March 24, 2016
We are put to sleep by the Americanized Christian. I'm speaking of the professing believer whose life is no different from his neighbor. In whom we see no evidence of the great God of heaven and earth. The one who is probably not a believer at all, except culturally.
But there are others. And these humble, authentic Christ-followers stun the world in so many ways.
None is more profound though, than those who are capable of fulfilling this command of Jesus:
""But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)
If you've ever had a real enemy, you understand the impossibility of this command. Jesus does not command us to ignore, or tolerate, or endure our enemies—but to LOVE, DO GOOD, and LEND EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN.
This is so contrary to our nature that its’ practice, when seen in a grace-filled child of God, is an undeniable witness. In fact, that is the point. We are to show the world the reality of the God who lives within us who ""Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."" This counter-cultural response will impact the world in ways that no angry retaliation could ever accomplish.
And for the believer who allows the Spirit to flow through Him with such unnatural love, Christ makes a promise: ""your reward will be great.""
We do not know what that reward will be. But those who have experienced some of this on earth know that there is the reward on this side of heaven as well as the next. The joy of peace instead of bitterness and a sense of God's pleasure with His like-natured children. And the extraordinary privilege of knowing the freedom of love instead of the bondage of bitterness...all made possible because of the One who lives within us!
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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?