James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Not So Much Where You Are....

....As How Far You Have Traveled.

Consider two cases.

First, there is the man who is born into great spiritual privilege, into a godly family which has revered the Lord for generations. This man has been trained and taught in the ways of the Lord, has personally made a decision to follow the Lord. Perhaps after getting off track in his youth, he now shows many attributes of Christian character and is a devout follower of Christ. He seems to have started well, and will certainly end well if he continues to follow the way of the Lord.

The second man is born into great spiritual degradation. His parents ruined their lives through riotous living. They never really paid much attention to this child. He knew nothing of the Lord. He left home at an early age to get away from his parents, and yet his life was patterned after theirs - the very things he hated. One day he is introduced to Jesus Christ, is aware of his sinful state, and eagerly accepts Christ as his Savior. In an instant he is filled with joy and thankfulness; he is indeed a new creature. It's a thrill to hear his story and to see his joy! It brings tears to your eyes.

I have seen these two cases played out over and over again. The second man, even if he lives his entire life as a committed Christian, will never appear to be as godly as the first man. He will always carry some baggage from the circumstances of his early life - some rough edges.

Transformation through salvation is an intensely personal event and experience. The second man's joy overwhelms him and everyone around him, because he is so aware of having been forgiven so much. Those who are forgiven much, love much.

And yet the first man is as firm as a rock in his faith and commitment, but you just can't see as dramatic a change. There was a moment that he, too, recognized his guilty state and loved the Lord profoundly due to his mercy. But his change of heart wasn't so obvious on the outside. He had started out with a profound advantage and was deeply aware that to whom much is given, much is required.

Both were equally sinners - and equally saved by grace.

And we? We must continue to fight the battle of judging people by their circumstances or appearances - and keep our eyes on Jesus.

The Lord has a specific purpose for each of us in this earthly pathway. None of it is by accident. Each of us has equal access to amazing grace ... made possible by amazing love.


Royal Heir