“Surfing alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.”
— Matt Warshaw, Former Professional Surfer
An opinion pronounced.
Pronounced with disapproval.
A teeter-totter where I’m up and you’re down.
Many cite judgment as the reason they avoid church and Christians in general.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Jesus came for love, life, freedom.
He came to set captives free.
If you read the Bible, you never find a place where Jesus judged.
He breaks religious tradition.
Heals on the Sabbath.
Eats with sinners.
Loves those society has no use for.
Jesus was a counter cultural rebel.
He never sinned but neither did He bow to shoulds or should nots.
He didn’t cater to expectations or the religious right.
He served His Father in Heaven alone.
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:10
Compared to a Holy God, my best efforts are dirty rags.
Then God in the person of Jesus Christ left His throne, came to earth and what did He do?
Did He point His finger and judge?
Wrinkle His nose in disgust?
Try to find “good” men?
He walked among us.
Us and them.
Experienced pain and hurt, rejection, abuse and abandonment.
And died for us.
He offers His own righteous robe in exchange for those dirty rags.
I can’t fully comprehend it – but it’s true.
Jesus loves me this I know.
His action speaks louder than any words.
Jesus is the truth, the way, the path to eternal life.
He issues the invitation, “Come, follow Me.”
Follow Me to freedom.
Follow Me to unconditional love.
Follow Me to joy that can never be taken.
Follow Me to life and peace everlasting.
Follow Me to Heaven.
My past says, “No way.”
No way Jesus wants you.
You’re too selfish, too broken, not enough.
Remember that thing you did?
Maybe if you clean up, get it right, go to church, maybe then – you’ve got some work to do.
When I say yes to Jesus, not only are my sins forgiven but I get the surf judge.
Let me explain.
In gymnastics, everyone starts with a perfect score.
Judges scrutinize every movement.
Points are deducted for every mis-step and imperfection.
At the end of the routine, a performer’s final score is determined by subtracting every mistake – even small ones.
Unlike gymnastics, in surfing you start with a score of zero.
You gain points for what you do right.
Judges base your score on how well you surf instead of mistakes.
The final score is a compilation, a celebration of successes instead of errors and mistakes.
When I have Jesus, I get the surf judge.
Instead of punishment, I am rewarded, celebrated, welcomed home.
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:27
God loves me.
Mess up me.
Speak before I think me.
Self focused me.
He doesn’t wait for me to get it right.
He knows I can’t.
I can never be good enough to stand with Holy.
Even a sin speck contaminates – it must be separated, quarantined.
In His great love, He sacrificed Himself.
Stood in my place.
Hung by nails.
His blood for mine.
Ripped the veil.
Heaven’s gate flung wide open.
And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:15
The translation of all means all.
All includes liars, thieves, murderers.
People who are divorced.
People who are gay.
Those who have had affairs.
People with addiction.
It’s the good news, the great news.
Jesus loves everyone.
He came for outcasts, the rejected and overlooked.
He changes my mess into a message.
There’s no one He doesn’t want.
Jesus doesn’t care where I’ve been, He cares where I’m going.
I know better than anyone how far I fall short.
I fear God’s judgment – yet in His mercy and grace, He’s already paid the price.
Debt canceled – it is finished – tetelestai.
Instead of punishment I get Heaven’s banquet.
Invited to the party.
My presence celebrated.
Father God, Lord Jesus, Thank you for your great love – love that’s available to everyone. Thank you that in Jesus, I am celebrated instead of condemned – I get the surf judge. Help me to know you and love you better. Help me to choose you in my small, daily choices – choices that create my character and life. Choices that demonstrate what I believe and whose I am. Thank you that Your grace is enough. Help me to live in ways that honor You. I love you, Father God, Lord Jesus – In Your Precious, Holy Name, Amen