The more I read scripture, the more I realize that my God is UNSHAKABLE, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Laws may change, economy may collapse, leaders may rise and fall, but my Jesus is still seated on His throne. And He will honor those who remain faithful to Him.
As I prepare and study for our current sermon series, I am reminded about the three men that did not bow down to the image of gold.
One statement caught me by surprise, they said: "He (God) will deliver us”.
But right after such bold statement they said, “but even if He (God) does not, we will not bow down”.
Were they doubting after saying God would deliver them? I don’t think so.
We are limited in our thinking when it comes to time and space. We think that everything God promises has to happen here and now. But sometimes we must be willing to surrender our timing preferences to His sovereign and perfect will and trust that His promises will be fulfilled.
God will deliver those who place their trust in Him.
These three reminded me that I must be willing to die in order to live.
They were certain that God could, and would deliver them, and that meant that they would either survive or die and be forever in God’s presence in the afterlife.
As I see where our world is going, I must remember that God is still God, and that the greatest fight is fought in our daily walk.
The law will not change my faith. But following God's law will always protect my future.
When laws change, we still have to be like Christ.
When economy fails, we must keep trusting in Him as our provider.
When profanity is all around us, we must remain faithful to His word; it is our only hope.
If we remain in Him and He remains in us, nothing can separate us from His presence.
Romans 8:38-39 NIV
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 15:5-7 NIV
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
The Christian Church was established almost 2,000 years ago. Jesus, the Messiah, as His followers called him, literally changed the world with his life and teachings. His followers were captivated by the way he taught, and more than that, the miracles he performed validated the integrity of his message and his identity. Not everyone liked him, in fact, the ones that were supposed to recognize him ended up crucifying him. But based on the Old Testament writings, this had to happen. The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ fulfilled hundreds of prophecies written hundreds of years before he was even born. No other religion comes close when it comes to fulfilled prophecies. It is after Jesus spends around three years with his disciples, a group of twelve men who followed him everywhere he went, that religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy. Anger and resentment drove these leaders to bring Jesus to be tried before the Roman Leaders. Jesus is treated like a criminal, punished, and then crucified. But on the third day, Jesus rose and later appeared to His disciples. Fast-forward 40 days, and the day of Pentecost came. It is said that the church was born on this day when the Holy Spirit came upon a group of people who were praying and were empowered to take the message of Jesus out beginning with Jerusalem, Judea, and then to the ends of the earth.
This past weekend "Fifty Shades of Grey" was released in theaters and generated over $80 million dollars on opening day. The number is big, the concern many Christian conservatives have expressed is evident and necessary but I don't think we are paying enough attention to the real issue behind of it all.
As Christians, we are called to love people, without any conditions, we must love. But when movies like this come out and we realize that they are quickly embraced as art, and the "it's only a movie" cliche, we tend to get so aggravated. Many "christians" end up hating those who we are supposed to love. I am not saying we should accept it, but we at least should be willing to explain in love with grace without compromising the truth. And i get it, the main frustration is when those who are supposed to know the truth, and be light, deny the conflict between movies like this and faith in Christ. A follower of Jesus, a true follower of Jesus, will know that something is wrong the moment abuse, sex outside of marriage, and lust are promoted.
Compare the $80 million this movie made on opening day weekend with this:
“Pornography has grown into a $10 billion business — bigger than the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball combined — and some of the nation's best-known corporations are quietly sharing the profits." (ABC News).
Ten thousand millions versus Grey's $80.
Let me ask again, where is the real issue?
Ephesians 6:12 says:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The real battle begins inside our hearts every day. The way culture has moved away from Godly morals is the result of "cold christian hearts" that lost their passion for Jesus, His word, and the local Church. How do we fight? We begin by giving our lives to Jesus, and letting the Spirit guide our daily lives. More than trying to stay away from evil, we need to stay closer to Jesus.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
So I say, let's live by the Spirit! The battle begins within, inside, hearts, homes, and spreads out from there.