This is a strange time in history. Each day, it seems we are closer to saying goodbye to life as we have known it. I know that sounds dramatic. I believe that our society is declining at a rapid pace. The underbelly of cause lies in the battle for souls, spiritual in nature. We see the results on the surface, but often forget what’s really going on.
The problem stems from each heart (well-meaning as they may be) that has chosen to defy God with the rejection of His ways, His word, His truth – pridefully dismissing His authority, arguing with His goodness, or denying His deity. Our nation appears to wish to remove the Rock of our salvation and replace Him with the fancies of sinking sand – refusing to submit to Him while submitting to every idol that steals and kills. How heartbreaking to witness such a trade that reaches so far.
The Bible tells us that it is all about a choice – life or death. We were created in the image of God to glorify Him with our lives. Jesus has paid the greatest price to provide true freedom for mankind, yet countless souls still do not acknowledge the cross as the loving provision for life and salvation that it is. How many of them have never heard? God’s will is that we choose to follow Him wherever He leads, to walk in His ways, to abide in Him as branches receive life from the vine. Any other knowledge that contradicts the word of God is rebellion and will end in disaster – false promises, false hope for the future.
It has been what we are to do from the beginning of the church: to tell the world about Jesus and to become His followers.
Many believe that freedom is the right to do and believe whatever we want, giving no consideration whatsoever to life, or absolute truth of any kind. If you don’t want something to be the way it is, you can just “say” it isn’t so, and then you’ll find your freedom or your truth. If you want what you want, feel free to invent your own reality, gauging right and wrong on whims of self-satisfaction. How incredibly deceptive this insidious reasoning is.
We are called to love others with the love of God and to share the gospel. Some believe this involves inclusiveness, accepting any new idea, no matter what it could lead to. Others believe that it means we should be sticklers for the truth to the point of harsh judgement which can communicate rejection of the individual who is not of the same beliefs. These are two ends of the approach, neither are profitable. Most fall somewhere in the middle: loving others with care and service while sharing the unpopular truth of God’s word with a passion for the individual’s soul.
One thing I know is that we absolutely need to be led with love for the lost and faithfulness to God. Grace through faith is what we have been saved by, and not our own doing. We cannot carry on as though we have anything other than Jesus Himself. That same grace that gave us eternal life through no effort or works of our own, needs to initiate our approach to sharing the gospel of Christ.
Even with such a purity of motives, the gospel and the name of Jesus will bring division. Rejection and harsh reactions are sure to follow. Still, we can rest in knowing that we are following Jesus as He leads us to love the world. If the consequences are painful, we can be encouraged knowing that we are sharing in His suffering as He said we would.
I pray that we walk in humility as servants of God and that we are led by the Holy Spirit in love, truth and grace. Let us remember the mercy that God has shown to us, the mercy that saturates us each new morning.
There is a lot of darkness in this world – a lot. How can we even begin to push it back?
This last Sunday my husband and I played music at a fair a few towns away. As we sat in some coveted shade waiting for our time on stage, we got a window into the condition of hearts through the conversations of some nearby young adults. I think they thought they were all having a good time together, but there was so much anger and hatred in their words toward each other. Joy was nonexistent, light seemingly unwelcome.
Leading up to this venue, my husband asked what songs I would sing. Without hesitation, I told him I would sing all Christian music, music that spoke of hope and life and salvation through the life of Christ – TRUE freedom. He embraced the “all or nothing” plan. As I prepared, I dreamed that the lyrics would penetrate the darkness that was sure to be present at a secular event with all walks of life in attendance. I thought, one tiny pierce to let the light through is all there will be as we share Him with those who are listening, but even the tiny, no-name platform we had been given would shine for the time we had.
We boldly shared Jesus throughout our set. The sound technician was a young man who was so kind and helpful. I kept thinking throughout the set, that if even just one heard from God through our message it would be worth it; maybe it would be him. As we were packing up to go, he particularly commented on how much the message meant to him. He heard it all and took it in. I don’t know if he knew the Lord or not, but he made a point to let me know how much he appreciated it. It confirmed the ministry that I had hoped and prayed for.
Lord, give us courage to take each opportunity You provide, and may your Spirit lead. Move in the hearts of man unto repentance and salvation. Amen.