26 May The Gospel According to Disability
I love Jesus, and if like you to know him, too.
If you have never met Jesus, I encourage you to read on and discover how a relationship with him can and will change not only your current circumstances but also your future. Jesus changes lives.
Reading the Gospel of John in the Bible is one place to start. The point is to seek him! Ask Jesus to show himself to you. If you seek him, he will be found. You might say something like, “Jesus, I’ve heard of you. If you are real, please show me.” I know he will speak to you.
I’d like to lead you through the four stages of the redemption story. Redemption means that Jesus rescued humanity from death. We’ll get to that in a minute. The four stages are creation, the fall, kingdom living, and fulfillment.
We always start with creation. Creation is where we live. God made everything—the sky, moon, sun, water, plants, and animals. He called it all good (Genesis 1:25). God then called creation very good when he made human beings. The Bible says we are created a little lower than the angels and that God created us in his image.
This is how God meant to be—creation in perfect harmony with him. But we all know our world isn’t that way. We disobeyed God (Genesis 3). It’s called the fall, and the fall created a divide between God and us. We became God’s enemies.
We call this sin. Sin is our actions against God’s laws. Lying is a sin. Murder is a sin. So is uncontrollable anger and cheating on a test. But while sin does cause bad behavior, it’s deeper than that. It’s actually a disease. It’s something within us we cannot get rid of on our own.
There is a cure to all of this. It comes in a person named Jesus Christ. He was born, lived, died a horrible death, and was resurrected. He taught people a new way to live and healed many with sickness and disabilities. He announced a new age was about to begin.
But first sin had to be dealt with. Romans 3:23 says “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The punishment for sin is always death. Because of his love for us, Jesus took the punishment we deserved. He died on the cross so we could live.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
Jesus’ death could have been the final word, but it wasn’t. On the third day after his death, Jesus rose from the dead. This is called resurrection, and means our sins are forgiven. It is a sign new life has begun and sins are forgiven! No more does God hold sin over our heads. “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:10-12).”
The next stage is what I’ll call “Living in the kingdom.” It’s the story of our lives: how we work, play, worship. This plays out in our daily lives. It’s recognizing the Lord has guided me my entire life. I can thank him for my disability and the therapists, doctors, and the other people who have taken care of me. It’s the lessons I’ve learned from family, teachers, and friends, and the memories made. Living in God’s kingdom is accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
And the final stage is the fulfillment of God’s kingdom on earth. It’s the stage we know the least about. It’s when Jesus comes back to take his bride, the church, and fulfills God’s ultimate plan of bringing heaven and earth together again, where God and his creation will live in perfect harmony.
Following Jesus is my greatest joy. Sure, I’ve made mistakes, missed opportunities, and have regrets. That’s human. Jesus died for that, remember? So how about you? Would you like to follow Jesus Christ and begin the greatest of adventures? It’s here for your taking. There are no tests or requirements necessary, just a willing heart.
If you’d like to ask Jesus into your heart, here is a prayer you might use:
I come to you today. I ask forgiveness of my sins. I am so sorry for not trusting you. Give me faith to believe you love me. You have a plan for me and my family. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Touch my heart. Change me, that I may know you more every day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and believed, congratulations! Welcome to the greatest journey you will ever experience! I’d love to hear from you and help you begin your Jesus journey.