Americans have spent years denying the name of Jesus and there’s no hiding the damage at this point. Generations cowered, taking a common morality for granted instead of lovingly standing beside God’s truths. Definitions for words like love and judgmental are based in our cultures current framework rather than God’s unshakeable time-tested truths. The fear of being labeled “judgmental” causes many to delegate themselves the “encourager” to those living faithfully. They sit comfortably waving the “banner of love”.
Generations continue to live in silent faith convincing themselves that passive faith demonstrates love and acceptance of others. In a confused world, we restrain our voices and deny God. We continue the pattern when we hush the truth, when we’re reticent to take a public stand on issues close to God’s heart.
We are part of the problem.
We are not called to literally overthrow governments because they oppose God. Israel was great in numbers, enslaved and suffered tremendously under the leadership of the Egyptian Pharaoh, yet they didn’t form a coo. God had a rescue plan that would forever point to His undeniable strength. Daniel didn’t raise up an army when the proclamation against prayer was announced. When he was sentenced to death in the lion’s den for living out faith Daniel’s strength came from God who is forever glorified.
We are called to bow to God’s ways alone. Our God uses simple obedience to extend His love and reveal His righteousness to the world. Unfortunately many believers are busy blending in. (Wonderful readers, what’s the tone in your area? I’d love to hear from you! Will you comment below?)
Do you shy away when people ask if you go to church or give a mumbled under your breath response when people ask if you actually read the bible?
Are you persnickety and unapproachable? Do people need to shed their humanity and brokenness before entering your home in an effort to not “offend” you?
Just writing this stings my heart. I lean toward legalism, performance checklists that “prove” I believe in God. I hold those around me to the proverbial list. This is not love. Dear God grow my heart!
If you’re feeling the weight of denying Christ, or living lukewarm like Laodicea, be encouraged! After Jesus’ words vibrated through his ear and having observed Jesus perform miracles, Peter denied Jesus.
THREE times Peter told people “I do not know him.” I wonder what his tone was like.
Did he stammer, barely able to murmur, “I do not know him”? Was it arrogant and scoffing, as if he would even consider associating with Jesus? Maybe it was defensive and sharp.
“And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” Luke 22:55-57
Despite denying the Savior he believed in, Peter went on to have a vibrant, successful and courageous ministry.
Despite the culture surrounding and oppressing them, the church at Philadelphia lived courageously for Christ.
“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8
In spite of weakness they kept God’s word and stood by His name. God defies numbers and statistics when we present a willing heart. Every discrepancy in our knowledge, talents or abilities is bridged by God when we determine to live in His ways.
Our weaknesses lift our eyes up to God and allow Him to sustain and strengthen our hearts. The letter to Philadelphia doesn’t talk about how the church went to God for strength, it is implied because they could not endure without God’s strength.
Strength is like Salvation, free and available to all who choose God. Will you completely choose God, to speak of His works, to live out His love without being ashamed? Few people will actually do this, but God doesn’t need numbers, He just needs your willingness.