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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 049 - Karma

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Mark 4:24,25

The idea of karma is very popular. It says that when you do good thing, good things will be given to you. But it doesn’t stop there, your karma in this life is then transferred to your next reincarnation, your next life. If you did good in this life, you’ll come back into a better life.

The opposite is also true, if you lived a bad life, your bad karma would follow you into your next reincarnation. Another way to think about karma is that good intent and good deeds lead to good karma, a happier life here and in the next rebirths

There are people that say karma is taught in the Bible. They excitedly quote these words of Jesus himself and say, “See, Jesus taught karma. So, it must be true.” They then point to the Apostle Paul’s words to the Galatians.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:7

The problem is that God didn’t just dump this one idea off and stop talking. Yes, there is a connection between what we do and say with how this life is experienced. Just look at the next sentence.

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:8

But this is where God’s person and truth separates from karma like the opposite sides of the Grand Canyon. Karma is like the hated and boring addition and subtraction tables that we memorized in elementary school. Add this to this and you always get that. Subtract this from this and you always get that.

Karma is really impersonal. It’s not living, it’s an idea. With karma, there’s no room for love. There’s no room for grace. There’s no forgiveness. Karma is a harsh taskmaster. You fear the pain and torture of its stinging lash. It mindlessly gives out reward or punishment. Like an app on your phone, it only works one way.

With karma, there’s no such thing as undeserved suffering either. You rightfully get what you’ve earned. What you deserve. If you’re suffering it’s because of something you did in a past life, or in this life.

On the other hand, God shows himself as our great and loving creator and liberator. He comes to us as the one who took all our evil words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes on himself and paid for them, once and for all, on the cross.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8,9

We are not saved or transformed through thousands upon thousands of reincarnation rebirths. That would be our work, our deserving, our earning. God offers us something oh so much more loving, gracious, and forgiving. He offers us himself. He made the payment for our wrongdoing and offers it to us.

And I have to ask you this question: is karma what you really want? Do you want to live in a world, in an impersonal universe, where your current, future, and eternal life is totally dependent on you and you alone? Do you really want to be completely condemned or rewarded by what you do? What you say?

If this were the case, why would we ever get out of bed in the morning? After all, there’s absolutely no doubt that we’re going to screw up today. We’re going to say and do things that hurt God, others, and ourselves. It’s a mortal lock because we are all filled with turning away from the good and gracious God who made us. With karma, there is no forgiveness, no grace. There is only our painful payment.

But with God’s paid forgiveness, this frees us to jump out of bed and face the day with joy and optimism. And we can face life this way because of who God is. He is good. He is love. He is the personal embodiment of kindness.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20

With karma, we get beaten down, punished for our failures and transgressions. With Jesus, we see a forgiving father who runs to his wayward child, embraces them, and welcomes them back with love.

I can’t speak for you, but I’d rather be on the receiving side of a loving fathers hug than the painful beating from impersonal karma.

Which will you choose?

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