Monday, September 10, 2012

Feeling Scattered?

“... he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”  -Jesus, in Matthew 12:30

This is a critical warning from Jesus. Like the natural principle of gravity, this is a spiritual principle; a simple but profound statement of truth. This is a fundamental truth, always true for both non Christian and Christian alike. This is a statement that deserves contemplation by all.

Jesus made this statement in the context of saying that every sin can be forgiven a person except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the truth when the Holy Spirit of God reveals to a person two things: one, that they are a sinner separated from a Holy, Perfect God and two, that Jesus is the eternal, living God and the only way to be made right with God is through Him. The rejection of Christ is the rejection of the Holy Spirit of God, who is also called by Jesus “the Spirit of Truth.” To reject truth is to live in a lie. What is left for someone that is living a lie? Nothing but further deterioration of and separation from the truth. All sin will be forgiven a person through faith in the work of Jesus on the cross. He died for everyone's sin, and through our repentance from sin and receiving Him as Lord and Savior we are saved from the judgment of God on all of our sin. Our punishment has been laid on Jesus. Our faith in Him gathers us to Him. So, the only thing that cannot be forgiven a person, the only thing, is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

All that do not gather to Him scatter abroad. The greek word translated “scatter abroad” means “to be scattered.” To be scattered means to be thrown in various directions. In this context it means to be thrown farther and farther from the truth of God in some other direction in life. It could be any number of directions. There are nearly as many directions to go as there are people. The person that turns their back on Christ will be scattered to somewhere other than the true and living God and His truth. But God has said that in order for a person to be made right with Him, because of our sin, all people that have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ must surrender their lives to Him. We all must believe that He is God and that He died for the sin of the world on the cross. To be scattered away from God speaks of an increasingly greater and greater distancing from Jesus, and reality. It is to deny Christ and to reject Him as Lord of all, and Lord of our own life.

Isn’t that exactly what we see in the world? Some say there are many roads to God. Indeed, there are many scatterings of religious, spiritual or non spiritual teaching that claim to be true. But there is only one true reality, only one true road. Reality cannot be several contradictory ideas at once. It is either as Jesus said or it is not. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God except through Me.” That statement is either true or it is false. To live apart from Christ is to walk away from truth and reality. Do you really want to walk away from your loving Creator? Do you really want to live outside of His perfect will for your life?

As a Christian I have experienced this scattering in my life as well, even after coming to Christ as a child. Though I received Christ at an early age, I rejected and missed many lessons that His word teaches. In so doing, I spent much of my adult life scattered from Jesus in many different directions, though I believe I was saved by His grace. But, His grace has brought me back to Him, to Jesus, who is the express image and heart of the one and true living God. Peace is found in Jesus alone; and all wisdom, knowledge and truth itself. And God is always present in our lives, always as close to us as our own lips, which are always in desperate need of crying out to Him.

As followers of Christ, we too need to stay gathered close to our Good Shepherd. Just as the unrepentant need to gather to Him for the first time, we need to stay close to Him in prayer and in His word every day. We need to earnestly seek Him out moment by moment, day by day- every day. We need to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking until we are one with His perfect will every day. We need to keep pressing into Him until we have victory, until we are one with the Father, as Jesus prayed. Anything less than that sends us out scattered. Oh, Lord, let us be deathly afraid of being scattered away from you. It brings such unnecessary anxiety, confusion, depression, pain and trouble when we are away from you and the truth. Oh, Lord, bring us back to you when we are scattered. In Jesus name, Amen.

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