God offended me…
(Bible John 16/8)
Before I became a follower of Jesus Christ,
I was a God ignorer.
Like a lot of folks I didn’t like to be Bible bashed, or invited to ‘religious’ gatherings – ‘not my scene’.
I watch people recoil the way I did, when I refer to the gospel (the message of Christ).
I can see how a lot of people cannot get passed certain pre-conceptions they have in order to hear what is being presented by the Preacher man.
Then when considering the message of Christ – there’s the hypocrites to get passed. Those who are not His, but claim to represent Him.
There is also those who seemingly want to call fire down to consume everyone except themselves.
There are other religions who perpetuate a similar message.
It’s the height of nonsense to suggest we can have Christianity without the Bible.
Rather like suggesting we can lead a healthy
life without air.
It’s not going to happen.
Often my mind was too busy to stop and consider, any message being presented to me on Christ’s behalf.
I didn’t want my life interrupted.
Often I was having a ball – so why change anything?
But deep inside beyond my surface thoughts and activities, there was a deep need. Often not readily perceived by myself, but one that surfaced from time to time. Until my need became overwhelming, thank God, due to God’s persistence in drawing me to Himself.
Up to that point there were always ‘reasons’ to explore no further.
I now know that God was ‘on my case’, and loved me enough to persist.
What do I mean persist?
Well quite simply He is in the world to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgement to come.
Plenty there to take offence over right?
But as this is part of His task on earth, God the Holy Spirit in love, is persistent, in speaking into man’s conscience.
First convince of sin – ‘who me?’
‘Convince me of my sin?’ I was good at producing all kinds of coverings for it. All kinds of excuses. From one extreme to another: “There’s no such thing as sin” to “That’s just the way things are, nothing to be done about it…”
I wasn’t convinced – until I became thoroughly convinced. Convinced of my own sin, not anyone else’s. I was deeply offended, because He was right and I was wrong.
Secondly righteousness: Convinced that there is a difference between right and wrong. Convinced that Jesus Christ lived a life that no one has ever matched in righteousness.
Thirdly Judgement to come: If there is no judgement to come then every evil act, from exterminating human beings to man’s inhumanity to man, from every form of perversion and abuse to extreme dictatorship – is just alright, no problem, let it all continue, allow it to go unaddressed and unpunished.
I came to a place of being convinced, after being initially offended, that I had to answer for my own sin, and stood guilty as charged.
Only to find that the story continues and consists of the innocent taking my place.
Convincing me I had fallen short, but willing to take the ‘prison sentence’, and the ‘capital punishment’
for me – on a cross.
Slowly but surely all of these divine facts, convinced me and I literally was brought to my knees. Yes with a deep sense of guilt – but leaving my stance of being offended – and replacing it with a deep sense of gratitude for His correction, forgiveness, re-direction and manifestation of His power and presence.
Taking Him as Lord and Saviour, overjoyed by forgiveness, and getting to know Him in an intimate way.
One thing’s for sure – we can’t take ‘part’ of the message and leave the rest, or take out of the ‘recipe’ only the ingredients that fit our own idea of a meal.
But maybe you have (as I did) a sense of guilt through sinning against God – and you are looking for that gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ The Lord.
If you have, or are near, reaching such a place, I’d like to hear from you.