The Unlovable Jerk

Borrowed from The Jerusalem Connection (www.thejerusalemconnection.us)

A few weeks ago I discussed the Lovable Jerk.

The unlovable jerk comes in two varieties.

Haters

The first group came first, arguably starting with Cain or, at the very latest, during the time of the Apostles in the first century A.D. (or CE, for you PC folks … letters are fun).

These are the people who take offense at Christianity, whether for good reasons (abuse, deception, and/or bigotry from Church leadership, amongst other things) or not-so-good reasons (boredom, disagreeing with something/someone, having an ax to grind, etcetera). Cain was offended that Abel’s offering was accepted over his. The Jewish kings did not like prophets speaking of repentance and doom. Herod did not like John the baptizer saying his marriage to his sister-in-law was wrong. The Jewish leadership did not like being told by a carpenter that they messed up God’s Laws. The people and Roman emperor did not like these Christians telling them that their gods were not real.

In each of these listed, righteous people were killed. The response for these people:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:14

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
Matthew 5:44

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-12

Un-lovers

The second group of unlovable jerks are those who are called to love but spread hate.

A group of unhappy former slaves were not happy about walking around in a desert and demanded a change in leadership. The nation of Israel was called to share God with the nations, but for centuries tried to cut themselves off (while and after mixing beliefs with surrounding nations). Judaizers demanded that the only true Christian was one who was circumcised. Church history is rife with people who demanded other people believe exactly as they do or be killed. Westboro Baptist Church preaches that God hates … basically everyone!

These are all people who were called to “Love your neighbor,” and instead they have caused dissension, hatred, and chaos.

You might not believe it, but the Bible has the response we are to show them, as well:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.
Galatians 6:1-5

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:25-26

And in case they will not listen:

When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:4-5

In other words, no matter what, we need to love the unlovable jerks. From Matthew 5 we know that we should rejoice that we can suffer like our Lord, for He received ridicule, hatred, beatings, and death for being the Righteous One. This is why they are jerks: as I mentioned in “The Lovable Jerk” they bring us to give glory to God.

Likewise, if we love those who persecute us or are the Un-lovers, we may jerk on their heart-strings and lead them to give glory to God. This is why we should expel them if they are one of us, because, perhaps, the shame of being expelled will bring them to repentance.

So, “come on, people, now, smile on your brother! Everybody get together, try to love one another, right now!” Let us love each other, all people.

To make it more manly (for those of you who worry about such things): GET OVER YOURSELF AND LOVE OTHERS!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/09/2011

This week’s poem was one of my first, written in high shool English class, and I think it relates to much of the theme of Courageous.

the kind of person
i should have been

daniel m  klem

the kind of person i should have been is coming back
he is nice to all and likes to talk to people

the kind of person i should have been was around as a kid
he was curious about everything he could learn

the kind of person i should have been says  I forgive you
when someone does something to me

the kind of person i should have been likes to meet people
he walks around looking for new friends

the kind of person i should have been loves Jesus
just as i do now with all of my friends

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 86.

Seeing Courageous

As I mentioned on Sunday …

YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE!

Courageous is the fourth movie to come out of Sherwood Pictures of Sherwood Baptist Church. It has the theme of men taking a stand as fathers and husbands to raise up strong families and prepare the next generation for life and faithfulness to God.

Four police officers are also close friends. Javier Martinez, a latino struggling to provide for his wife and two children, becomes one of their friends as well. After tragedy strikes one of them, it results in the Resolution: a promise before God and family to everything they can to live godly lives to impact the next generation (to sum it up very poorly).

This movie is full of action, romance, violence, and camaraderie. It will make you laugh, pull at your heart-strings (those jerks!), knock you down emotionally, lift you back up, and encourage and embolden you. It is rated PG-13 for violence (chasing bad guys, a shoot-out, a gang initiation) and drug content (seeing baggies with powder and pills). I would suggest many more mature children can see this movie, but I would also suggest parents use wisdom and see it first to decide for yourself.

Courageous is by far the greatest movie to come out of Sherwood Pictures to date, and it is now one of my favorite movies. (The other three, if you are unaware, are Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof) The Kendrick brothers are great at working the Gospel message into these films, the acting gets better all the time, and they definitely had a larger budget with which to work this time! This movie is sure to punch you in the gut and then dust you off and lift you up. I laughed, laughed until I cried, cried for sorrow, cried for joy, and wanted to cheer and praise by the end of the movie.

I will say it again …

GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

And like I asked last week, see where your heart is and how important God is in your life. This movie will help!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 10/02/2011

I am still amazed by people who live their lives for God, and I am more amazed by God! I also saw Courageous twice already, and it only caused more amazement.

SEE THAT MOVIE!

amazing
daniel m  klem

Your Love is amazing
Your Grace is amazing
Your Spirit is amazing
You Glory is amazing
Your Faith is amazing
most amazing of all
You sent Your only Son
He died and saved us
This Redeemer is amazing

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 145.

it was all for Him
daniel m  klem

when i gave up everything
it was all for Him
when i changed my lifestyle
it was all for Him
when i told others the Good News
it was all for Him
when one asked why i love Jesus
i simply answered
it is all for Him

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 160.

Got God?

There is something that really amazes me. I mean something that absolutely blows my mind.

First, I must tell you that God got a hold of me almost twelve years ago, and He got a firm hold of me (which means I finally stopped wiggling around enough to pay attention to Him holding me) four and a half years ago. From all of this I have dedicated my life to transforming others’ lives by opening myself to God using me for His glory. I do a lot with my church and different ministries. My college major is Christian Leadership. I love reading my Bible and sharing what I learn with those around me. I help younger Christians grow in their faith.

But this post is not about me.

I am amazed by the people who are not in “full-time ministry” and impact people’s lives for Christ. These are Christians who are (in no particular order):

  1. Teachers
  2. Doctors
  3. Bus drivers
  4. Taxi drivers
  5. Garbage removal technicians (cool title, eh?)
  6. Retail workers (like my mom!)
  7. Carpenters (like my pop!)
  8. Computer technicians
  9. Web-designers
  10. Farmers
  11. City workers
  12. Office workers
  13. Your mom
  14. Salesmen
  15. Wait staff (you know, the people who serve food)
  16. Kitchen staff (the people who make the food)
  17. Bussers (the people who clean up after you have eaten the food)
  18. Business people
  19. Executives
  20. Business owners
  21. Single parents
  22. Multi-jobbers (providing for their families by working many jobs)
  23. Street cleaners
  24. Security guards
  25. Police officers
  26. Firefighters
  27. Paramedics
  28. And way more people than I could ever hope to include in this list (at least right now)

To do this requires completely selling out to God.

To do this means letting God’s love pour through you toward others.

To do this takes loving God and others way more than your family, your friends, yourself.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14: 26

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
Matthew 22:37-39

Have you let yourself see just how tightly God is holding on to you? Do you let Him move freely through your life? Is He everything?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 09/25/2011

Some people may have thought it very odd that I call people jerks when they help me, therefore, I hae a fittingly named poem:

Be weird

The masses of the world
Tell us to conform;
We should not shift away
From the accepted norm.
But if most of those people
Live their lives depressed,
Why should we give in
And blend in with the rest?
If most of the world tells us
This is the only way to live,
Does that make us weird
And impossible to forgive?
I do not think this is so,
And I would argue for
The fact that the so-called norm
Leaves most searching for more.
So, if you yearn for more
And will not settle for less,
Then I say to you be weird!
Find out how to be blessed!
The only way to find the Truth
And learn to be happier
Is to turn to God through Jesus,
The best at “being weird.”
Through this very Son of God
All mankind can know and hear
That forgiveness is for all
And not meant to be weird.
So, if you truly desire
To have a life that is blessed,
Turn to the Weirdest One of all,
God’s only Son, Jesus!

Taken from simple words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, pages 56-7.

The Lovable Jerk

I know. A corvette and mention of a jerk. It must be that I have a corvette and you love me for it!

No, actually this is a dear friend and his first corvette. Trust me. It applies. You probably have a good question, though.

What is a lovable jerk?

To help you understand this, I have a couple of stories.

This past weekend was the monthly mens breakfast for my church. We had a great time at Denny’s with stories, life updates, and a great challenge about finishing strong. The pastor ducked out a little early. I jokingly thought to myself “He did not really finish! He left early!” When the rest of us walked to the front to pay our bills, there was some confusion at the register. It took a minute to figure out that “That one man with the glasses” (the pastor) “paid for it all.” I sent him a text message (do not get too mad at me, because I will explain myself):

“You are a jerk, but a lovable jerk who is greatly loved! May the Lord bless you and keep you, brother!”

(He loves me, too. And if you know about whom I am speaking, just praise God for his love.)

Another person is a lovable jerk. I put the same disclaimer here as for the pastor: praise God.

This man is that dear friend who, quite honestly, deserves a corvette. If you know this man, you agree. The story about him takes place when I was first allowed to see this man in action. Our car was having some issues, and (as has happened many times since) he offered to fix it. He fixed the car and paid for the parts he needed. I was at work when he did this, and I remember thinking “He better not have topped off the gas tank.” He did. He is still floored to this day that when I saw the gas gauge jump to “F” I looked at him and said “You jerk!” He asked his son later, “Was he mad at me?”
“No, dad,” he said. “He was saying thank you!”
Again, he still is amazed by this.

He has learned, though, what I really mean when I say it.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

When I call you a jerk, it usually means “You are jerking on my heart-strings, right now.”

When I call you a jerk, it usually means “You have done quite well!”

When I call you a jerk, it usually means “God, I praise You for this blessing through this person.”

You lovable jerks make me praise God.

Go be a lovable jerk for God. (See the related Philippians 2:12-13)

Go on! Do it!

(On a side note, today I was hired to work with 1st and 2nd grade autistic children in the same school district as my wonderful wife! Praise God! No, seriously … PRAISE HIM!)