Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We Don't Serve A Sugar Coated Jesus!

Have you ever noticed that things covered in sugar just seem to be better? It is obvious they are sweeter, but given the option most of the time children will choose the sugar coated choice. I must confess that yesterday I indulged in a cupcake from a local bakery. It was a yellow cake with lime icing with sprinkles of sugar on top. Oh my goodness is all I can say. I also love those sugar coated sour jelly beans and sour patch kids that are in fact covered with sugar. Sugar coated things just seem to make us happy. Mary Poppins even said that a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. I will be honest, if my children need medicine I am not going to chase it down with a spoonful of straight sugar. HELLO! What kind of mother am I? Instead we have a glass of coke after taking medicine. It does in fact help the medicine go down. As I was enjoying my sugar coated cupcake yesterday I began to think that as believers we have become very much like the sugary goodness we indulge in. We have come to a place where we sugar-coat everything and we call it grace. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for grace. After all didn't Jesus say that is what He came to bring and that we too should offer grace to one another. We need grace, I need grace and we need to offer grace to others, but what is grace exactly. Is grace standing by and allowing others to live in sin all the while seeing, knowing and recognizing and saying nothing? Scripture is clear that we are to offer a gentle rebuke to our fellow believers. Grace is actually being given something that you do not deserve. So does that mean loving someone who has hurt us? Could that be considered grace? Could it be biting our tongue and not giving the other the person the tongue lashing they deserve for what they just said to us? I think often times as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we mistake offering grace for the absence of truth. We do not serve a sugar coated Jesus. Jesus did not mince words. Jesus did not use feel good phrases and give pats on the back and call it grace. Jesus spoke the truth and said that the truth is our key to freedom. Jesus turned over tables, cast out demons and recognized sin as such. He spoke with boldness and clarity never holding back for fear of where it would take Him. He knew from the beginning what the end for Him would look like and with reckless abandonment He proclaimed truth and as a result He is the only person throughout history to have changed millions upon millions of lives every day. He never sugar coated anything. How would it have sounded had Jesus decided to sugar coat the very words that He came to give His life to proclaim. Matthew 5:29 sugar coated version - "I have trouble sometimes too with my eyes causing me to sin. Sometimes I wish I didn't even have eyes and then I wouldn't be so tempted." Matthew 5:29 as Jesus spoke, "If your right eye causes you to sin GOUGE it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." My friend there "ain't" nothing sugary about that. As believers we want to help our brothers and sisters in Christ make justification for what they are doing and I am often guilty of doing this by saying, "I have struggled with that too." Struggled??? What does that even mean? I AM A SINNER JUST LIKE YOU. That is the truth of the matter. We both need to gouge our eyes out! We are called to be His disciples. We are called to follow Him and proclaim the message of truth that He delivered and that He died for. God is convicting me that we don't have time to teach, preach and share a sugar coated gospel. We don't serve a sugar coated Jesus. We must proclaim His word with boldness. Yes, we continue to offer grace, but we are not equipped to offer eternal grace. We can only point them to the one who can. We can offer circumstantial grace as we give to others what they don't deserve. Eternal grace is only His to give, but we are the matchmaker, the arrow, the neon sign introducing them to Jesus. I confess that I sugar coat things way too often. I am praying that God will give me clarity of speech and a boldness to proclaim His truth without the fear of man. His word is sweet enough like honey from the comb, proclaim it just as it is. There is no need to sugar coat it.

1 comment:

  1. Monica you are the greatest. No actually God is the greatest, and He does awesome and great works through you. Why don't youngest just write these blogs and the put them into a book. I need good Christmas gifts and these blogs would be the best.