Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Be The Message

Men, even Christian men in our culture have been under challenged.  Christianity for the most part is only an ancillary part of most Christians' lives for only an hour or so on Sunday morning. However, Christianity is not a spectator sport...  It is the power of God in manifestation, for it is God which works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.  A disciple is a “disciplined follower”, not a casual Christian.  Casual Christians become casualties of the spiritual warfare.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds. 2 Corinthian 10:4

An unexpected life:  the world is not aware of the cataclysmic spiritual battle that surround us.  They are blind to the spiritual battle that underpins the natural realm. Wrong means behavior that is morally or ethically incorrect...  that which inflicts harm without due provocation or just cause...  the state of being guilty. Jesus said in Matthew 5:11, "Blessed are they when men revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.  Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven.  For so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." Jesus did not retaliate for wrongs done to him.  His prayer was "father forgive them for they know not what they do."  The political correctness of the Roman world in which Jesus lived is similar to the political correctness of our times.  We must keep in mind that the political correctness of this world is the political in-correctness of our heavenly homeland...  for we are citizens of heaven.

Therefore, be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodRomans 12:21

The Word of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, and correction.  The wise man appreciates and applies correction.  Without acknowledging the need for reproof and correction, there is no repentance...  there is no turning from darkness to light.  Would you be free from the burden of sin?  Righteousness is not in ourselves and our own behavior, but only in our Savior's perfect sacrifice:  the innocent blood of the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. Peter wrote his first epistle to the Christians who had been scattered abroad because of persecution.  These early Christians were punished because of their belief in the true Word and their righteousness in Christ.  Their bold stand against the evil of their times caused those who loved the darkness and hated the light to pursue, harass, and persecute them with a vengeance. Those who oppose the truth and who stand guilty before God's righteous judgment, lash out at those who hold the truth in righteousness.  They act out of malice and guile, jealousy and envy of those who live virtuously and righteously in opposition to the political correctness of this fallen world.

Our prayer is not that God is on our side, rather our prayer is that we are on God's side.  Our righteousness is not in ourselves...  it was imputed to us through the righteous substitution of the sinless life of our savior Jesus Christ. The time has come when Christians are killed by misguided men who think that they are doing God a favor.  Their charge is "kill the infidels."  However, God has called his men to lead an unexpected life.  Not to retaliate with righteous retribution, but to rejoice and be exceeding glad because great is our reward in heaven. Before the crucifixion, Jesus said, "do you not know that presently I could pray to my Father and he would send twelve legions of angels?"  However, Jesus, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.  The things of the spirit are the antithesis of the things of this world.  The logical behavior of the world is the unexpected behavior of men of God. The fruit of the Spirit is diametrically opposed to the works of the flesh.

The Ten Commandments show that we are weak in the flesh.  However, Jesus Christ came so that his word would be written not in tables of stone but in the tables of the heart...  not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of the mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. In order to live for Christ, I must die to sinful self.  For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. Galatians 2:20 They will not know you are a Christian by what you say, but by your love for the brethren.  
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How do you share the love of God?  You say it best when you say nothing at all...  Do you know O Christian, you're a sermon in shoes?  And be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.  Jesus did not call us to deliver the message but to be the message.  In this fallen world the darker the night, the brighter the light shines.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Your Brother in Christ, Michael

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