So I wake up this morning to find posts regarding the decision to fine the Oregon Bakery that refused to write an inscription on a lesbian couples' cake, $135,000 and to add to that, the judge also placed a gag order on the couple to silence them from speaking about their decision or their beliefs which is the basis for their decision.
This and so many other things happening in the world is the work of the enemy to divide and divide and divide some more. Its unfortunate for both sides, but I think more for the homosexual community. They want inclusion, to be treated equal to be validated, etc. But this kind of unfair persecution of Christians causes more division. But we know these things will take place and it will get worse but we should count it all joy to be hated for the cause of Christ, to be persecuted. Even so, the enemy will continue to use this case and many more to come, to silence followers of Christ from sharing the Truth. What a terrible time that will be, when you can't even speak about Christ to others without fear of persecution and possible imprisonment. Surely if you haven't been aware up to this point, you are now. Christians are being persecuted all over the planet and don't think for a second that America is immune from it. Don't think for a minute that the United States for some unknown reason is excluded from the great judgment that is coming upon it and all those that dwell here. Surely the protective hand of God is being lifted if not already.
I thought about some of the reactions of this latest ruling and my attention turned toward many who call themselves Christian. I take a further step back to get a birds eye view of what I see most days and it struck me kind of odd.. The majority of Christians (not followers of Christ - there is a big difference) seem to convey that God and Jesus are here for them, to do for them to bless them to prosper them to keep them healthy and pay their bills by providing good jobs, promotions, favor in every aspect of their lives... all while they do absolutely nothing. I repeat while they do absolutely nothing for Him. Sure they give God credit when they are blessed, when they receive a promotion, when they "prosper" in the eyes of man, but thats about it. It all looks good on the outside, it even makes us feel good. I can afford a new car, a new gadget, a new something or I can repair something that has been neglected for a while, I can be invited to preach, teach or sing somewhere and that feels good, helps pay the bills... etc But what does it do for a lost and dying world? What do those things contribute to a starving child, a drug addict, a prostitute, what do those opportunities for me provide to someone else who has nothing, no shelter, no clothing, no food - to someone who is dying and alone, no matter where they are or the sin in their lives? I hav to include myself in "they" when I speak of these things. I am praying this post will create a deep and shaking conviction in my heart, my mind and my spirit - that will leave me no choice but to truly and completely surrender to Him in all my ways, and thoughts. That I might be empowered to go and share the good news of God, and the redeeming power of Him that died for us, Jesus Christ.
Some go to every Church service or function religiously, no pun intended and invite all they see to go as well. Thats the tag line for many - "Come join us Sunday for Church"... we want the world to come to God on our terms and never consider meeting them where they are. We invite the world into our so called sanctuary, but we dare not go out to the world as Christ has called us to do. And what is even more disheartening, often times when those we have invited do show up on Sunday, all they hear is comforting words of how God is writing His story on your life (while that may be true) they never ever hear the salvation message or why they even need to be saved. They never hear one word about repentance or the times that we live in. Instead they are wined and dined with the latest popular message, casual coffee and tea, a dynamic feel good worship team and plenty of program opportunities to keep you busy. They come away feeling good about themselves and about God, but never broken, never in fear for their souls or those that they love.
The mentality of so many people who call themselves Christians, is that of "what I get", "what He does for me, or will do for me"... but what are we really doing for Him? Singing songs about Him, writing books, producing movies, donating a few dollars to this cause or that cause? I wonder how much time the average "christian" spends in prayer truly seeking God, truly repenting, crying out to Him in desperation - because its desperation we need in our hearts - just open your eyes a little and see what is going on around you, in the world. So many people who believe in God, but fail to follow Him, feel entitled.
I promise you I could pull up facebook and find at least a few posts about what God is going to do for someone in the first 10 minutes before I will ever find something from someone publicly crying out for repentance, for a call to prayer, deep true heartfelt prayer, for revelation and discernment. No, what the world is crying out for is more prosperity, more money, more things, more opportunities to sing here or there, to preach here or there and rarely do I hear of people working to help their fellow neighbor, friend, never do I hear about people making true sacrifices for our King, for Him. I hear people talk all the time about much they are "blessed" to be able to do this or that, to go here or there, to preach, to sing, to participate in something - but those things those opportunities are often more self gratifying than anything else and rarely do they put food in the mouths of hungry starving people, real food. There is a famine in the land and its a famine of great proportions - a famine of the true Word of God, of true compassion and sacrifice, of true repentance!
Hasn't He done enough? Wasn't His death on Calvary enough? I tell you if I never had another morsel to eat, or any more breath in my body - He was and is enough!
God break our hearts! Teach us to be true living sacrifices for you, not self seeking, make us aware of what truly being blessed is... Let us promote you and not ourselves or what we can do, but what you have done! That the world would know you are God, and your mercy and grace endures, that we need you, and that without you we would not have life, but suffer eternal death. Remove the scales from our eyes that we might see and unstop our ears that we might hear!
For me personally, God give me a new heart, one that is ready to sacrifice all for you and I mean all even unto death. Cause me to seek you with my whole heart, mind, body and soul that I might find favor in your sight, to be humble and constantly in a state of repentance as I seek you more and more, that I might have life more abundantly not with the things of this world but in abundant relationship with You, Your presence! God help us! We need you more than ever - reveal that to us, that we would turn from our wicked ways and repent!