“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place.”
~ Revelation 2:2-5
For several weeks now, I’ve tried very hard to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Covid-19 gave us a number of weeks to take stock as believers; to re-evaluate our lives and the things that are really most important. During this time, however, I have watched many people fight and argue over what’s constitutional and what’s not. I have seen believers in Christ point the finger at each other, one lacking compassion for the other’s position concerning world affairs and political affiliations. I have seen Christians ad nauseam perpetrate conspiracy theories and assassinate other people with slander, rumors, and gossip.
What I have failed to see among God’s people is more prayer, more repentance, more quoting of scripture, more desire to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” I believe that if we spent as much time praying and begging God to save our nation as we do fighting each other, defending our “rights”, and spreading rumors, then we would probably see different results right now.
Friends, we are meant to be a light in a dark world, and make no mistake, this world is dark!
It shouldn’t surprise us to see racial injustice and racism in this world. What should break our hearts is when the church makes excuses for it and refuse to pray.
It shouldn’t surprise us to see abortion numbers as staggering as they are today. It should break our hearts when Christians are soft on abortion because they might offend their friends.
It shouldn’t surprise us that riots ensue with destruction, looting, and carnage taking place in most major cities. It should break our hearts to see these things encouraged and participated in by followers of Christ.
It shouldn’t surprise us because sin reigns in this world, and it always has. Paul says,
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
We were once like this, but no more. Friends, if we expect this nation to change, we must stop participating in and defending racism, slander, gossip, chaos, selfishness, bickering, complaining, etc. The world says that participation in these things leads to a better understanding of the truth. But we know that God’s Word is truth! We must act by praying fervently for the lost. We must pray fervently for the Gospel to be clearly preached and rightly understood. We must desire what is good:
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
If we want to see our nation changed, it starts today, right now, with you and me. It starts with an attitude of repentance for my idols and selfish motives, then moves to fervent and consistent prayer for our nation, our churches, our families, and our children. It then moves to action through proclamation of the truth of God’s Word in word and deed which will always lead us to act justly toward our fellow man (no matter the color of their skin), to love mercy (even when we disagree or are harmed emotionally or physically by someone else), and to walk humbly (through prayer, repentance, and righteous living) with our God. It starts in my home, with my family, and with my kids. Our God is not a God of confusion or chaos.
He brings peace to the chaos, truth to the confusion, and comfort to the brokenness. Let’s make the days count by spending time with God, the way we should be, while seeking Him to work in us to bring about change. Now is the time; let’s take advantage of it.
Pastor Chris <><