If you've been reading CTW for awhile you know that George Mason, pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church is one of my favorite preachers.
I haven't taken the opportunity to avail myself of his wonderful gift for plainly, yet profoundly proclaiming the Word of God.
His sermon, 'No Self Respecting God', is a reminder of why I love the parable of the Prodigal Son. It's because I know what it's like to experience the Grace that gives us another chance. I also understand why my heart goes out to those that some people look down upon. It's because I know what it's like to experience the Grace that gives us another chance.
The God who should have shown me 'tough love' has dealt gently with me all of my life. I try and do the same when I encounter people who need 'tough love'. I admit I fail at that sometimes. When I do, God deals gently - mercifully - with me.
Mason explains why some Christians have a hard time with this.
"...when we have a problem with the father in Jesus’parable, our real problem is with
God. God simply doesn’t conform to our image. Which, of course, is exactly the problem, since we have it backward: we are supposed to conform to the image of God, not the other way ’round. Anne Lamott has it right. She says: You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
"Hate may be too strong a word in the context of this parable. It’s closer to the idea that you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God loves only people who fall within the limits of your own love."
Sometimes we do get this backwards. We think that God approves of those of whom we approve; He accepts others based on our own standard of repentance.
I'm so glad that's not true...
Thanks again George! Be blessed by the video of the sermon here.