To and From, an exploration of the journey of biblical discipleship.
This week, Rosdaly Ramirez shares thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
Sunday's sermon was a sweet reminder of the ways in which God has transformed my life but also the ways He has grown me as a disciple of Jesus. If you know me well enough, you would have learned by now that God has allowed me to go through things in life for the purpose of being vulnerable and reminding me that I, like everyone else, am a sinner saved by Grace. Of course living out true vulnerability as a disciple of Jesus like Pastor Rich preached on Sunday is not something that comes naturally to us. Our sinful nature is to display that "we have it all together" and if we are vulnerable it's disguised behind a false sense of transparency that shares "I'm just struggling this month, pray for me."
We read from Luke 6:37-42. Two key things I learned from this past sermon were that true vulnerability leads to a commitment to transformation and that out of that transformation you are to give others exactly what God has given you, mercy.
So how does this play out practically in my life? I'll tell you. This sermon took me back to when my husband and I were dating. I'll confess that during that season God led me to be the most vulnerable but He also exposed the true wickedness in my heart that I was afraid to see. Before my husband and I started dating I swore that everything I once struggled with was completely out of sight. I mean I was now a new creation therefore I can't possibly struggle with that anymore, right? Seeking male attention, nope. Sexual temptation, nope, lust, nope. How foolish of me. Truth was that all of those struggles were sins that I could never share with anyone, not even admit to myself. For one women have a hard time being open about these sins and two, I thought if I shared them with my friends, especially those that are non believers what would they say about me as a Christian? And guess what? That same thinking and hiding only led to one thing, my husband and I having sex outside of marriage.
When this happened, I could no longer hide behind the statement "I'm just struggling", I now needed to confess that Rosdaly, who did not struggle with any of her past sins had just fallen into sin. I believe God did two things with this, He broke me in a way that exposed me to the sin that was living in my heart, Luke would describe it as a huge log in my eye. God allowed me to see through His mercy just how little mercy I displayed to my best friends who were vulnerable enough to share the areas in which they were falling short. Just like Pastor Rich mentioned, "you must be willing to lose something in order to live out true vulnerability". In this case I had to be willing to lose the facade I had created for myself before others and possibly hear that I was a hypocrite for judging my friends so harshly when they sinned.
The scriptures in Luke 6:42 say "How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."
So I had to confess my sin and by God's mercy I was met with love, I even received mercy from those friends I had once judged. Eventually this led them to no longer feel the need to hide theirs sins, but in fact share it with hope that I would remind them that Jesus loves them, died for their sins past and present, and that He calls them out of it.
Jesus transformed my ability to be honest with Him but also with myself. It led me to fight even harder to be pure for the remainder of my dating season and it allowed me to give what I once withheld from others, mercy.
My husband once shared with me "Vulnerability is not just about making ourselves transparent but making Jesus apparent to all. " We can trust that He will not shame us of our sins but in fact bring glory to Himself and redeem us. I trust that He takes what we are most ashamed of and uses it to draw near those that are far away through our vulnerability with others. I can only hope to display that I am a "hot mess", but my God is so good and merciful that He still fully loves me and He loves you.