My memory verse for this week:
"Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." Romans 14:13
NTC Day 17
Mark 5-6 and 1 Corinthians 1-2
Almost all the problems we have in this life and caused by our human-ness. We are afraid, we worry, we lack faith, we are greedy, we doubt...all of these characteristics lead us to judge others, act in hateful manners, gossip about others and act in other despicable manners....all because we are human.
If God created us, why didn't he take that human-ness out of us? It is said that God doesn't make mistakes...well, doesn't it seem that the human creation is one big mistake? Adam and Eve couldn't even last in the garden without making a mistake. Why would God make us with the ability to make so many mistakes?
If he made us perfect, we wouldn't need him. We would be so full of ourselves, we wouldn't feel the need to reach out and connect with our creator. No, God doesn't make mistakes, and he even created a plan to save us from ourselves. Through Jesus, all of our many mistakes can be forgiven and we can come to him in the perfect form he wants us to be.
Through God's word, we see all the mistakes that his people have made through the centuries. People's human-ness keep them from seeing God right in front of them.
In Mark 5 we read of Jesus saving a severely demon possessed man from the legion of demons within him. He allowed the demons to go into a herd of pigs, and then sent those pigs into a lake to drown. Instead of being overjoyed by this miracle, they were afraid and asked Jesus to leave. For one thing, their greedy selves worried about the loss of financial gain from the destroyed herd of pigs, and they also feared the powerful force at work that they didn't understand. Their human feelings kept them from further benefits of Jesus' power.
The people of Jesus' hometown also allowed their human feelings to send Jesus away. They were also amazed at Jesus' wisdom and power, but because they had seen him grow up and where he came from, they didn't want to think he was any different from themselves. Because of their disbelief, Jesus refused to do many more miracles in that town and quickly shook their dust off his feet and left.
Even the disciples, who saw ALL of the miracles of Jesus and heard his teachings...they did not really get it either. Think about it...they were probably the only ones to really see the miracle of feeding over 5 thousand people. They knew what they started out with and what they ended up with. But, shortly after that incident, they were filled with fear when they saw Jesus walking on water, thinking he was a ghost. Their human minds allowed their hearts to remain hardened to the fact that Jesus was really from God.
In 1 Corinthians 1:18-19, Paul says that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved, it is the power of God. Some Wise people who study science and math through the centuries have had real problems believing in God and his promises and his miracles through time. Our human-ness doesn't want to believe what we can't prove.
Today, there are many who don't believe for just that reason. Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 2 to explain that he didn't preach from a wise man's perspective, but through the Spirit of Christ. If someone listening to him, didn't have the spirit in him, he wasn't ready to listen.
Instead of making those of us who do believe give up speaking about what we believe, I think that means we are to keep talking...not ramming our thoughts a d beliefs down anyone's throat and not judging those who believe differently...but understanding their human-ness and our own as well. I speak from my heart, and I believe that some will hear me and like what I say enough to reach out to God for themselves....working through their own human-ness to accept the gift of Grace he offers to each of us.