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Archive for July, 2017

Dictionary.com has several definitions for “pawn”. The one that seems most relevant to this atheist graphic is “someone who is used or manipulated to further another person’s purposes”.

Based on all this, I’m quite happy to report that the graphic is gloriously CORRECT.

Before I explain why, let me make one thing clear: every person on this planet is a pawn. Including YOU.

We are pawns of political parties, special interest groups, Hollywood stars, loved ones, sports “heroes”, big business, social media and almost anything else you can name.

We are constantly on the receiving end of manipulation, even as we seek — often unconsciously — to manipulate others. In fact, I could be accused of attempting to manipulate you right now.

So how is the graphic that inspired this blog so thoroughly right? Because serious Christians like me, who believe Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, WANT to be a pawn.

We want to be used or manipulated to further God’s agenda in a world that even optimistic people must admit isn’t doing well. His agenda starts and ends with restoring us to Him.

Right now, most of us have little or no connection to our creator because we follow the agenda of our culture: Earn more money. Get more power. Buy bigger flat-screen TVs. Obsess about the lives of celebrities. Botox our way to better looks. Pamper ourselves with luxurious vacations.

Notice the common denominator? All these agenda items are about me-me-me.

Now consider God’s agenda:

  • Love your enemies and pray for them (spoken by Jesus in a section of the Bible called ‘Matthew’).
  • Do for others what you would have them do for you (found in ‘Luke’). Notice how active this is? Jesus is saying don’t just avoid doing wrong things to others, get out there and do good things.
  • Avoid judging others, because how you judge them is how God will judge you (also from ‘Matthew’).
  • Put others ahead of yourself, just as Jesus did when he was physically on earth (from ‘Philippians’).
  • Show mercy to others and leave judgement to God (from ‘James’)
  • Help those who are in need (also from ‘James’).
  • Live with a sense of thankfulness (from ‘1 Thessalonians’).

Notice the common denominator? These agenda items are about others. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I write that if all of us strived to live this way, our world would be a better place.

But how can we make this a priority when we so often do wrong and fail to do right? I have a radical, life-changing answer: accept the gift of Jesus Christ, who is offered to EVERYONE.

Accept that Jesus died to wipe all your ‘sin’ off the books. Welcome Him into your heart and mind. Then watch as He starts changing your life — a project that can begin NOW and end when you finish life on this planet and then spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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When I first encountered this atheist graphic, I experienced a moment of heart sickness because there are Christians out there who actually think like this.

I see this kind of horrific mindset every time someone who claims to follow Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is the divine Son of God) almost gleefully tells gay people or atheist people that they’re going to burn in hell.

it’s almost as if they think God WANTS some people to burn. Not only is that a sickening thought, it’s also wrong, wrong, wrong.

Here’s the truth, according to the Bible:

  • God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost, but have eternal life. (That’s from a section called ‘John’, one of four accounts of Jesus’ physical life on earth.)
  • God is being patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He wants everyone to change their ways and stop sinning (from a section called ‘2 Peter’).
  • God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth (From ‘1 Timothy’).

Does any of this sound like God is holding a lighter, just itching to turn you into a screaming torch?

These Bible quotes point to an important bottom line: every person on this planet has done wrong and failed to do right. No exceptions. And this is serious business because according to the Bible, God is perfect and that’s His standard for judging all of humanity (see ‘Matthew’, another biography of Jesus).

When this life is finished, a section of the Bible called ‘Hebrews’ says every one of us will appear before God and have to somehow explain away all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to do.

I guarantee you it’s not going to go well. But God offers a solution: Jesus Christ. When Jesus was found guilty of ridiculous, trumped-up charges and crucified on a Roman cross, that death paid the penalty you and I would have to pay for our sins. He took our punishment on His shoulders.

I call that an extraordinary, life-changing gift. And that gift is available to EVERYONE. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done (or not done). As author Philip Yancey put it so well in What’s So Amazing About Grace, “God gave up His own Son rather than give up on humanity”.

How can you get in on this gift? Just accept it. That’s all.

When you believe that Jesus took the penalty for your sins and decide you want to follow Him, He’ll come into your heart and start a life-long process of making you the person God created you to be. And when this life ends and you stand before God, the only thing God will see is His Son’s perfection.

Are you interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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