Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Seeing The World As It Really Is And Where You Fit

“[I, Paul] … do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” – Ephesians 1:18-23

What I see happening in our country and around the world is certainly troubling - disconcerting. Pandemics and social unrest seem to rage.  But then I thought of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians. That the Church would have spiritual eyes to see and with that clarity of visions, a heart to understand.  Paul went on to remind us that …

we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

The real issue is not COVID 19 or the social unrest. It is the awakening to the fact that the God has called us out of but kept us in a world that that is driven by sin.  We expect good to reign in a world dominated by the effects of sin.  In recent days, we have been shocked back into reality. God has been saying, shouting even, “OPEN YOUR EYES CHILDREN!”  We have become blind – insensitive to sin. Sin that the fallen world accepts as normal and good, even. And if you disagree, then you are labeled as evil yourself. But why would we care if we are rejected for embracing the Truth, unless we prefer acceptance by the world over embracing the truth and the Father – the Source of all truth. 

Shining a light in someone’s face in a dark room, hurts their eyes. It makes them uncomfortable.  They may even shout, “Turn that light off!” On the one hand the world wants harmony among people, but it is not just racial harmony – it is acceptance of all people no matter what their life choices are – nothing to do with gender or race. But the world wants to redefine what gender is.  The world wants to redefine when a human becomes a human. The Church is a thorn in the world’s side. Or at least it should be.  The Church should be a reminder to the world that the harmony they seek can be found, but only in the context of God’s truth and salvation through Christ.  That is if the Church is indeed being the Church. The problem is that in many respects the Church is indistinguishable from the world it is supposed to be a witness to.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1

Questioning the Word of God. We know what God said, but did He really mean it? Isn’t it open to interpretation? An interpretation that will accommodate what we want to do. Desires that are born out of our sinful nature. Something we can put a spiritual coat of paint on and argue that it is part of God’s truth and revelation in these advanced times.  The truth is that the times have not changed. Sin has not changed. How we live, how we look, technology all that changes with the generations – but sin does not. And neither does God.  The Church – Christians need to wake up and take a look around. It is sin that is raging. It is the light of Christ that needs to be shining even brighter. Loving God and loving each other. If you ask a Christian to repent of not caring about the plight of other Christians in this country – you may well be told that they do care – but the care is as effective as seeing a starving child on a commercial on TV and feeling sorry for them.  But that’s it – feeling sorry for them is enough – it’s not.  You will not speak up for them.

Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

That verse applies to more than your circle of friends or the people in your family or local church.  God has given us a bigger group of “one-anothers” than that.  If a person’s heart has been sealed by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus, they are your Brother or Sister. It does not matter what color of skin they have, how much money they have, where they live, what language they speak – they are family! Open your eyes – yield your heart.  I know a guy that whenever I see him he says “God loves you and so do I.” I hear the words, but wonder about the sincerity.  We have a lot of “coined phrases” – Christian-speak, that we use when speaking with others – but they don’t go very far – God bless you – I’ll pray for you – I love you.  Well how about adding this one – “I will lay down my life for you!” That one you might not be willing to say so readily. But you should.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’” – John 21:15

If you really love God, He wants you to show Him – not just talk about it.  Talk is cheap. Sacrifice is expensive.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13

And if you are wondering – “Who are my friends?”, you have not been paying attention.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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