Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Contradictions Go On And On

A life of faith is a paradox in many ways.

Servant leaders.The healer who is wounded Himself. The wise man who looks like a fool at first glance. The comedian who isn't laughing at pain but has a depth and draws the deep waters out of a person. The agent of hope who lives a hard life by sight. The blind visionary. The gardener who rarely tastes a fraction of the benefits of what he is growing in this life. The intimate stranger who loves people before he even meets them.

Criminals declared innocent... not claiming innocence.

"Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:1-5 ESV

Jesus. The king on a cross. The man who donned a towel and washed the feet of fisherman. He possesses the greatest joy and yet He bore the deepest sorrow.

"And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." - Isaiah 53:9-10 ESV

A seemingly poor man buried in a rich man's tomb. The only innocent One treated like the basest criminal.

The contradictions go on and on.

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." - John 3:8 ESV

"We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open." - 2 Corinthians 6:3-11 ESV

If I told you your life should be contradiction free then in would only put an obstacle in your path.

People who walk by sight are looking to resolve the contradiction by natural means.

Jesus has resolved the contradictions in Himself and has peace that He leaves with us. He will tie up the loose ends in the last chapter. Until them we walk by faith on the edge of darkness as citizens of light.

Grace and mercy are straight things that are manifested in a crooked and broken world. The natural man sees something unbalanced but a spiritual person is leaning in such a way that world seems slanted and the eternal things fit perfectly.

We do not look to balance the scales. We receive and give love in situations that look very unbalanced. We lean towards grace.

Can we do that today? Can we receive from God what we don't deserve based on the goodness and straightness of His Son's life?

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." - Colossians 3:1 ESV

It will mean we must walk by faith and not sight. Our perspective must make the shift. Oh God... help us. Show us. Shift us. Give us peace in the storm. Give us eyes that see and ears that hear what your Spirit is communicating.


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