May 13, 2019
You can't be neutral about Christ. You are either for Him or against Him. With Him or without Him. Every person, ultimately, must face and deal with Christ. You are either a believer (trusting and leaning on Jesus) or an unbeliever (trusting and leaning on yourself).
If you are a follower of Christ, you will discover that you are on the other side of most issues with others. That your belief creates a division with those who do not believe. Sometimes, this is right inside your own family. Your whole orientation has changed, and you realize that you are in a new kingdom, serving a new Master with a new purpose.
This was true in Jesus' day and it is still true today.
40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.”
41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?
42 “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”
43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him.
What do you do with this division? Our response is to love others, even our enemies; to faithfully stand with Christ for that which is true and righteous; and to seek to be a constant, gracious witness to the reality of Christ. Some will not like this because it is convicting to them. Christ (whether in person in the past or in you in the present) creates a disturbance to the status quo of others.
The Pharisees are exhibit A. Self-righteous people are particularly bothered by those who know Christ. And, there are people in every church who are not genuine believers, seeking to establish a righteousness by their own good works and not by submitting and surrendering to Christ. When they are pushed to surrender control of their lives to Christ and Christ’s plan, they naturally resist.
You will notice in John, Chapter 7, that the very next verses record the Pharisees attempt to seize Christ. Their only response is to try to quench the Light, but it is impossible. They have been trying to do it since He entered the world. They thought they had accomplished their goal 2,000 years ago, but it was a part of God's plan and was foiled by the resurrection.
A believer doesn’t like division but understands the spiritual, eternal dynamics that are in play. If you encounter such conflict, you must keep walking with Christ, loving people, but unashamedly proclaiming the gospel. You may be persecuted for your faith, but in the end, those who walk with Christ are gloriously victorious and have the great privilege of taking others with them into an eternity in heaven.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?