Thursday, August 30, 2007

I heard from a college freshman yesterday who was very concerned about the students back at her private Christian High School. She spoke of how many "good people" are there, but expressed concern over how most of them come from wealthy families and are far from understanding what it means to "surrender all" for Christ.

Most of them say they are Christians, but there is a chasm between what they proclaim to believe and what their lives reflect. It is not my intent to judge them, but to ask the question, "how do we close the gap between them and the life Jesus taught us to live in Scripture?"

In reading the book "Jesus Freaks" by DC Talk, one quickly sees a different view. On the other side of the world, believers of all ages are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith. How is it possible to teach those who have so much to be willing to lay down their lives for Christ with the grace of the modern day martyrs who have preceded them.

We as a society, are largely shielded from this view. We know more about the terrorists who give up their lives for a cause they believe in, than our own brothers and sisters who die every day for their faith. Our media in this country doesn't speak of such atrocities, unless it affects us where we live. Many of us are not connected to the sources who deliver such information (like "Voice of the Martyrs").

We have a benign belief that little is required of us, as we are Americans. We are the wealthiest country in the world. We no longer need to live in fear of our lives for religious freedom or any other purpose. It is no wonder that Christians in other countries believe our Christianity is powerless.

The Bible teaches us that as followers of Christ we will be persecuted, and that we should count it as gain when it does occur. The disciples gloried in their sufferings as they considered it a joy to suffer on behalf of their Savior.

Jesus told us we must "deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him." How can we do this when we don't live in need for anything? At what place will we deny ourselves? Our monies go to pad our personal accounts and dreams that have little to do with furthering the gospel.

As I consider the death that so many martyrs have experienced, I am reminded of Life, and Life abundantly! Even as I write, a friend many states away, randomly sends me a text message that says, "O death where is your sting!?! Thanks be to God through Jesus!!"

Too many of us are 2,000 years and many dollar signs removed from this way of thinking.

"for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."Phil 1:21

I do not have a death wish. Nor am I trying to spread one.

It is about living! How do we live!?! If we live our lives as Christ lived His, we have great victory and what we have becomes desirable to many others. When they receive it, they are fulfilled for eternity.

What most see in us now, is our wealth, and they want it, but it only delivers more want, if it is ever achieved.

We are poised to have tremendous impact on the world through how we live our lives and what we do with our wealth! Shall we continue to live in Laodicea?

What shall we show our children? How do we teach them to "deny themselves" when we won't?

We must die to self, live in Christ, and do it moment by moment. Only if we do this will we keep at bay the constant longing for more...more of something to fill a space that only the Spirit of the living God can bring resolution to.



At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this generation in America general lacks any REAL "need" EXCEPT to live in Christ, for Christ and in His Glory!! In Acts, where christianity is laid out biblically, it is apparent, as you articulated in your post, that we are not "being church", we're attending church. Let's be church -- reaching the lost, eating together in His name and spreading the Good News! Glory be to God!!


Post a Comment

<< Home