Monthly Archives: May 2016

June 2016 Devotion

The Jesus Freak

 

“I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”  (Psa. 119:58-60, NIV)

 

The psalmist wants every area in his life to be in alignment with the Lord.  He longs to do things God’s way.  Further, the Almighty has become the most important entity in his life.  More than a song, this is his passion.

 

In the world today, this songwriter would be classified as “too religious.”  It could be said; “he is so heavenly-minded, that he is no earthly-good.”   The other phrase that comes to mind is “Jesus freak.”  How common it is for people in the workplace to mockingly label someone of this character “reverend” or “deacon.”

 

         “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  (Matt. 5:11-12, NIV)

 

If loving God were a crime, would we receive a lifelong sentence or be released with a general warning?  What evidence would be presented to prove that we have become too sold out for Christ?  Would our checkbook bring validity to the charges.  Would our internet history offer us an acquittal?  The mature Christian Warrior would receive the death sentence in this situation.

 

We are not ashamed of our Savior, the Bible, or the things of God.  Instead, we shout to the world; “JESUS CHRIST IS LORD OF ALL!”  After all, He is our very purpose for living.  We strongly agree with the psalmist, when we desire to see every area of our life in perfect alignment with His divine will.  It is folly to expect the lost world to appreciate our decisions.

 

Dear Lord, we long to have our life in alignment with your holy and perfect will.  Empower us to live a life that brings a smile to Your beautiful face.  Further, help us as we endure the conflicts of this world to keep our eyes upon You.  Strengthen us during moments of persecution.  Please deepen our resolve by the power of your sweet Holy Spirit.  Fill us with Your love so that others may see and consider their own situation.  May all glory and honor be Yours.  In the mighty name of Jesus we pray.  Amen!

 

May 2016 Devotion

Unmoved But Not Unloving

 

There is a fine line between a firm stand for Christ and a harsh unloving attitude. This is a very difficult lesson of spiritual maturity. We need to be firmly committed to Christ; however, if we are unloving, we have failed in this area. The best example is Christ whose love for others was evident during His crucifixion.

 

         “I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in your commands because I love them.” (Psa. 119:46-47, NIV)

 

The psalmist is unashamed of his faith. He was willing to stand before a powerful monarch, who with one word could have ended his life. This type of dedication is an essential element of our Christian walk. Like the psalmist, we must be willing to share our faith with anyone without shame or compromise.

 

         “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26, NIV)

 

During the first century, the early church had many martyrs who made a stand for Christ at the expense of his or her life. During this time, there was also zealot Christians, who with their faith would challenge the Roman government. Like the martyrs, they also died violently. The early church considered the martyrs to be heroes and thought those who sought persecution unwise.

 

We must consider our actions carefully. We know that the unsaved world hates Christian warriors. We need to stand firm when we face persecution. Moreover, we need to remember to love others when we are in these situations. If we are properly trained, we will meet Jesus description that we are gentle and wise.

 

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16, NIV)

 

Is this possible? We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we will have the best response for every moment. Further, we need to be fully equipped in our understanding of the Bible so that our actions are always appropriate. Next, we also need to recognize this as a step of maturity. In my opinion, this is an acquired skill like riding a bicycle. We may crash into the neighbor’s hedge a few times as we master this!

 

Father, please help us to love others as You love us. As we share Your love with others, may we stand steadfast in proclaiming Your mighty name as Savior. In Your name we pray. Amen!