Stand in the Light

Love always perseveres and cannot be defeated.

(Listen to my song “I Stand in the Light” on YouTube by clicking HERE)

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Matthew 13:40-43

“Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

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If you want to view this scripture with a preconceived notion of a heaven and hell…that the righteous go to heaven and the evildoers go to hell…then you can fit this scripture neatly into that notion.

But in my opinion, that notion is wrong.

That would make life on earth a contest to see if you measure up for heaven. What kind of cruel picture does that give us of God?

What about God’s unconditional love for us?

What Jesus dying on the cross to show us that unconditional love?

What about grace?

If God made us imperfect and then expects us to somehow be perfect…to somehow earn the reward of being in God’s presence…that just makes no sense to me.

What I think Jesus is doing in today’s scripture…is forcing each listener into a double bind.

Am I part of “the righteous” or am I an “evildoer”?

If I say I am righteous…I know in my heart that I am not.

Am I not one who has done evil…and have I not at some time (or many times) caused others to sin?

Did I not at some time in my life perpetuate an untruth…and cause others to do so?

Did I not…in the name of being in the “in” crowd…stand against those who were being excluded?

I, for one, will admit that I cannot look upon myself and say, “What a righteous, wonderful person and not like those awful sinners over there.”

I submit to a cleansing…a “refiner’s fire” if you will.

This, I believe, is what Jesus is getting at.

When you humbly admit your failings in the light of God’s love and mercy…you will be cleansed.

Love, which is what God is (1 John 4:8), does not give up on anyone.

God will redeem us because that’s what Love does.

As St. Paul proclaimed: “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Amen. Hallelujah!

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Listen to the song of the day “I Stand in the Light” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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