“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Romans 1:16 NASB
The cross sits on level ground. All who come to it are even in the eyes of God. I remember when I began this walk of faith. I looked at all the believers around me who had been in the faith for years, and I felt less than. In my fleshly thinking, I believed that they were closer to God, that they were better. As the Lord transformed my thinking, I realized that, from the knowing eyes of the Eternal One, we were all complete.
In our salvation, we are justified. Imagine a printer holding up a page of printed text. The printer uses the first page as the justifier for the rest. All other printings are compared to the first, as the printer lays the next against the first and looks at them against the light. If they are the same, they are justified. When the Lord looks at us, He is seeing us through Jesus.
Such knowledge has helped me as God has transformed my life day by day. It has also helped me to see others through the eyes of Christ. Early on, I was like the Pharisees, judging others and thanking God I was better than the sinners in the next pew. God has taught me that I am the sinner in the next pew. His grace has helped me to open my heart and love my sisters and brothers. I am conscious and patient with those not as mature as I, just as so many loving believers were patient with me.
The Gospel has also changed my heart in regard to matters of race. I grew up in a segregated church. Most of the churches in this country are like that. It is something that causes me to mourn, as we are to be one in Christ. Much of my life, I respected the reality of segregation. That changed when the Lord, placed me at Grace Church. Each Sunday, I questioned Jesus on this. Why am I here. I remember one particular Sunday. My church had a carnival after the services, as a time of fellowship. I felt uncomfortable, and a bit overwhelmed. I felt out of place. I left the building and hopped in my car. As I drove home the Lord moved on my heart. “Turn around!”
I went back and walked around the gym/sanctuary and looked at all the booths. I walked expectantly, waiting for that revelation from the Lord, that brought me back. I had all but given up, when I ran into John Swafford. As if cued by the Lord, John began to tell me why he and his family were at Grace. The Swaffords were amongst the few black people at the church. He told me what I needed to hear. When I left, I felt the peace that I needed. I also felt a bit of fear. I knew the sting of racism. I knew that I would experience it at Grace. The stereotypes, the rumors about single black men, all the ugliness that would be sent my way. Like Paul in Acts 18, feeling the stress of beatings and persecution, I felt the presence of Lord giving me comfort and assurance. I knew He would be with me. He walked me through it all.
“And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.””
Acts 18:9-10 NASB
The Lord had many people at Grace Church who loved me and welcomed me. I am grateful for them!
The great work that God has done in me, has given me an overwhelming desire to tell others of the salvation in Jesus Christ. I can’t help but write about it, talk about it, and share the with all who will hear. I have a deep burden for those who do not know the Lord. I am thankful for the memories of past depravity as seen through my new eyes. I am
amazed I survived. I do not revel in it, but am relieved that the Lord delivered me through it. I know the difference between the life destined for hell, and new life with a destiny in Heaven. I want everyone to know this freedom through Christ, the joy of waking to each day free from guilt, and under the control of God.
Jesus is the Savior of the mighty and the small, the black and the white, the Jew and the gentile, the young and the old. He is the ultimate feminist. In a world filled with religions where sexes are separated, and women subjugated, we are one in Christ Jesus, all in equal footing before the Lord.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 NASB
Believers, proclaim the Gospel today. Tell of our Great God who exalts the lowly, and humbles the great. He is the God of the level ground. The unifier of hearts and minds. He is all to all and in all and for all.