Credit or Debit?

Although Micah’s is a microscopic blimp in the world of all things java, it serves a purpose. A very large purpose. More people have come through and told me that they come to Micah’s because they know that they will be greeted with a smile, receive whatever emotional support they need, and leave feeling prayed for and appreciated. It is not unusual for one of Micah’s girls (or Micah himself) to be found praying with someone through the drive through window. It is not unusual to find us filling special requests or offering additional services (lots of us babysit, house sit, cut hair, or provide esthetician services on our clients.) But I would still say that prayer is the largest thing Micah’s offers. Most workplaces today avoid anything having to do with religion- it’s too controversial of a conversation. Not at Micah’s. Not one bit. In fact, it is probably the most highly discussed topic.

Example: Steph and I were talking about Judaism vs. Christianity. We were discussing the heaven/hell factor. She asked me if I believed that Jews go to Heaven or if they go to Hell. Heavy question, no? First of all, let me just start this subject off with the statement that I (VERY THANKFULLY) am not the one who must decide these things. I made the mistake one time of saying that I believed that Muslims are going to hell because they do no accept Jesus Christ in their hearts as their one and only Lord and Savior. Although my beliefs have not shifted too much on that point, I can’t believe that I was so adamant about putting my point forward. I was so busy being a brimstoning baptist that I forgot the importance of grace, acceptance, and love. To all other brimstoning baptists out there, please take a gander at Hebrews 12:14. Anyway, is it my job to condemn people? um, no. Is it my job to make the heaven/hell decision? um, no. So should I turn people off to Christianity by being brash about something that I don’t decide? Um, no no no.

Anyway, I listened to what Steph believed and she heard a sermon once that went something like this (note that this is after Steph’s paraphrasing and my own):

Judiasm used credit cards and Christians use debit. In the Old Testament, followers were asked to bring animal sacrifices to atone for their own sins or to show thankfulness to God (take a look at Hebrews 9:22 or Genesis 4:4-5 or Genesis 8:20-21 just to name a few). At that time, Jesus wasn’t on the scene. He was yet to spill blood for our salvation. The credit system comes in when human transgressions were more or less paid off with animal sacrifices. Modern day practicing Jews no longer sacrifice animals (there were intricate customs in Old Testament sacrifices and these customs cannot be truly honored in present time), however, they still do make sacrifices (prayer, observing Passover, good deeds, etc.) in exchange for the payment of sins. This diagram is a bit strange, but puts the concept into a visual.

But then we were given a christ and the New Testament brought forth new beliefs. Jesus was a man who was born under miraculous circumstances, who was placed on earth with a divine purpose, and died for all. His death was the ultimate sacrifice. We, as Christian’s are paid for under Jesus’ death (check out 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 or John 1:29 or the classic John 3:16). In that way, Christian’s run on debit. That is what the entire New Testament is all about- shifting into the new. Shifting to the concept that God just wants us. He wants our hearts and our souls. Of course good deeds and prayer are important. Of course we should follow the Ten Commandment. Of course we should love our neighbor as ourselves and live by the beatitudes.  But above all, God wants us to accept Him (John 6:53-56 or Acts 2:38-39 or Hebrews 11:6) and let Christ live in us. When Christ lives in us, the other things (walking in the light) just kinda happen because the erring human is no longer behind the steering wheel. God doesn’t keep confidential credit scores or hike up interest rates or design payment plans. He gave us Jesus. He gave us redemption and hope and forgiveness.

Interesting concept, isn’t it. What do you think? What about your co-workers?

I took this yesterday morning at Micah’s while the sun was rising.

 

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