Tag Archives: easter

Betrayed

29 Mar

“For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born. “ Mark 14:21 NLT

Wow! This jumped off the page from my devotional.
This passage is one small one from a very powerful chapter. The Last Supper. I have thought about this all day.  I discussed this with a couple of wise friends.
Easter is such a powerful, redemptive, hope-filled, thoughtful time. What better time is there to discuss the importance of salvation? I am going to do my best to share my thoughts on this during this Holy Maunday Thursday

My first thought is this: Our lives are mapped out long before we are born. God creates each of us. Judas was created, for his purpose. His purpose was to betray Our Lord.

It is so hard for me to think that some people are not called. Some people just live in this world and never go to heaven. We want to think that everyone does. It’s painful to really sit and think there was a disciple bound for the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and it’s gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
In Luke 13:24, he said “ Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.

My second observation is this: Jesus loved Judas. He knew he would betray him and loved him, his enemy, as the perfect example for us.

It isn’t enough to just say it,  you must love the Lord with all your heart and also, you must love your neighbor as yourself.

This includes the Judas in your life. Yes, even your Judas.  Jesus loved Mary and he loved Judas. There is just no other word’s to say about that.

In my wish to see all things be loving and wonderful  and everyone to be blessed and know Jesus, even those that have harmed me; In my heart that is more jaded, more cautious, (I am still me under it all), this heart absolutely loves people and breaks to think of anyone going to hell.

I hope there is a time for all before that time, in that time where every knee will bow,that maybe there is an opportunity for redemption.  Judas knew who Jesus was and I pray he repented before he took his life.

If not, then his whole  purpose was to know Jesus, to betray him, but never to be with Him in heaven. This breaks my heart, even as I trust God with wisdom and knowledge and compassion I can’t begin to know.

Lord, let me never forget and always remember, You loved me before I ever repented. You loved your enemies and those that would betray you. You are the lover of our souls Lord, help us to love our Judas’ as much as we love our Mary’s.  Amen. 

 

 

What Guilt Could Not Do

3 Apr

Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face, just don’t turn away

~Tenth Avenue North – By Your Side

Easter has always been my favorite time of year. It symbolizes the transformation from winter to spring, with the promise of summer. The days are longer, the sun shines brighter and the coats get put away.

I have always felt this newness to everything.

As I have grown in my faith, I realize that the hope and newness was exactly what Easter is about. I just didn’t quite grasp the full measure…yet.

My catholic upbringing made me aware of God and Jesus. I loved and accepted Jesus my whole life. But the religion of it clouded what He taught and what his death meant for me, what Grace was and that hope of salvation for me.

I learned guilt and shame in my faith walk. I learned that I was never going to be good enough for heaven and probably would just barely make purgatory. I couldn’t stop sinning. No matter how hard I tried to be perfect, I could not be. When I would be judged, it went very deep within my shame.

As I became a mother, I was keenly aware of God. He kept me safe and strong in times of need. I sought Him constantly. Trying so hard to find Him in my life. What I still did not understand was His love for me, His desire for me.

I was in awe of His creation and His Holiness, I just could never seem to connect the dots, to “get it”. I was trying so hard to be good, to be perfect, to earn my way. I worked so hard at being a “good person”, to be a “good christian”.

In the blink of an eye, everything came crashing down at once. I was humbled by the sheer loss of it all; Beautifully shattered.

From that place of humility and rawness, God slowly showed me what Grace was. He taught me so methodically, it is only in the hindsight that I see His plan unveiled.

What guilt could not do, complete failure and sorrow did. Suddenly, at the end of me, from my dark and hopeless place…I gave up on me; I quit. In that moment of I can’t do this anymore, there was nothing left. I had no fight, no pride, no ego, no hope left.
Finally, I was able to look up and be saved. I was the veil that stood between me and Grace.

In my moment of despair, I surrendered.

The peace that settled on my heart that day is the joy and light in me that people comment on all the time.

The lyrics to the song (above) remind me…Heaven has been won, not by me, but by Jesus. I can’t earn it.

Grace and Mercy are ours for the asking. Being saved is the beginning of a journey. Easter is now about new life, new hope. I am in awe of the sacrifice for me and how much He Loves me to suffer so greatly for me. When you truly surrender, you allow God to guide your life, transform your thoughts and you begin to see your purpose here and to love people from His eyes. The best feeling in the world is looking at you and loving the you He created.

His Mercy, His Love and His unending Grace…are ours for the asking.

If you want to know that love and grace…If you understand that you are a sinner and long to know hope…accept Him. Pray this prayer and ask Jesus into your heart.

“God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior”.

Then let Him guide your heart. (A bible based church is so helpful and important in sustaining that journey)

This is what Paul said about religion vs. faith:

Galatians 2:17-21 MSG

17-18 Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.

19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

Amen.