Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Compromised and Distracted

This week Michael writes that in the Bible, Jesus tells a parable that starts: A Sower went forth to sow. God has called us to cast seeds. Seeds are the Word of God.  According to Isaiah 55, “So shall my Word be that goeth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in that thing whereunto I sent it.”  Jesus' disciples asked him, "what will be the signs of your second coming?"  According to Matthew 24, it will be like the times of Noah. In those days, there will be laughing and mocking, as when Noah warned the people of the coming flood. The people were so focused on mocking Noah that when the flood came, they didn't know what hit them. Today, we're battling against "cultural Christians" who are shaped more by the secular culture than by the Word of God. There is no man so deep in the dark like the man who thinks he's in the light but he's really in the dark.  When the bar is lowered so far that "surrender to the Lord" is a foreign concept, then it's as if Christians have "lost their salt."  According to Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Compromise is to combine the qualities of two different things. "Carnal Christians" have compromised. There is no longer conviction to live according to the standards of Jesus Christ, the word made flesh. Cursed is the man who calls good evil and evil good. God has called his people to holiness: set aside to the purpose intended by the designer. According to Psalm 1, "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night."

Meditation is the best way to remember the Word of God. Meditation means to chew it over, break it down, and then digest it: as Jeremiah said,  "thy words were found and I did eat them and they were unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." God has empowered us with his spirit and has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. He has called us to shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. To know the voice of God, we must spend time in his Word. We must walk in close proximity with our Lord.

Distraction is the devil's ploy. So many Christians are distracted by the political process. Jesus when he was urged by the crowds to lead them as a political Messiah, said, "I' have other priorities...  I must do the will of him who sent me." Jesus prophesied about those who would follow in his footsteps, "the works that I do shall they do also, and greater works shall they do because I go unto my Father." We are God's plan to change the culture. God did not call us to judge and criticize unbelievers for sinning. Our calling is not to condemn the sinners, but as Jesus said, "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven." To avoid the distractions of the world, focus on the things of God and the things of the Spirit. How's your soul? How's your marriage? How can you pray for others? How's your walk with the Lord? Pray that God will send men and women into your life to speak into your life. The word of God is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness. Thank God for men and women who love you enough to rebuke, reprove, and correct you.  Correction is to restore to an upright position.

Compromise and distraction turn our hearts away from God and his Word and toward the World. To defeat compromise and distraction, deliberately, intentionally, and purposefully focus on the Word of truth. God did not call us to be influenced by the world but rather to influence the world.  Therefore, set your affections on things above, not on the things of the earth. Repentance is to turn away from the things of the world and to return our hearts to the Lord. Therefore, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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