“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.””
Romans 10:12-13 ESV
Everyone who calls out to God will be met by God with love, grace, peace, mercy and salvation. You and I may never see any outward change in a person and that doesn’t mean they haven’t found their way to peace in God. We must stop judging people.
Earlier in this passage in verses 6 and 7, Paul calls out quite plainly that we should not go around asking who’s going to heaven and who’s going to hell and yet, I hear those very words from far too many Christians today. Making a proclamation that someone is going to hell for a choice they are making seems all to prevalent and it is making a judgment on someone we are truly unable to actually make. I don’t know anyone elses heart, only my own. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I don’t really even know my own. I can’t possibly allow myself to be arrogant enough to say I know who has or has not found their way to God.
Our job, our call as followers of the Christ, is to love God, love people and talk about our own experiences with God. Our role is clearly stated in many places in the Bible and it is never stated that we are judge. We don’t have enough information and we can’t see into the heart’s of others. There are no distinctions, no exclusions, made in heaven and there should be none made here on Earth.
Love all people. Share what God has done in your life. Stop saying anyone is going to heaven or to hell. Honestly, I think (and quite frankly hope) that we will be suprised to see just who all is in heaven and we need to be far more concerned with our own path.
I love that from the very beginning, God has been all about creating a way for us to be in relationship with Him. I’m not a fan of rules, I’ll just be honest, and yet I find deep beauty in the law because of its purpose. It was meant as a pathway to God and that is lovely. It is also daunting.
Following the letter of the law is overwhelming and quite truthfully impossible in and of ourselves. No one can follow every single law set. (Most of us don’t even know all of the laws in our own towns!) So we do our best and we fall short more than we know. We take pride in how well we follow the rules, we beat ourselves up when we fail, and all of it becomes about us. That’s too much pressure and God knew it from the beginning.
The Messiah, Jesus, lovingly walks up to us and says “Here, let me carry that load you’re struggling with”, and He takes it all on Himself. In that moment, the moment we can shift and believe that Jesus completes it all, we find that all is made right and that divine approval is not based on us doing anything more than handing it all over. There is deep and amazing freedom in believing Jesus made it all right. There is also deep and amazing struggle with abdicating the control. It’s an interesting battle that we wage in our hearts and minds. I’m convinced we make it all harder than it has to be.
God made a way for you and I to experience Him without shame and guilt at not measuring up. None of us are able to live out the law in our own ability and so God had planned from the beginning to show us grace through Jesus. The law didn’t go away so you are certainly free to try and follow it. I’m going to choose to give up and give it all up to Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling I get when I can grasp even for a moment that God cherishes me. That I bring Him joy. That He thinks of me as the “apple of His eye”, someone of beauty and deep value. It is my daily prayer that I never forget these truths and that I never lose sight of how expansive God’s love is for His people…me and you.
When I do lose sight of God’s love, it’s usually because shame has moved in between me and Him. Shame tells me God can’t possibly love me because of this thing over here that I’ve thought, felt or done. It’s too big, too bad, for someone like God to love me. I’m damaged goods. All of that language, all of those emotions, can feel crushing and they push us down into darkness. And God sits with us whispering over and over words like beloved, child, friend, mine. God’s love goes to whatever darkness you are sitting in and it lights a match so that you know you aren’t alone.
Life is hard, that’s just the plain and simple truth. God’s love is strong for you. He is in your corner, wiping your tears and believing in your best. He’s well aware of your flaws and, you are still cherished.
You are the apple of His eye.