Before we get our Word on, a couple quick notes...
- There will be no Word next week. I'll be in Cleveland for Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, a grass roots design festival. It's basically a weekend of being inspired by hearing from some great designers and creatives. If for some crazy reason you happen to find yourself in Cleveland next weekend with nothing to do, check it out!
- If you've followed Word for any length of time, you'll know that I pick on Thomas Kinkade quite a bit. This week one of my Twitter buds, Matt Jacobs, called me out on that in a very funny way and I just had to share it. Check out this design of mine and then take a look at what Matt threw together. Love it, Matt!
- Earlier this week, I asked folks on my Facebook page what verse or passage they'd like to see for my Galatians design. There were a lot of great responses and I ended up going with Stan Perl's suggestion (thanks, Stan!). If you want to throw out verse/passage suggestions, make sure you "like" my Facebook page. If you're interested in getting some Word prints, you can get 10% off plus free shipping on my ImageKind store from today through Sunday, June 5. Just use the code BBQ10.
Let's jump into the Word....
That's one killer apostle
Many of the first followers had previous occupations before they became Jesus people. Matthew was a tax collecter. Peter and Andrew were fishermen. Paul helped murder followers of Jesus. Wait, what?
I'm not real "consistent" with my hope
Jesus tells us to hope the best for everyone in all situations, but I'll be honest, there are times when I don't do that.
You struggle with drugs and alcohol? Don't worry because there is hope for you in Jesus! You struggle with pornography? With Jesus, you have the power to change! You hurt animals for fun? Sorry, dude. One way ticket to hell. No backsies, no forgiveness.
At times like that, I like to take a deep breath and think about Paul's journey. Paul went from murdering followers of Jesus to becoming the person who wrote half the New Testament and helped form the Church. The change was so drastic that Jesus changed Paul's name (he used to be Saul). If that doesn't show the hope and power found in Jesus, I don't know what does. Dwelling on Paul's story helps me in a couple ways....
Jesus can save anyone, except that person.
There are times where it's hard for me to have hope for some people. They seem so lost or selfish or just plain evil (according to me, of course). On my own, I can easily drift into thinking that those people are too far gone. Yeah, Jesus can do anything, but c'mon, let's be realistic, some people are the way they are and there's no hope for them. I'd never say that out loud of course, but I'd think it. Paul's story smacks me in the head and says "Wake up, Jim, and put down the gavel. Judging others is not your job, but having hope for others is. Stop judging and start hoping."
Jesus can save anyone, except me.
But it's not always others that I judge. Many times it's me. I'm sure most of you don't struggle with this, but sometimes I think that I'm the one who's too far gone. I've tried to live like Jesus, but sooner or later, I always fail and I have this incredible ability to mentally zoom in 1000% on my failure and stare at it until it seems like that failure is who I am. Again, I'm so thankful for the story of Paul. Someone who seemed completely beyond hope is forgiven, redeemed and used by God in a powerful way.
Thanks to Paul I have hope that Thomas Kinkade will someday produce art that doesn't suck and that someday I will stop judging him.