[ Behave Like a Christian ] Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Have you ever gotten angry? I’m not talking about ticked off or irritated; I’m talking about angry. The rage that boils in the pit of your stomach and becomes silent indignation so palatable that you can taste it angry. I have and it is not a fun place to be. I will admit that this week was one of those weeks for me. I began to truly notice the world at large around me and the picture it presented was less than pretty. The picture is that of a divided world. It feels as though the forces of evil are closing in on every side, leaving those of us who are called to stand with nowhere to turn.
It is in those moments of desperation that believers so often turn to the flesh; allowing their anger and frustration to win the day, they lash out. Let me say that this weeks post is in no way intended to be a reprimand or a rebuke, simply a reminder. As the world spins out of control, the words of Jesus echo in our ears:
[ The World’s Hatred ] “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
I believe this is more true today then it has ever been in modern history. Christians around the world are being persecuted and, by and large, their strife falls on deaf ears. When that fact is coupled with the random acts of violence that overload the evening news, the hate speech, and “Political correctness” that drown out the truth it is easy to see why we are frustrated as a body of believers. The devil is definitely on the march:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
How does the evil one do it? How does he frustrate us so? He makes us take our eyes off of Jesus. it is really that simple. When we do that we fall into his camp; we start arguing politics, we fall into senseless situations where winning the argument is more important than being an effective solder of the gospel and bringing the lost to the cross of Christ.
It is hard, of that there is no doubt. there are many times when it would be much easier to just give in and follow the crowd and many times we do. It is interesting that throughout the bible God refers to us, His people as sheep. a reference to sheep is made 200 times in the bible, 45 times in the new testament. 39 of those references are made in the gospels. We are the sheep and Jesus is our shepherd.
[ Jesus the Good Shepherd ] Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Without a shepherd, sheep would graze in the same field until its resources were depleted and then starve; never having the sense to move to the next field over. The sheep need direction. Without the shepherd, when one sheep walks over a cliff the rest of the flock will follow unless told otherwise. Sheep need correction. Wow! that sounds just like people! We people all need Jesus!
The truth of the matter is, not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus said as much Himself:
[ The Narrow Way ] “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Friends, we are in a select group and we have orders. We are told in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. We can’t do that if we are busy allowing our flesh to have dominion over us and follow the lost souls over the cliff. We must endeavor to do what we have been told, pray always and keep our eyes on Jesus.
Grace & Peace,