This Life

I’m not sure if you have noticed this, but it seems to me that this world is becoming less tolerant and more hostile. There was a day when people could sit around a table and discuss ideas and thoughts. They may not all agree, but they would listen and at least try to understand and respect where someone was coming from. It sure seems like those days are over. I will read news articles and then scroll down and look to see the comments that are made. That is usually a mistake. I begin to read the venom and hatred in which people respond to one another. We no longer want to discuss and learn from one another. We just want to insult and tear one another down for having a different perspective.

This is especially true when it comes to the truth of who Jesus is. There was a day when just about everyone knew there was a God. They also knew that Jesus lived and died on a cross and the truth is that even most people believed that He died for them. Now that didn’t mean they had trusted Him as Savior, but they knew the truth. Yet today just the mere mention of the name of Jesus and people will lose their minds. I guess that makes sense because we were told that the days would grow more evil as the end draws near. My friends the world and our society are becoming more and more evil. This makes sharing Jesus a little more intimidating because people will not just say they don’t want to hear, no, they will verbally try to rip you to shreds.

The early church did not have it any better, in fact they may have had it even worse than we do. At least for today the worst that people can do is insult us. In the days of the early church it could cost you your life. We see this in the book of Acts in chapter 5. The Apostles were arrested because of two things, through the poser of the Holy Spirit they healed people and they would tell people about Jesus the Christ. They would tell that Jesus was the reason any of these miracles could occur. To thank them the Sadducees had the Apostles arrested. What is cool is that in the middle of the night an angel came and opened up the prison doors and let them out. I want us to look at what the angel did not tell them to do and then what he did tell them to do. The angel did not tell them to run for the hills. He did not tell them to hide. This angel told the Apostles to go into the very place where the people had them arrested would be and then speak to the people “the words of this life.”

This is extremely important for us to grab. The instruction was to tell people about “this life.” That being a Christian is more than just praying a prayer. That being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus the Christ. That the life we now live is totally different than the life we used to live. There is and must be a distinction in the way we live, and in all honesty, there must be an explanation to people on why. Church let us go out and speak to the people all the words of this life. Let us do so unapologetically.



This Life

I’m not sure if you have noticed this, but it seems to me that this world is becoming less tolerant and more hostile. There was a day when people could sit around a table and discuss ideas and thoughts. They may not all agree, but they would listen and at least try to understand and respect where someone was coming from. It sure seems like those days are over. I will read news articles and then scroll down and look to see the comments that are made. That is usually a mistake. I begin to read the venom and hatred in which people respond to one another. We no longer want to discuss and learn from one another. We just want to insult and tear one another down for having a different perspective.

This is especially true when it comes to the truth of who Jesus is. There was a day when just about everyone knew there was a God. They also knew that Jesus lived and died on a cross and the truth is that even most people believed that He died for them. Now that didn’t mean they had trusted Him as Savior, but they knew the truth. Yet today just the mere mention of the name of Jesus and people will lose their minds. I guess that makes sense because we were told that the days would grow more evil as the end draws near. My friends the world and our society are becoming more and more evil. This makes sharing Jesus a little more intimidating because people will not just say they don’t want to hear, no, they will verbally try to rip you to shreds.

The early church did not have it any better, in fact they may have had it even worse than we do. At least for today the worst that people can do is insult us. In the days of the early church it could cost you your life. We see this in the book of Acts in chapter 5. The Apostles were arrested because of two things, through the poser of the Holy Spirit they healed people and they would tell people about Jesus the Christ. They would tell that Jesus was the reason any of these miracles could occur. To thank them the Sadducees had the Apostles arrested. What is cool is that in the middle of the night an angel came and opened up the prison doors and let them out. I want us to look at what the angel did not tell them to do and then what he did tell them to do. The angel did not tell them to run for the hills. He did not tell them to hide. This angel told the Apostles to go into the very place where the people had them arrested would be and then speak to the people “the words of this life.”

This is extremely important for us to grab. The instruction was to tell people about “this life.” That being a Christian is more than just praying a prayer. That being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus the Christ. That the life we now live is totally different than the life we used to live. There is and must be a distinction in the way we live, and in all honesty, there must be an explanation to people on why. Church let us go out and speak to the people all the words of this life. Let us do so unapologetically.



Joy and Strength

As I type up this blog there are several in my church family that are dealing with things that I wish I could take away for them. The question I ask, and you probably do as well is, why? Why do my friends who I love have to go through such terrible situations? In the middle of these trials I watch my friends and how they deal with these situations and what I have noticed is that there is joy. I am not talking about that fake smile when asked the question, “how are you doing?” You don’t get the fake answer. They do not pretend that everything is well and right with the world either. What I notice, and you would as well if you knew what was happening, is that in spite of what is happening in their lives they have found a joy that people outside of Jesus will never understand. How is this possible? Let me share a verse with you in the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds the people of Israel of a vital truth.And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

This is not to say that hurt and pain in our lives should not bother us because they are real. I would never dare to minimize the anguish of loss that happens in our lives. I do know that for those of us who have put all our hope and trust in Jesus the Christ that this pain is not the destination, but only a detour to our destination of eternity. We can have joy in the midst of our grief because we know that our Savior promises us that there will be a day when every tear will be wiped away. Death has no hold on us. We can have joy because when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we do not have to fear because our Great Savior is always with us. We will walk through because this valley is not our final destination and death is only a shadow, which means it may pass over us, but it cannot touch us.

Remember this one thing, Jesus came for us to make all things new. I wish I could take away all pain and hurt, but I can’t. I know the One who can and will get us all through it. Then we can all say that the joy of the Lord is my strength.



Cry Out

We live in a very loud society. Many times, this noise keeps us from hearing things that are true and right. Many times, it seems that we cannot even be heard. It is in those times we have a choice, either to quit speaking or cry out louder.

As I am typing this out my memory takes me back to when I was a teenager and would attend a family reunion on my paternal grandmother’s side. They are Scottish in heritage. This comes with a blessing and a curse. The blessing is we believe in family clans and closeness. The curse? We are loud. A discussion soon sounds like a shouting match and all we are doing is discussing the weather. When you get us all together, we soon begin to shout just to hear one another over each other. Then you have a choice either quit speaking or speak even louder.

In Luke chapter 18 Jesus tells us a parable of a persistent widow who goes to an unrighteous judge and cries out for justice. Eventually the judge gives in and gives justice because this widow would not give up. Then later as Jesus was walking a blind man called out to Him. When this happened the crowd around him told him to be quiet. Now this man had a choice, continue to be blind or do what he did. He cried out all the more. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” When you cry out to Jesus there may not be people or a person telling you to be quiet, but I can promise that the enemy of your soul will be in your ear telling you to be quiet. You have the choice, either to give up or cry out all the more. I challenge you to cry out all the more. Do not give up. Jesus is listening and He desires to be there for you.

This is even more important when it comes to crying out that the only hope this world has is in Jesus.

In these days where it seems the loudest voice prevails, let me challenge all of us to not just be louder, but let us be persistent because the message of hope in Jesus cannot be quenched nor can it be silenced.