A few days ago, I experienced the viperous hatred of a woman who thought she knew best about the happenings of the past week and had no grace for an opposing view. She was very clearly brainwashed by media and the education system. It was actually a little scary. What made it even more scary is that this woman did, at least at one time, claim to be a believer.
We are running into these kinds of situations more and more. If you are a Christian who is committed to proclaiming and obeying what the Bible says, you are realizing that there is a type of Christian out there who hates you. They preach love and tolerance for everyone else, but they hate the true Christian.
This has probably been the greatest cause of sorrow for me. You expect to be hated and even persecuted by the lost. But I am beginning to understand that much of this will probably also come from “the church” (little “c” because it is obviously not the Bride of Christ.)
I had hoped to direct your attention away from the happenings of this world and on to scripture today. And so I will. But I wanted to do so in relation to what is happening in the world, because it has pretty much been all-consuming for most of us. As we watch the changes occurring, we are stunned. We see censorship happening that is scaring us. We are starting to realize that we cannot believe anything mainstream media says. (In case you are still watching mainstream media, do a little experiment as one of my daughters did. Switch back and forth between a mainstream news and a news station committed to bringing you the real news, such as news max. She and her husband couldn’t believe the spins and lies that came from the mainstream media. It’s gotten almost comical now–at least it would be comical if so many people weren’t still believing it.)
So, in the midst of all this mess, we are Believers. What does that mean? How does that look? I think there are some very specific things to consider as we navigate these terrifying and unstable days. These things are not conditional. Their application doesn’t suddenly just end when our circumstances change. Or when things go wrong in the world. They don’t change when we are persecuted or maligned or marginalized.
First, as Christians, we must remember our purpose.
It is very easy to get caught up in picking sides of a worldly system that has no good side. It is more important than ever that we remember why we are here on this earth. We are here to glorify God (Psalm 86:12) and to make Him known by sharing the Gospel and then discipling those that would embrace it (Matthew 28:19-20).
Second, we must remember the greatest commands, according to Jesus.
We can find this in Mark 12:30-31: 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Notice that the greatest commands do not include fixing the world or changing the culture. They are not to bring God’s Kingdom to earth or to get caught up in a movement that is loyal to a human. The greatest commands are to love God and to love others. Let’s not get distracted.
Third, we are to love our enemies.
Luke 6:27-28 couldn’t be any clearer–
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
Jesus doesn’t tell us to just love others but He makes it even more challenging by telling us to love those who hate us. As people who love the Lord, we strive to do everything we can to stay at peace with those around us (Romans 12:18) but, more and more, this is becoming impossible. Simply by believing and following the Bible, we have become objects of extreme hate and anger. It is so very, very important that we don’t hate back! It is tempting. It is natural. But Jesus tells us to love them. This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, stay in the Word.
Study, memorize, and then study and memorize some more. Scripture is our only anchor in this world gone mad. It is our only source for truth. As bad news and unbelievable, incomprehensible stories swirl around us, we have God’s Word. And we must cling to it.
Fifth, seek the things that are above.
I just love Colossians 3, particularly these verses–
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
So much of our stress and strife and worry and fears are because we aren’t seeking the things above. We are worried about here. We are worried about losing earthly treasures. We are worried about losing temporal freedoms. How important that we keep our eyes focused above.
Sixth, don’t live in fear.
We are expressly told in Philippians 4:6-7 to be anxious for nothing. If you turn to those verses, you will notice that it doesn’t say “Be anxious for nothing, unless…the world is falling apart.” No matter what is going on, we are to be anxious for nothing. We are to make our requests be known to God with thanksgiving and then to rest in His promises. If we do this, we are promised a peace that passes understanding.
And Seventh, and finally, remember God’s Sovereignty and personal care for you.
I’ve written this many times here on the blog throughout this past year of uncertainty and questions. But it’s worth repeating because it is one of our greatest encouragements.
God has a plan. And God loves those that are saved through faith in Christ alone. We are not left in the hands of a wrathful God who desires to make our lives miserable. Every minute of every day is foreknown by the God of the universe who has promised to work all things out for His glory and our good for those that love Him (Romans 8:28).
Think about that promise for a moment and then cling to it. No matter what is ahead for us, this promise remains true. His grace will be sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9) and to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). May we joyfully yield to God’s will for us as we face the unknown days ahead.
Thank you for joining my search of scripture as I seek how to respond to these current events as Christ would have me to. I hope that this has been as much of an encouragement to you as it has been to me. Oh, friends, let’s pray for each other as we strive to respond as a true Christian should to these unprecedented events around us. I’d like to close with an encouraging passage of scripture that was sent to me as I wrote this post this morning–
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
PLEASE NOTE: At the end of last week, I sent a special email regarding the censorship that may be coming and how to keep in touch with me. If you’d like to continue hearing from me, should I be censored, I am asking you to give me your name and email address if you haven’t already done so. You can do this by simply replying to this email. I am trying to find a censorship-free platform to use for my subscribers and will only add those that really want to hear from me. You can find more details in an email I sent to you entitled “PLEASE READ”. I hope it doesn’t come to this, but I’d rather be prepared than sorry. :)
(I am sharing this here again because someone mentioned that the aforementioned email landed in their spam folder.)