.

Brave enough to cry.

Brave enough to hurt.

Brave enough to hope.

Brave enough to live.

Brave enough to still yet love—and that, unconditionally unconditional.

It’s time to be brave, for Love cannot be out-voted.

Never, no way, ever!

 

Grace is brave, be brave.

One Resolution: What God Truly Wants From You

So, have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?

If you have, undo them, throw them away, no matter how noble they are in intent. Do it now, before it’s too late.

If you haven’t made them… make sure you don’t even start!  Don’t even think about starting!

If resolutions worked, there would be no need for Jesus. Everything we want, desire, and need would be just a resolution away.  We could simply muscle, will, and effort our way into a better future, one goal at a time.

Problem is, more so than not, though resolutions feel inspiring at the start, resolutions ultimately leave us with one thing… the result that we have fallen short. We didn’t lose the weight (or keep it off), keep our mouths shut, reach the goal, play nicer, or be as positive as we promised. Somewhere along the way, our performance breaks down. If we do, by chance, square up with a resolution, we think it’s our strength and will-power that got us there. Our flesh is stroked as we deceivingly believe that the power that moved us forward was from our resolve, or some portion of it. Our identity and self worth become attached to the tubes of our efforts and abilities, our striving and our trying. Behind every resolution is the facade and self-deception that within our performance are the answers to a better future.

Spiritually, we have been taught (falsely) that God wants more and more from us; do more, become more, achieve more… all for Him of course. We have bitten the lie that the goal of the Christian life is to become successful for Jesus. So, we make all kinds of spiritual resolutions… pray more, study more, get more Jesus. Hunger for Him more, go to Church more, get on fire more. Do more of this, and less of that… and on, and on, and on.

Yet, I believe, God has something much different in mind for our 2016! One resolution. A RESTolution.

Rest in His resolution to love you, bless you, favor you, forgive you, and accept you. To empower you and carry out His good work in you. To have you will and act according to His pleasure. To prompt you, protect you, heal you, change you, clear the path for you. To lead you, delight in you, provide for you, give success to you, and give you favor among people.

God wants ONE resolution from you. To realize there is no resolution you can have that works but resting in His resolutions towards you. He is the author and perfecter of your faith, not you. He has already saved you, set you apart, sanctified you, made you Holy, pure, and blameless, lacking no spiritual blessing in your life. There are no resolutions needed from you when you awaken to and rest in God’s resolutions towards you. What could you possible achieve that God hasn’t already achieved for you and in you, and promises to achieve through you.

God has one resolution for you to have this year… a RESTolution.

Rest in Him, for everything, and in every way.  Stop resolving to do more, and resolve to believe more. Stop resolving to become more and resolve to be more of who you already are… made complete, eternally and unconditionally loved, Holy, pure, forgiven, accepted, secure, beautiful, qualified, approved, having the mind of Christ, favored, justified, sanctified, successful, without guilt, shame, or condemnation… all done by Jesus’ resolution-work, not yours.

Trade in all your 2016 resolutions, for God’s ONE resolution for you… to have a RESTolution 2016!

Because of Christ’s resolution-work on the cross, there is nothing more to achieve, just everything to believe!

As you do, watch God work, change, and transform you, your world, and the world around you as you simply enjoy Jesus and rest in Him.

Happy RESTolution 2016!

© 2019 Chris Kratzer

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