Something to ponder as we go about our day.
Are we stuck in Christian cliché mode or do we really listen and open our hearts to our brothers and sisters in Christ and ponder God’s Word?
Maranatha, Lord come quickly!
By Sandee Lloyd
Isn’t it ironic that Christians have so cultivated their capacity for denial, that it has been deemed a sin to ever be discouraged, and those who refuse to go along with that ruse, choosing instead to face the truth, find themselves outcast from a modern Christian sphere devoid of any brand of exhortation other than trite words. Jesus can comfort because He suffered. He submitted to pain. He walked through the valley of the shadow of death. When all is said and done, where else can we go but to the Lord? Man of sorrows and of grief, despised and rejected of mankind, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
People do not like to even look upon grief and sorrow. Rather than wade in, hoping to help the drowning one out, they run from the scene. They don’t want to be reminded that sorrow exists. They will do anything to short-circuit, circumvent, and avoid the pain process. No wonder people today can’t feel anything. You feel both joy and sadness with the same “feeler”. When you deaden your “feeler” you have no capacity for real pleasure either.
There is a lie perpetrated by professing Christians, that I (and others) am sick only because I don’t have enough faith to be healed. The most frequent “advice” I get when people find out that I live with chronic illness, is: ” you really should read such and such book ” OR, “You need to get such and such supplement” or “you just need to rebuke that away”. If you go around saying those things, it is you that I rebuke, for you are afflicted with the same lunacy that plagues our President right now, who believes his decree on any matter makes a thing so. (“Unemployment is getting better and our economy is recovering”) That is delusion.
Contrast that mentality with what Jesus said: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (He is speaking of a future joy here, not one that can be attained in Earthly life). “Be of good cheer” means, “take heart, have courage”. Face the bad knowing a better day is promised. There is no promise that better day will be tomorrow, or even this year.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”
So for all of those who would say “you need more faith”, or you need to read this “Christian Bestseller” or take this supplement, let me recommend a book to you: The Holy Bible. Only, please stop skipping over the unpleasant parts. Stop adding to it and taking away from it. If you, as a “Christian” are rejoicing in this present world, you are probably in league with this world. My rejoicing right now is in knowing a “better city” awaits me, wherein is my true citizenship.
I know that God is good. I know that I cannot begin to imagine those things which He has in store for those who love Him, the future glory. Right now, though, we are living in perilous times and a place headed headlong into destruction. There is a time and a season for everything, and this world is on the cusp of ultimate judgment. I firmly believe that the trials our family has been through in recent months and years are a gift of preparation, that keeps the heart aware of its own insufficiency and need for the help of the Holy Spirit.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
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In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.