An amazing fact about the ministry of Jesus is He released people to be who they were created to be. He released their genius. In three and one half-short years, He turned His former ‘misfit toy’ disciples into the greatest agents of change the world has ever seen. He sent His leaders out unencumbered, free from the emotional and physical clutter that had them entrapped for years. He kept it simple so everyone could understand. He didn’t disqualify them, even when they left Him near the end of His ministry here on earth.
He helped people to face their ‘unfaceables’ like fear, inadequacy, shame, unworthiness and their guilt ridden past. It takes a special person to do that. But, Jesus was up to the task. He understands there is a little bit of crazy in all of us yet He didn’t judge us for that. In fact, look at his disciples. That is quite a Board of Directors. The hated and despised IRS of that time and the Hell’s Angels of that time were on His team. Haven’t you ever heard of Matthew, the taxman, and John and James, the Sons of Thunder? Sounds like a motorcycle gang to me.
Jesus made people feel welcome. He spread the welcome mat out for prodigal sons and wounded Samaritans. The Bible says Jesus went out to prepare a place for people like that. And do you know what that means? There is a place for us there too. In this, He shows us His excitement for our homecoming with Him. Remember the prodigal son? Talk about a welcome! “And when his father saw him, he ran to meet him.” Luke 15:20.
You see, Jesus wants to release us from the prisons of past guilt, present boredom, and future anxiety. He wants us firing on all eight cylinders. He knows that is what will make us effective and happy. He wants us unencumbered. He wants to release our genius. He wants us to be free from the ghosts of the past and prepared for the opportunities of the future.
Jesus always has a welcome mat out for us. He leaves the lights on for us if we want to return home. All He ever tried to do is to put us in a position to succeed. That’s true today and tomorrow.
Jesus brought the solution to rid people of the ghosts and guilt of their past. He brought God’s love into their world. God’s love changed everything. God’s love is greater and stronger than anything the IRS of that time or the Sons of Thunder could do. God’s love is stronger than anything guilt can do. As the formerly imprisoned from the past received God’s love, that love busted the ghosts of the ‘would-a, should-a, could-a’s.’ When they stopped living the problem and started living the solution, the problem went away.
The scriptures say it this way. “But, God being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have seen saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the age to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7.
You see, you and I are the ages to come. What Jesus did for them He can do for us too! Jesus still goes to prepare a place for us, even if there is a little crazy in us. You know the verse. “For God so loved the world (us) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Let me say it again. When we stop living the problem and start living the solution, the problem goes away. God wants us to get our direction from Him, not the past.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.