Avoiding Jesus


For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.

~Romans 3:9-10, NIV


The only way to avoid Jesus, is to avoid sin.

~Flannery O’Connor

I’m a huge fan of Luke and perhaps some of this may be racial, he was a Gentile like myself. We know he wrote a gospel and the book of Acts but some think it is possible that he wrote Hebrews also–I don’t know enough to argue but I do know one thing–Luke 15 is possibly the deepest, and clearest place in scripture to see the bottom of the gospel. I love the story of the GOOD, GOOD FATHER. Tradition has made it about the PRODIGAL SON but it’s really about the PRODIGAL FATHER and His extravagant grace. The two sons are different, as different as daylight and dark but yet, in one respect, they are the same. One is overtly rebellious, the other is covertly rebellious. The younger doesn’t worry about reputation–His or his fathers. The prodigal is a bohemian, a non-conformist who is very open about his intentions. The older brother represents those of us who hide our intentions with a cloak of self-righteousness. Yet in one diabolical way, they are both a like. Would you care to know what that likeness was?

Both wanted what the FATHER had rather than wanting the FATHER HIMSELF. Granted; they went about it in different ways–the younger boldly asking for his share and the older brother trying to blackmail his father with his good record…Lo, these many years I have served thee and I have never disobeyed you…He may as well have said, “LOOK, you owe me!” The elder brother believed that because of his superficial righteousness, he deserved his father’s estate, all of it!

The elder brother has no concept of GRACE! Therefore he has no sense of gratitude to or affection for the Father. He has been doing good things but he was doing them for the wrong reason. He was on a point system and the only way he could think was in terms of justice. In his mind, the younger brother and the Father were unjust while he was being treated unjustly. This made him the victim.

Obviously the elder brother is in the wrong. He claims to be obedient but he is disobeying his Father as he speaks. He saw himself as being good and he saw nothing good in his younger brother. He had failed to love the FATHER with all his heart and soul and he did not love his brother like he loved himself. He was a vile sinner and didn’t know it.

You may think I am kidding but I’m very serious: there are many in this world who intend to avoid Jesus. Only sinners need Jesus and they do not see themselves as sinners. Many of these so-called moralist [do-gooders] do not go to church; they don’t profess to be Christians. They are philanthropist, actors, celebrities who see themselves as righteous; yet they are Antichrist and they support homosexuality, abortion and every evil imaginable. They think they are right and we are wrong. We think everyone is wrong and everyone needs Jesus–Trust me, they don’t think that way. They want what the FATHER has but they don’t want the FATHER Himself and He cannot give us Himself without giving us His Son.

At of bedtime, we had not got rain but I’m not complaining because we did get a break from the heat and the cloud cover was wonderful. I know a lot of folks are playing a mini-vacation for next weekend but I am content to stay at home. We all need something to look forward to. Tomorrow is our 48th anniversary and Big Mama has agreed to a day trip. I think we are going up to see the Amish. This year is flying by: once football starts, it literally zooms by like a jet. I hope you have a great day and a great week.

Praying For…Lilly G and Tracey B

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