At a pastors’ conference in Chicago this summer, the speaker asked us who would win a battle between Spiderman and Batman. According to our culture, Batman always wins because the man with the most toys ALWAYS wins. In addition to recapturing my attention, this comment provoked two things for me.
First, it caused me to remember the difference between how God views the world and man views the world. As a person I often judge things in the way they appear or according to worldly success. Fun, strong, attractive, smart, popular, successful and rich are all important qualities to have in our friendships. God sees none of it. Read the Bible, pray, go to church, give 10%, Bible study and volunteer are all important things for a Christian to do. God sees none of it. Nice, loyal, respectful, honest, fair, kind, peaceful, loving, happy and hard-working are all things society values in humanity. God sees none of it. God sees the world in a very different way than we do; He sees it as broken with nothing to offer. The world is rebellious and prefers to be left alone to seek its own success rather than receive full restoration from God. But God’s love is too great. He can’t stand to see us suffer and so He saves us, like any superhero would, even at the cost of His own life.
Second, I was reminded of a sermon series I have wanted to do for quite some time: to revisit some childhood heroes of the Bible and see them in a new light, the way God sees them. Too often we overvalue the greatness of the Bible heroes and undervalue the grace of God. As a result, we find ourselves unworthy of being a faith hero because of our own sin and forget about the power of forgiveness.
In Him we have full value, not because of our great talent but because of His great mercy. We are given a great gift and charged to share it with others. I hope that these next few weeks highlight the power of God at work in all of us, and that is always super!
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His servant and yours, Pastor Erik Gauss