Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Lion Roars, But The Light Shines

What is more precious than the knowledge that the mercy of our God falls new upon us, every morning? Every. Morning.

…because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, it won't be long before something will catch us off guard, kick us in the gut, take our very breath away and leave us gasping for air.

We are told in 1 Peter 5 to be sober. Vigilant... "Because our adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour." 

We live our lives,  mostly unaware of the forces of darkness that are pushing the boundaries, seeking to put out the light.  And though the light cannot be diminished, the lion roars .  And when it does, we must be vigilant, holding fast to the truth, eyes fixed on Jesus.

"The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5)

Even so, the lion roars. And looks for every opportunity to strike.

In the midst of our gasping, as our legs give out and we find ourselves unable to even scream for help, we must fix our eyes on Him. And though the lion roars, we will not be devoured.  Light will shine in the darkness because the darkness has not overcome it. He said so.

Hence, the prophet Jeremiah's confession of faith…

"Remember my affliction and roaming.  
The wormwood and the gall.
My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness
The Lord is my portion, says my soul, 
Therefore I hope in Him !

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.

~Lamentations 3:19-26

Grateful for legs to stand on…eyes to see…light to show the way and His mercy and compassion that is new.

 Every. Single. Morning.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Living in a Postmodern Culture While Embracing Truth

Of late, I am  often been reminded of the old hymn which says,

"This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through…"

There are days, when that, alone, keeps me moving forward. We've got to get to the other side, right?

Upside down:  What once was honored, is now despised...

Think: modesty, respect for authority, motherhood, fatherhood, faith, "Father Knows Best," hard work, marriage, living within your means, innocence, humility, truth, soft hearts, discretion, depth, honor, patriotism, politeness, reverence, respect, absolutes, gentleness, distinction of roles, sexual purity, family, children, the elderly, wisdom...

And on the flip side,  what once was despised is honored...

Think:  narcissism,  impulsiveness,  pridefulness, self-esteem,  arrogance, greed, slander, pleasure seeking, independence, lack of commitment, gossip, aggressiveness,  crude language, victim mentality, meaningless sex with unlimited partners, anger, relativism, sarcasm, political correctness, tolerance of anything and everything…

We live in a culture where money and self aggrandizement is king. Selfies.  Front page news is now who has won what award-entertainers collectively patting one another on the back.  It's not enough that we buy their music and see their films and shows, so,  they honor each other with obsequious award shows we all watch with baited breath.  If we aren't watching that, we're watching TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider,  or reading People Magazine (guilty as charged).

We are lied to by our leaders; elected to represent us and honor our values in the government forum.
We are demeaned for our faith and marginalized by our unwillingness to tolerate every passing fancy. We are called "hateful" for stating biblical truths and considered "out of touch" for wanting to maintain the innocence of our children.  If we disagree, no matter how respectfully, we are termed "haters".

Kindergartners are subjected to "Say No to Drugs" when the only drugs they've been exposed to is Children's Tylenol.  In addition to fire drills, there are drills to prepare for "lock downs", "in case the bad guys come in".  We are terrifying our most innocent segment and teaching them about  sexual preference before they're out of elementary school. And then, we are mocked for promoting school choice or (God forbid!) homeschooling.

It takes every ounce of focus in each of us to keep our eyes on the prize. And if you doubt me, chew on this a while:

"For the word of the cross is folly to hose who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

 I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.  

Where is the one who is wise?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  

For consider your calling, brothers, not many of you were wise according to worldly standard, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.  But God chose what is foolish in he world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.  God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. "

...1 Corinthians 1:18-29

We are not of this world, but we are living in it.  And while we are, we must fight the good fight.  We must not get too comfortable and  conform to the standards of this post-modern culture we are living in. We must stand, boldly, unafraid and resolute. Salt and Light. Fearless tranquility in the midst of a raging storm. In, but not of. We are called not to "fit in" but,  to be set apart.

This world is NOT our home.  But, while we're passing through, Lord help us to stand for truth and to minister to a world in desperate need of the love of the  Savior.