Under Attack

Psalms 129:1
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”

Difficultly is part of the journey for the people of God. Israel as a nation has been under constant scrutiny and attack since its inception and at the same it is true of the child of God. The moment you publicly proclaim the name of Jesus you will become the object of the world’s attack. Most of the positive things that are done in the name of Christ are overlooked, ignored or forgotten while anything and everything the church or the individual Christian does wrong is paraded as a proof that Christians are no different from the world.

After a recent attack at a gay night club by a person with radical Islamic roots the attention soon turned to the church as though this was somehow caused by the Bible’s position that homosexuality is a sin. Soon the news channels began to report on a church in California where the pastor declared that the victims of the attack deserved what happened because of their lifestyle. I was shocked not only to hear that a person would say such a foolish thing but that the media was able to ignore what was being said and done in thousands of churches across the nation and find one church that held this opinion and make it the news. What about the millions of Bible believing followers of Christ who gathered with their congregations to weep for the victims and pray for their families. What about those who made their way to Orlando to pass out food and water as a way to say they were sorry for the tragedy and to condemn the actions of a violent and godless man? The reality is the world has always opposed the followers of God and put them under scrutiny and attack. Jesus put it this way,

John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”

As believers we should do all we can to change the world’s perspective of Christ and the church. When a person attacks Christianity they should have to second guess themselves because of your actions. They should find themselves making generalities about Christians while having to rethink those statements because of your life, love and faithfulness to the word of God. We cannot ever compromise the message of the cross but we should be willing to lay our lives down for others to hear it, see it and know it.

Jim

 

Peace

Isaiah 60:18
“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.”

Isaiah promises a time when violence and destruction will be replaced with salvation and praise. Clearly, we have not yet entered that time. Violence is one of the major themes of our day. While this is true everywhere, it is especially true in the Middle East. It seems as though, not a day goes by where we are not faced with reports of violence, war, and terrorism.
Isaiah promises a day when this violence will be a thing of the past; a time when the Messiah will come to reign and rule, and peace will govern the earth. While we await that day, we must remember, it is possible to have the peace of Christ reign over us even in these dark days.
I recently met a man who had been a terrorist. His view of non-Muslim people was they were infidels and he would be rewarded by Allah for killing them. One day, this angry man, filled with hatred, was invited to church by a young woman. He accepted her offer, if for no other reason than to further persecute Christians. What he did not know is, he was about to encounter the true and living God, and have his life forever changed. Through a series of events, over a number of weeks, this man fell to his knees, invited Christ into his life, and found that the anger which governed his life, was immediately replaced with peace, joy, and love.
No matter who you are or what you are facing, Jesus wants you to drink from the waters of salvation, and experience His perfect peace.

Pastor Jim