7.29.2005

judgment = mercy

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. "

I Corinthians 3.10-13

I've always been taught that this verse was about the Judgment Seat of Christ, the moment of truth, when we are all judged for our deeds in life, good and bad. I always cringed at the thought of being judged by what I had actually done with my life. When the judgment day came my plan was to duck and run, bob and weave, fake left go right, RUN FOR COVER!!! I always had this sense of incredible fear at the thought of God's judgment. I even got a tattoo related to my fear of judgment. I got the Kanji symbol for the word MERCY tattooed on the back of my neck. When people asked I told them, "When I bow before the seat of judgment I just want to give the Lord a friendly reminder to have mercy on me."

Then my thinking on the judgment of God changed. I meditated on that scripture passage and started seeing it in a different light. What it's saying is that the fire of judgment will test all of our works. The things that are good, the things that have everlasting value, those things will last. The things that were bad, the things that only had temporal value; those things will be consumed by the judgment fire. So if the judgment burns up all the things that are bad and only leaves behind all that was good then God's judgment is an act of mercy. What a merciful act to take away all the things that we are ashamed of! My thinking has changed 100%. I went from being deathly afraid of God's judgment, to looking forward to the day when all that is left is the "good stuff", the things of eternal value.

So, since I've been thinking of God's judgment as an act of mercy I've also been thinking of how I could change my tattoo. I no longer felt like I needed to cower at the Judgment Seat. I felt thankful for the promise that all the things that didn't have eternal value would be burnt away. I went to my tattoo artist the other day and had him put flames all around the Kanji of the word "Mercy", symbolizing for me that the Judgment Fire of God is the most merciful thing that we could hope for.


beforeafter

Special thanks to Sim!
http://www.simtattoo.com/

12 comments:

Jeff said...

"There is therfore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Judgement? my life was so anti everything God that I was sure, even when it was time for mercy, I would screw that up.

thanks be to God for His eternal Word.

good stuff bro.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy.......
You are one shooten-from-the hip dude.
Love your insights.
Love your honesty.
I have heard of people going through life changes and then having tattoos' removed but this is the first time I've seen fire come down and consume the old mark.

There were three words that came up at our men's group this last Thursday.
JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH.
Jesus said one day many years ago, to his religious contemporaries, that they had neglected and omitted the weightier provisions of the law:
JUDGMENT, MERCY, AND FAITH.

When I read these three words I think of the CROSS, HIS INCREDIBLE MERCY,and then the true currency of the Kingdom, which is the word of FAITH.

In the fire service when you roll up to a fully involved structure fire you notify the dispatcher that you are one the scene of a WORKING FIRE.

I think of the CROSS as a LIVING dynamic and a WORKING FIRE that, for our sakes, has completely consumed Gods own Son, so as to MERCIFULLY consume the false facades that have veiled all Our Heavenly Fathers sons and daughters.

What a merciful and PASSIONATE act this JUDGMENT is; to go after, and utterly consume, any distortion come upon His people so that He Himself might be seen through them.
For the believer, this is a WORKING FIRE, for TODAY, that His presence might be made manifest to a dying world.

The Lord Himself seemed excited and anticipated this hour we are living in when He said:
Luke 12:49
"I have come to CAST FIRE upon the earth; and HOW I WISH it were already kindled!

His WISH came true for at the CROSS; and in His RESURRECTION He has utterly consumed our dead wood foundations.

From now on when I look at your neck I will think of our Lords words.
"I have come to CAST FIRE”.

I will pray this fire over your life.

Gina said...

Jimmy, I love the meaning behind your tattoo. Thanks for being a living, breathing, walking story of God. I was also raised with a dreadful fear of judgement day. But God began to show me that when he said he forgave me, he meant it. It didn't mean that he forgave me on earth so I could be slammed on judgement day. I've slowly began to believe him. And when I read about judgement day now, I see God saying he will judge the good things I do, not my screw ups that he pulls out of his "forgiven" file to whoop me with. God is so much more loving that I ever thought. And so much more merciful. Love the tat, I'm so jealous.

Dan Price said...

Hey man good blog. Who are you?

jimmy said...

I'm an enigma, wrapped in a mystery.

;-)

Riana said...

How did the church ever got into this mess of not understanding God's grace?

One day I'll post on grace in my blog. :)

Natala said...

awesome jimmy....
in writing about my friend the "porn star", i was pondering over judgment and so on... it's been so much to wrap my mind around.

curious servant said...

Great post! I appreciate the honesty, good writing, and insights. Well done.

jamie said...

Wow, we have very similar tatoos. Mine is a phoenix holding an orb. In the orb is a Greek cross with the Hebrew word for "grace" superimposed over it. I never really connected the flames of the phoenix with judgement until now. I always related the phoenix with the idea of "rebirth"--thanks Jimmy.

chris said...

Rockin Post, G! You remind me that all of God's judgement/mercy leaves me with my own internal Kanji...hope.

Keep diving deep!

Mad Cow said...

Oh really, your tattoo artist? Do you keep him on speed dial? Does he call you at home? Is it sort of like being a makeup artist? What about an artist artist? Is he just YOUR tattoo artist, or will he tattoo anybody? (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

jimmy said...

Yes mad cow, MY tattoo artist. In fact he just sent me an email yesterday... SMARTASS!!! He's my tattoo artist in the same way you are MY massage therapist!