Our new question that we are dealing with is who is God? Obviously, this is going to take us a little while. We started off by dealing with God's holiness and what exactly that means. We throw the word holy around, but I wonder if we really understand it? Being as we are not holy and since we do not have anything tangible that is holy, it is hard, I think, for us to really grasp holiness. We know that it means things like: perfect, separated, other, whole, pure, clean, sinless, etc. But since we are not those things it can be hard for us to grasp.
When we looked through some Old Testament passages that talk about God's holiness, it portrays him being angry at disobedience. We lose our perception of God in the New Testament and some have mistakenly thought that God changed from Old to New Testament. It is obviously still the same God, though now after the life, death and resurrection of Christ, God has put his wrath all on Jesus. So when we are saved, we are saved from our sins, yes, but we are ultimately saved from God, because he hates sin. God, in saving us, demonstrates his great love for us. And that is a love that is not deserved, but certainly deeply cherished. Speaking of love, that will be the topic for next week.
Before our Bible Study we were getting ready to sing together and a guy that I have talked with a few times grabbed my guitar and sat down to play. I was amazed, he put me to shame. It was pure blues that I could only hope to play. He talked about how when he plays it just helps him to mellow out and connect with God. It made me think of what a great gift music truly is. God gave it to us as a way of connecting with him and my new friend gets that.
We stood outside and talked after the study. He expressed to me his feelings of confusion and emptiness about his life, his purpose and where he was with God. He said that he felt tired, tired of all the struggles and consequences of his actions. He said that he is ready to get his life on track and he wants to quit running back to the same old stuff that used to trip him up. We had a good conversation, prayed together and he had to get inside to check in. I kept thinking about him though as I waited in line for my raspberry italian soda at the trendy coffee shop across the street. I like to eavesdrop on people's conversations in there, because they are just plain interesting. What an eclectic group of people! But as I continued to think about my guitar playing friend from the shelter and the despair that he is living through, the coffee shop was full of affluent young kids who sipped their coffee, dressed in odd, trendy clothes and poured over their Macbooks. What an interesting world we live in! Just across the street about 40 guys are laying their heads down in a humid, damp room full of bunk beds, focusing on the day behind them and the one yet to come, hoping for a change in their seemingly hopeless situations. Jesus Christ died for the trendy kids and the lost men. Both are in need of the saving blood of Jesus which was shed for them while they were still in their sins.
God can do great things in a life that is surrendered to him, but we have to, in faith, surrender. How hard that can be! We take small steps and God meets us with each step. My friend in the shelter, the trendy kids and the idiot typing these words are all loved by He who spoke the very creation into being. That's something to surrender to...that is something to have faith in...He is someone you can trust...because He is holy.