Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It Doesn't Matter

This is not a side note. It's a for-real point I am making: I'm reading Renegade, by Vince Antonucci. I'm reading it faster than pretty much any other non-fiction book on the Christian life that I have ever read.

You should read it. Vince is to discipleship what Ann Voskamp is to gratitude. His humor on par with her poetry. Seriously, put on a diaper before you read it, just in case. He's hilarious. He's also real. He doesn't deny the scariness of discipleship. He calls a spade a spade, a pimp a pimp. (Literally, "But you know what momma always said: a pimp is a pimp is a pimp.") Oh, and he started a church plant on the Las Vegas Strip. Crazy, inspiring, and liberating. His honesty freaks you out, and frees you too. His words hold your hands and guide your mind towards a wholly holy new point of view- right to Jesus. We have so. much. freedom. And I can't wait to share with you all my renegade stories as I embark on some deliberate loving of the lost.

Last night, I read of a sermon he gave that rocked a pimp's world. "It Doesn't Matter."

"It doesn't matter who you are; God still loves you. It doesn't matter why you left; God is still pursuing you, just like the shepherd pursued the one lost sheep. It doesn't matter where you've been or what you've done; God will still take you back, just like the father took back the prodigal son." (Chapter 14)

It doesn't matter.

And I just want to be clear, "it doesn't matter," doesn't equal, "God doesn't care." The hairs on your head answer to God's roll call. Every little part of your life matters to Him, but when it comes to His love for you- all those sins cannot keep Him away. You cannot disgust Him so much that He doesn't desire you by His side forever.

But they matter to us- our sins. They don't keep Him from pursuing us, they keep us from pursuing Him. They keep us from pursuing others. If we, who have the knowledge of a loving God can still feel so unworthy of His love, how much more so do the lost feel it? If we are broken by our sin, and healed in intimate times of prayer with a close Father, how broken are those who receive no healing?

It's a question worthy of an answer. Not because the law requires we convince people, because we have been loved, and can love, with supernatural power. God's love for you, and in you, is so much more powerful than the sinful choices you have made.

So, if you are struggling with the sins that hold you back, take a gander at the sinful woman in Matthew 26 (or Luke 7, which is slightly different, but sooo awesome). After this incredibly sinful woman (whom I now picture as a hooker on the Strip) anointed Christ's feet, the disciples get their linens in a wad over the cash she just flushed down the... whatever facilities they used in those days.

"But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, 'Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.' " (v. 10)

I'm sorry- but I've just trained myself to believe that those devotions to God, which seem to cost me so much, are incredibly insignificant in the big scheme of things. But Jesus says something different, They are beautiful. Done in love, they are memorable. In Luke 7, Jesus says,

"Therefore, her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." (v.47)

I've been forgiven much. We all have. May our love reflect that today in our real lives. God so values tangible love. That's why Thomas (the doubting one) got to touch Jesus' wounds. He loves us tangibly. Praying His wounds, His resurrection, His love, hold undeniable sway in your life today.

Linking up for Three Word Wednesday today with Simply Beth. Come join in and read some wonderful writing by beloved and gifted believers!