Hello friends and family. I have stolen my wife’s blog because 1. she has a blog and I don’t and 2. I wanted to share with all those that are close to me what God has been doing in me and my family. If you have not yet guessed this is Brandon and not my beautiful wife, Laura.
I find it incredibly easy to forget all I have learned about God and how he has worked in the past. Listening to a sermon today, I was reminded how amazing the gospel message is. The simple message of how Jesus came and died for imperfect people. How amazing is this simple truth? It is still hard, even being reminded often, to remember that it is not my goodness that saves me, it is the undeserved gift of a perfect God. It seems that the longer I am a follower of Jesus, the easier it is to mess things up and think of myself as better than I ought because I “forget” my failings and only remember all the good things I’ve done as a Christian (a thing most people know as pride and one of hardest sins to recognize).
Let me share with you a story of a recent adventure of mine. Many things have gone wrong in the last couple of months: two cars broke down, our nice washer went kaput, my wife’s glasses broke right after we got new lenses for them, and I was laid off my dream student job. Well, in the midst of all this Laura and I were treated very badly by a local business. The lady was extremely rude to both Laura and I and on top of it all wouldn’t refund a undelivered product. I remained calm through this whole exchange and accepted the fact that we would not be receiving our money back. Later this same lady called and left a really rude message on my phone accusing Laura and I for posting some comments about her business on the internet (something we did not do). I called this lady back and tried to straighten things out, but she hung up on me.
That night I couldn’t sleep because I was still seething about how I was treated and all the things I could do to get her back. This is when God convicted me about how I viewed myself. During this whole exchange I felt like I was so superior to this person, because I did not yell or scream or call my credit card company and deny the charges. I was following all the rules about how a good Christian should act. I was such a good person. I bet I was so good that God was up on his throne cheering me on for how good I was being.
Who am I kidding? Even after being a Christian for many years, I am still thinking, if not in my beliefs in my actions, that Christianity is about following rules in order to be a good person.
This robs the gospel of all its good news. Being a Christian is not following a bunch of rules. When we turn it into following rules we start looking down on those around us that are not following the rules as good as we are and thus commit self righteous pride (the same sin that Satan committed). I am not good enough for God, He is not impressed with my good actions, He is perfect and is not impressed with less than perfection. The best part of being a Christian though is that Jesus was perfect and he took my place and died for all the wrong things I have done.
So I stole my wife’s blog to just share how the gospel is something we have to relearn daily. I also wanted to thank everyone in our church who as been so generous in helping me and my family out in this time. God has provided a way through His church so that we now a have working car, washer machine, and fixed glasses. Our immediate needs have been met by very generous gifts from people in our church. We are still waiting for a job to arise, but God has been using this time to get back in touch with me and Laura. I love you all and thanks for reading this far, I am not as good at this as my wife so I will let her continue to fill people in on the life of the Cobles.