Social media blew up over the weekend about an album that Kanye West released. Now, I will be honest I don’t know a whole lot about this guy. The only things I know aren’t necessarily “good”. I can’t even tell you I have heard even one of his songs…that is until now.
I don’t know if I can say I grew up going to church. I remember my mom, sister and I going when I was super young. Then for a short period of time she sent us to church. When I was around twelve my next door neighbor invited me to a small church that was walking distance from my house. It was life changing!
I can absolutely recall the night, I was 14. The church was holding a revival and I missed the first night. When I walked in the church I remember some of the kids my age running up to me telling me their wonderful news. “We got saved!” I don’t know if I really knew what it meant. Saved? I don’t remember what the preacher said that night, but when he was done talking and some music started playing I made my way to that altar. After all these years, I can see it my mind. The brown wood, the pink carpet. I still remember the prayer in my ear from the pastor’s wife. I cried. Why? Because of my sins. How much sinning can be done in 14 years? One was enough to need a Saviour!
I remember when I was done praying, wiping the tears from my face. “It feels like a ton of bricks have been lifted off your shoulders, doesn’t it?” the pastor’s wife said with her arm around me. I promise you, that is how it felt. I will never forget how it felt when I “got saved”.
Let’s fast forward 36 years down the road. Wow! That’s a big number. Let’s go back to Kanye for a moment. Many were having a field day over Kanye’s recent confession of Christ. Is he legit? Is this possible, can it be true? Has he truly repented and put his faith in Jesus Christ?? I know what the church people and even the world is thinking…we have seen many call on the name of Christ, to only turn back.
We can go to the parable of the sower that Jesus talks about in the Gospels. He knew there would be some that when the Word of God goes forth the seed/Word would fall on different types of “ground”. (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
1. For some when the Word of God is sown, the devil comes and takes the Word away from their hearts to prevent them from believing and being saved.
2. There’s some who hear the Word and receive it with joy, but they don’t get rooted in God, so they fall away when temptation comes their way.
3. Some will hear the message, but quickly the Word is crowded out by the cares, riches and pleasures of this world. They never grow into a mature Christian.
4. And then there’s some who hears God’s Word and cling to it and they grow into mature Christians.
Now somewhere in these four examples are Kanye, you and me.
Let’s flip over to another parable in Matthew 18 starting at verse 21. Now, I know you are gonna think, what does this have to do with Kanye, you and me? I don’t know yet, let’s listen to the Spirit.
Peter comes to Jesus and asks Him, “How many times should I forgive someone? Seven times?” “No, seventy times seven.
Buckle up butter cup. We are in for a bumpy ride.
Jesus begins to tell a story. There’s a king or master who is looking at who owed him money. A debtor was brought before him that owed him to the equivalent amount of a million dollars. (What did this dude buy?) He couldn’t pay the debt. So his master ordered that he be sold, along with his wife, children and everything he owed to pay the debt. The debtor fell down and begged that the master be patient and he would pay the debt. The master felt pity and released him and forgave the debt! Wow!! I would be jumping for joy and shouting from the rooftop!! I’m forgiven!
Let’s see what the man does. When he leaves the master he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. Wait. Is this the same fella a few minutes ago just had a million dollar debt forgiven? Is this the same man who received mercy and pity?
The fellow servant fell down and begged for more time. The man would not wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison.
When the other servants saw this, they went to the master and told him everything. The master called the man in. “You evil servant! I forgave you that great debt, shouldn’t you show your fellow servant the same mercy I showed you?” He was delivered to the tormentors until he could pay the debt. Jesus say So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses or sin.
Now I was sitting here thinking on these two parables. One tells us the Word falls on different types of hearts/ground and the other about forgiving others when they sin against us.
I remember that moment when I was 14 and I owed a debt that I could not pay. I cried out to God and Jesus stepped in and paid my debt for me that I could go free. I know many can relate to this parable. This is where it gets hairy. For many we forget about that mercy and that pity we were shown and forget to give it to others.
Kanye is shouting “I’m forgiven! I love Jesus and I got saved!” And we are saying from our “forgiven” hearts “Are you really? It won’t last! I’ve seen this before!”
I feel that we need to extend Grace to Kanye. Let’s not decide what kind of ground the Word fell on! Let’s hope beyond hope that God will use him in a mighty way to bring others to Christ.
By the way we aren’t the sower…that job has already been filled.