Today the five of us packed up the car early in the morning and drove to Hector, Minnesota to visit one of our supporting churches. It was nice to connect with this church as we were not able to visit them the last time we were on home assignment.
In the afternoon, we came home and David watched the last few minutes of the Vikings game. (You know, the part where they lost.) Then to shake off the defeat we went to the playground. On the way there we met a guy in a with a white shirt, black tie, and name tag who asked us if we have ever talked with a missionary before. David told him that he is a missionary, and that lead to a half hour conversation with him and his two companions in which David had the chance to share the Gospel several times.
You know, there are many religions out there with many different systems, but they all have one thing in common. Like the guys David met at the park and their religion, they all involve a system. The human does something in an attempt to manipulate some force greater then him to do his will. You see this in the tribal religions of South America, you see it in major religions like Islam and many denominations of Christianity, you see it in eastern religions. They are all the same in model. The only variations are what the end result is and what you have to do to get there, but it is all about doing something to get a result.
As Christ followers, we have something different going on. It is not about us manipulating God to give us something we want. It is about God working in us and transforming us into new creations. This does not happen through our work, but through His work in us. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have no guilt in life when we mess up, and no fear of condemnation in death. Through the work of Jesus on the cross and his victory on Easter, we can enter into a personal relationship with God. We are his children, and He is our Father, and when you have a loving father you need not fear losing his love. He will always love you. He does not see your sins because Jesus took the penalty of your sins for us. You can do nothing to earn His love because He has already given it to you unconditionally.
Praise God for what He gives us!