Week Thirty-Nine, 2019
“Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Over and against every competing worldview, the Bible forcefully declares, to live above the world. In other words, the only way to see all of life accurately is through the transforming lens of Scripture.
When confronted by worldly attack, either at work or even at church, the goal of the attack is silence or separation. Your attacker wants you to shut up and or leave. So don’t! We must remain there to graciously set the example.
It’s essentially a domino effect. As we individually become less like Jesus and assimilate into the culture, people around us lose sight of the gospel’s impact and begin replacing it with secular sources.
When Christianity loses its preeminent place in the culture, it’s perfectly natural for people to seek moral authority from others—politicians, intellectuals, political parties, celebrities, self-help gurus, or the state.
When the church becomes less important, people look to secular organizations that can deal with personal and social needs.
When we separate from That Other God (the world), the battle lines will be drawn. Something will have to give. One cannot serve two masters. The immediate reaction of those who still worship that idol will be anger, and then overreach in their attempts to bring everyone back to the status quo.
Likewise, the apostles and the Early Church had little in terms of earthly influence, but what they taught became the dominant religious faith of the Western world. They acted individually, but they also acted as one. Each person understood that if he or she would commit their own lives to becoming authentic examples of the teachings of Jesus, it would change their families, their friends, and those around them.
Great movements don’t always start from the top; they often start from the bottom with our own internal transformation. Often, when we’re confronted with interference, possible punishment, or intimidation, we throw our hands in the air and give up.
If we’re not living out our principles in the culture every day on an internal, personal level, then it’s easy to see why the culture stops noticing. And when that happens, it becomes easier and easier to marginalize the Christian faith on a much bigger and more public scale.
We can be sure that if a renewed Christian commitment comes to our country, persecution will be in vogue again too. Are you willing? Are you ready?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear. Author unknown
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Humans have on average a heart rate of around 60 to 70 beats per minute, give or take. We live roughly 70 or so years, giving us just over 2 billion beats all up. Chickens have a faster heart rate of about 275 beats per minute and live only 15 years. On balance, they also have about 2 billion beats. Gods physical technology is awesome.
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Because Jesus humbled Himself for us, it is our duty, obligation, and joy to humble ourselves as well. But to adjust ourselves into a radically humble lifestyle to escape the clutches of That Other God, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Have we lived so long worshipping our own egos that we’ve lost our ability—perhaps even our desire—to humble ourselves as Christ did?”
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection. Lecrae Moore
Sadly, we live in a culture where worldly values are too often the accepted way of life. A culture which—rather than being driven by a sense of absolute truth, integrity, service beyond self and hope—is driven by fast-changing technology, a business, media, sports and entertainment environment which glorifies success at all costs, violence, greed and self before others. Scott Whitaker
The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes. Anonymous
Broken crayons still color.
Some day you will read that D. L. Moody is dead. Don’t believe a word of it because I will never be more alive than on the day I breathe My last breath on earth. D.L. Moody
All good things come to an end, but so do all the bad things.
I had made the same mistake a lot of Christians make: I saw my connection with God as a contractual relationship, rather than a covenantal relationship. All contracts have terms, but covenants don’t. They last forever. In a contractual relationship, you’re always worried about breaking the rules. In a covenantal relationship, you’re only concerned with loving the other party as much as you can. Lecrae Moore
The darker the room, the more obvious the light.
Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.
As long as we are receivers of mercy, we must be givers of thanks.
Address all items and comments to John.Grant@johngrant.net. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2019