Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Work of God OUT OF You, Part 2

Scripture: Philippians 2:14-16
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

Insights: I want you to know notice the world in which we live out the fivefold process leading to joy.  The world is crooked and perverse.  Sunday was the first Sunday since our presidential election on November sixth.  I shared with our church a lengthy quote from Kevin Castleberry, pastor of Celebration Baptist Church in Semmes, Alabama.  I think it is captures the idea in twenty-first century America of a crooked and perverse generation.  I share with you today Kevin’s words.  He wrote, “Today, we are officially in a ‘Post-Heritage’ America. The electoral landscape of our nation confirms that we have a new culture in our nation. It is a culture that is different from the heritage that many envision as the traditional makeup of America. While there remains a sizeable portion of the country that maintains the flavor of that founding patriotism with the values that have given birth and rise to our country, a new ethic has become the majority. This is a change that is here to stay. As with any change, there is a sense of loss, and that is what many are feeling today. It is the realization that the America of yesteryear will not be the America that our children and grandchildren experience. There is a real grief process that is being experienced, and we need to acknowledge that. At the same time, as Christians, we are called to influence and lead this culture through the love of Christ. We are Americans but our prime citizenship is in heaven. We are God's ambassadors to represent His interests. It is our mandate to live in this new culture without being this new culture. By doing so, we can love those who are far from God while leading them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. Our country is not the same, but our call has not changed.  Pray ahead!”  As a Christian it is only going to get more difficult in the days ahead to represent Jesus, because the cultural landscape is crooked and perverse.  Yet as Kevin and Paul clearly announce, our mandate as lights in this world is still clear.  Proclaim Jesus!
  1. Are you experiencing the difficulties of life all around you?
  2. Are you able, like Paul, to count them part of your joy you have in Christ?
Prayer: Father, forgive me when I complain and belly ache over the difficulties of this world.  Rather, help my heart to be in a right relationship with You and let Your joy and peace reign in me.  Amen. 

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