Jon Hasuer: I deserve it
Have you ever said "Well, she got what she deserved"? We live in a world with cause and effect, and we are okay with each of us "getting what we deserve." Our mindset is tell me what you have done along with a few surrounding details and I can tell you if you got what you deserve.
Teaching our children cause and effect is great parenting. Our challenge, though, is we take that mindset into every area of life, and the truth is we all receive blessings we do not deserve and we do not always get the negative consequences our choices deserve.
Jesus chose not to live in a "you get what you deserve" world. He created a spiritual kingdom where people receive what they do not deserve (grace) and they do not get what they do deserve (mercy). We see Jesus operating this way throughout the books about his life (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
The band Imagine Dragons sings a song called Demons. It is a penetrating tune with lyrics that describe the dark and painful "demons" a human heart can hold. These demons can be many items, but I will suggest three ideas.
For some, the demon is their history. Their past continues to haunt them and hold them back. "If you really knew me or knew what I have done, you wouldn't like me and would reject me."
For others, the demon is their hurts. The hurt may be from what someone did to us or what we did to ourselves. Maybe we feel like God let us down. He didn't come through when we were vulnerable and now we feel betrayed, wounded and we have a hard time trusting.
For others, the demon is their habits; those things we don't want to do or know we shouldn't do but we keep doing them. We feel trapped and helpless.
Feelings are legitimate, but they are not facts. We are not changed by feeling different about ourselves. We are changed by the facts the Bible teaches us and our faith in God that reaches us. So, let me give you three statements I hope you will explore further: If you are struggling with your history, Easter teaches us we can be forgiven from our past. If you are struggling with your hurts, Easter teaches us the story isn't over until God's story takes over. If you are struggling with an addiction, Easter teaches us God can free us from our habits.
When we journey with Christ, we get what we do not deserve. We receive life. And that journey begins when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17)
Happy Easter! See you next Sunday!
Hauser is founding and senior pastor, Prairie Heights of Fargo Moorhead. Email firstname.lastname@example.org