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You've been framed

Pastor's corner

POSTED: March 16, 2009 10:50 a.m.
I recently sat down with two of my children and introduced them to a window from my childhood. We turned on the DVD player and watched some old Warner Brother’s “Looney Tunes” cartoons. With all that is on today, I miss the simple, good, clean fun that these shorts offered. I also laughed because the episodes we were watching were complete. The last time I saw them on television, they were edited … for violence!
Elmer Fudd shooting Bugs and Daffy, the actual landing of Wile E. Coyote after he fell into the canyon — all too violent for the television audience of the late ’70s and early ’80s.
You should pay attention to so-called childhood cartoons these days. “Holy hamburgers, Batman!”
I mention these cartoons because I drew inspiration from one of the episodes where Bugs Bunny imitates an old movie about a gangster. In one scene, he was on his knees in front of a police officer crying, “I didn’t do it, Sarge! I’ve been framed … like the Mona Lisa!”
We know what it means to frame someone. An action is committed and evidence is created to make another person appear guilty. In life, this happens from time to time. However, in spiritual matters, things run sometimes a bit backwards. For instance, a man says, “If I see it, then I’ll believe it.” God teaches us, “If I believe it, then I will see it come to pass.”  
This idea of being framed follows this same logic.
As a minister, I often encounter people who wrestle with guilt. They always feel like they fall short of the mark, especially when it comes to God’s instructions for their lives. Often, they feel like Satan has set them up.  “They’ve been framed.”
Actually, when it comes to your relationship with God, you have been framed — not by Satan, but by God. This principle can be seen in the teachings from Hebrews 11. Verse 1 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” It is from here that we defend the earlier mentioned understanding: “If I believe it, then I will see it.” It is also a passage that gets a lot of use — usually in the form of people asking God to give them everything they want.
God’s communication here is far greater than being reduced to a “wish list.” This passage in Hebrews explains that God framed you. It explains that, by faith, we understand the world was framed by the word of God so things that are seen are not made of things that are visible. This verse is usually used to support evidence that God created the universe. However, it is also usually limited to the teaching of creation.
Yes, God did create the universe by declaring His word.  However, the rest of this passage does not focus on creation. It focuses on men and women of faith who suffered hardships and endured because of their faith in God. These people understood the promise of God. Yet, many did not see the natural fulfillment of God’s promise. Or did they?
We constantly look for God to bless us. We want Him to give us everything we desire. Faith aside, society has proven that when you give and give to people, you do not build them up. You tear them down by hindering their desire and capacity to produce for themselves. But, if you offer someone a better understanding of how life is to be lived, they will improve their true quality of life.
God wasn’t just explaining that He created the universe.  God was stating that He created the framework of your life. He established the foundation, the walls, the floors and even the rooftop of your individual world.  There is nothing in your world beyond God’s capacity to touch.
The point is, when God frames you, it is to put you in his protective embrace and keep you from carrying the weight of guilt. The key is, you have to choose to stand in His frame. For those who understand He is that framer, they also discover through faith that He rewards those who seek His will.  

Byler is the senior pastor of Bethesda Church in Hinesville.
 

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