Take a good look around you… like what you see? Take a look around your city or town… like that? Take a good look at our country… anything?
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. ~ Luke 9:23
For far too long, we as Christians have become complacent, thinking someone else will take care of that or help that person in need. It is time to stop believing that lie and call a spade a spade. We must take action, we must ARISE and stand for what we believe. There is a world full of hurting souls, longing for truth that will set them free. Still don’t believe me…
Here is a good challenge for you, and it does not require you to do anything but to look with your eyes. The next time you are in your car, whether you are driving to work, or just going from A to B, take a look around. Look on the street corners, look at the bus stop, look at the cars passing at the light, look in the mirror, just look. There is a world out there, where peoples lives have been crushed by the false pretense that money, success, drugs, alcohol, sex, or anything else will bring them peace, happiness, in the attempt to fill a void in there hurting hearts. I have been there.. I know!
Almost 10 years ago, I was basically homeless. I was a Christian, but I was not following, or even close to, God’s will for my life. I had been in a horrible relationship and living with that person outside of marriage, the only way for me to end it, was to leave. I moved out and in with friend. Things didn’t get any better, in fact they got worse. I lost my job, lost my car, I had lost everything but the clothes on my back. With the friend I was living with going through a divorce and a severe drinking problem, we found ourselves in the same boat of misery. I had two great friends who came and stepped in… God sent friends. One came by and went a bought us groceries, and talked with me a long while, they even took me out to lunch with their families. It was in those moments, I realized I had run so far away from God that, I had no clue where I was, but God did. He used those men, to get my attention, and shortly after that, I moved out and starting the long road of recovery.
I tell this story not because I want to share my extreme downfall with you, but to share with you the love and compassion of two people who obeyed God and showed me the kind of love that Christ would have shown me. They didn’t judge, they didn’t tell me all the things they knew I was doing wrong, they just loved me. That my friends, is what is missing in this world and even in the church as a whole. We love to point out each others flaws, downfalls, and other mistakes… but where is the TRUE love of Christ in our world. Now, I know I will get backlash for these comments, and I know that there are many people who are doing these things, but I am talking about in general.
So Brad, this is great, but how can I make a difference? That is the easy part, yet hard part all in one. All it takes is love, compassion and a heart that yearns to love the way Christ would. So what is the hard part then? Good question… It means, putting aside your own desires for the sake of someone else. I am sure those friends of mine had much better things to do with there day then to come rescue and spend money on me, but they did it anyway. They went out of their way, to be obedient to the will of God. And I can say for sure, that if they hadn’t, I would not be here today. Love like that is not natural, but it is a command. And it is a choice too!
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” ~ Luke 10:25-37
We must ARISE as Christians! The world around us is in desperate need and falling apart, even within the church walls. The very core of our beliefs are being challenged daily, all because we have allowed Satan to lie to us and deceive us and break us down little by little. Don’t believe me… 25 years ago, we could still pray in school. 15 years ago, most people thought that being gay was morally wrong. What is next? The very foundation of marriage is being redefined as we speak in California, to say a marriage union is between two people and not just between a man and a woman. When will we stand? We must start teaching younger believers and we ourselves must seek out elder brothers and sisters to help teach us (Discipleship). Far too often, the Church has a gettem’ saved attitude, which is great, but then what? You wouldn’t deliver a baby, then put him/her on the street and tell it to go get a job, would you? Discipling, is a must!
Where do we start? It starts with you and me… Much like love, it is a choice! We must choose to ARISE! We have the free will to choose to sit back and watch and continue allowing Satan to break down the very core values of our beliefs, or to Stand and say NO MORE SATAN! The choice is ours… Just keep this in mind as you choose and know the power of your choice… You would not be reading this right now, if two God loving men would not have chosen to ARISE… Their choice, changed my life forever! What will you choose today?