Saturday, January 17, 2009

The power of God to transform!



The first time I saw this movie almost 10 years ago I remember being so aware that my heart related so much to the character of Javert. It was like looking in a future mirror with shock and horror, and I was humbled by and drawn to the character of Jean Valjean. More so I was intrigued and haunted by the whole story played out in the movie. The clip above, was the first time I ever saw a glimpse of GRACE and MERCY demonstrated, the first time I saw one 'believe the best'....the fruit of the charachter's life later on in the rest of the movie makes so much sense to me now. I didn't understand it all but a hunger for true freedom had been awoken in me.

Today, something similar to what occurred in the clip above brought this whole scene back to memory and I have been asking questions.

How does grace (not law) work to change a man; a culture even?

Paul said: " I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith. (Romans 1:16)

"God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

The gift of righteousness sets people free from condemnation and then they become open to the power of God. And it is the one who embraces this gift and enters through salvation's birth canal who bears the fruit of righteousness. Christianity is not right DOING. It is right BELIEVING. Right believing will always lead to right doing! Those who are FORGIVEN MUCH, will LOVE MUCH!

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently." Galatians 6:1

How do we restore gently?

ALL have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.
God himself identified with us in our fallen condition when he came as a man and walked among us.

So we walk together with the broken...not alienating them, not pointing fingers and exposing flesh, but understanding that we too have been broken by the curse and it is only LOVE that has freed us. It is only grounded roots of love that produce foilage of beauty and the subsequent mouthwatering fruit of goodness.

Identity is always the issue. Let us tell them who they really are! The gospel proclaims for us all a picture of the finished work of Christ. If we want to give them real, positive, biblical hope, we must make them GOD conscious...not sin conscious, or problem conscious. Not past conscious, or future conscious. FOR He is a very PRESENT help in time of need! We must tell people that God is not holding their sins against them any more.

"For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." (Rom 6:6-7)

And so we deal with darkness by releasing the light to shine, and do what it was meant to do:

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today. Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19 :1-10)

10 comments:

Rich said...

Silent Wings,

What a wonderful refreshing reminder of this Lover in us as us to our world.
I have seen several renditions of Les Miserables including a live production done on stage in Toronto.

I love how our Father has so clearly laid it out for us in the scriptures, that it was God IN Christ bringing the world back unto Himself, and now that is being further facilitated by Christ in us as us in and through the word and ministry of reconciliation as His Ambassadors.

I love your heart for Him and those He loves through you.

silent wings said...

Thank you Rich, I pray I will walk through this trial in the grace, wisdom and power of the Spirit. Please pray with me that this broken one will enounter the love of Jesus and be transformed from the inside out.

Lennart said...

Silent Wings

Firstly, thank for stopping by at my blog again, I unfortunately deleted all the posts while in a "rage".

This post of yours is awesome. You have filled it with so many thoughts and nuggets.

I think the thought that has haunted me for some weeks is that Jesus character was ATTRACTIVE to the world. Is our character attractive to the world, or do they feel 'measureed when they enter our presence?

I did not get my sin cleaned up, God wiped it away. So who do I think I am when I judge another who has faults. Thats his and Gods problem.

Restoring gently...! Wow its is such a power thing. We should be very careful about exposing anyone elses sin. Remember the story of Noah when he was drunk and his one sone saw him naked and the other son covered his father. The one con was cursed buy God for exposing his fathers shame. Restoration should be such a powerful, loving, compassionate act. There should not be even a hint of judgement.

Remember, Jesus was the FRIEND of sinners.

I did not watch the videos. The bandwidth here in SA is not great at the moment.

silent wings said...

Hello Lennart,
It is too bad you could not see the videos...and yet God's word, as you highlighted in the story of Noah and his sons,is so full of precious examples of His mercy and grace. I am so glad that he is giving me salve for my eyes that I may see such in all of scripture.

I know full well that many have felt "measured" in my presence and that my feet have not often been beautiful (Isaiah 52:7) and I am increasingly broken by this. But that is the nature of transformation for all of us whether we be prodigals or pharisees in restoration. We are broken to love more as LOVE himself is revealed more.

Free Spirit said...

Thanks for this!
Great videos.
What grace He is - so foreign to this world.

Jules said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your wise insights - will spend some time reading through your space here, good to meet you.

Jules x

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Silent Wings, cirra,
I tried to look up what I'd written but I notice your profile only mentions this blog.

Fabulous to see a comment written by someone different...only sad that I'm at a loss to know how to answer.In case I don't see a reply to this here..might be wiser to put something on 080808,,,or use the google email 07000INTUNE@googlemail.com or use Facebook if you are on it.

Walking Church said...

Great Post - enjoyed the Youtubers - needed to hear this (again).

Sheila said...

Hi Cirra!

Are you doing allright, dear one? I see it has been a little while since your last post. Hope you aren't sick or anything like that.

I just wanted to come to "your place" and drop by to say thank you for your comment on my blog about eyelashes. ACK!

Seriously. You made me cry. you encouraged my heart on a day that my heart felt bruised (for reasons I won't get into...just the everydayness of being a mom, and the monotony that comes with home schooling, really)

I kiss your cheek, hug you, drop off chocolate cake, and say, "THANK YOU".

:-)

Now. If you are feeling up to it, get back to blogging on grace, because I love it and need to hear it.

Blessings...

silent wings said...

Sheila,

Who knew that Christ in you would bless my heart from which would overflow His own affection for you.

You are precious and beautiful. Thankyou for stopping by to love on me and encourage me. I have been having an emmotional week myself and have 4 sick children to tend to. Been thinking alot, but it's all in simmering stage ;) Haven't had time to read any other blogs either. Look forward to hearing from you on yours too when I have time again.

With warm affection,
Cirra

ps Add me on facebook. It would be nice to "meet".