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John Simmons

So I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this for some time because quite honestly what you’re about to read actually happens to me quite often.  A few weeks ago there was a lady who would approach me at a gas station.   She was needing gas put in their car and they only had 3 dollars, she was with a guy.  The woman looked very troubled and upset, in fact when I said I would put gas in her car she instantly began to sob. To make her situation worse I noticed that her temp tags on her car were expiring that same day.  Whatever was going on, and I didn’t really ask any questions, but I knew she had hit rock bottom as well as the other individual with her.

I put 20 bucks in their tank.   They said they needed to go to Seattle but where we were and where they needed to go they wouldn’t have made it there on a few bucks, especially rush hour.  I guess you could say at that moment I felt a lot of empathy.

I remember telling them these words “I just want you to know that God is indeed very fond of you.  You may not think that but He is, the fact that we have all just crossed paths testifies as such.  No matter how times you may curse at Him, no matter how times you may walk away, use him, break His heart.  His love for you is never ceasing.”

Their eyes opened wide,  the lady put her hands over her face a balled and the other guy  began to tear up.  After that I felt a release and knew that it was time for me to head.  So shortly after we would part.  They thanked me tremendously, hugged me, and went on their way.

I didn’t realize what was going to happen next though!

They got in their car and left and I just so happen to be right behind them.  The interesting thing though was that they would take I-5 South!  They didn’t even head North to go to Seattle.  At first I really felt stupid.  I honestly felt used and deceived.  Overtime I would actually grow angry over the situation.

Once work was finished and I was back at the garage, that whole situation was still in my mind.  I was immediately reminded of Judas at the table with Christ just before His betrayal.  If you read my blog, or follow it, you will find another article which I dive a little into what I think revival looks like.  I talked about table fellowship and what that means in the Jewish culture.   If a Jew was to ask you to a meal and sit with them it meant that they wanted to enter into deep fellowship with you.  It meant peace, reconciliation, and brotherhood and its desire thereof.

From that moment I was reminded of these verses.

Luke 6:27-36  (NIV)

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus was undoubtedly a man who practiced what He preached.  Even when He knew the person who would betray Him.  Mercy and compassion was still being extended in a way that, in my opinion, only the Divine could comprehend.  Take it one more step to that of cross and all those sheep he once cared for, as well as healed and taught, would turn their backs on Him.  Yet Christ offered forgiveness, knowing what would happen and despite all this He calls us to the very same lifestyle, or better yet, love-style.  A love that even to many Christians is reckless and for the most part they’re right.  It is indeed reckless and God believes in it in such a way that He would re-found the world with this ethic.  And this love, as scandalous and reckless as it is, we must not forget that it was meant to be experienced by each of us as if there was only one of us.  As this great affection takes over our heart we then are capable of loving recklessly, unashamedly and intentionally with no strings attached.  Love the same way that God loved you, right in the middle of all your problems.  What a reminder that God’s love chases after us, He is ALWAYS taking the initiative….  Even if it means He will be denied a time or two, or three….  Remind of you someone?  I’ll leave it there and let you think about it 🙂

Blessings

John

P.S. I know those two had a seed planted in their heart. I think to many times we try to play God and thus we rush people and push them. If you read all the encounters that Christ had with those who were lost and if you believe God is like Jesus. Then you can safely conclude that God is an utmost gentlemen 🙂

 

 

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