…Is GREATER than the one who is in the world.
This is a phrase I have been repeating to myself a lot lately. I heard it on K-Love a few weeks ago and it just stuck with me. I have been plagued with all kinds of thoughts and questions about this world. The Enemy’s grip on earth is probably stronger than ever– especially in America. Our country has taken a nose dive in the last few weeks, I feel like. But, it has been a long time coming. I could dive into all of that political mumbo jumbo, but honestly I don’t understand it. I have no idea how to fix healthcare or illegal immigration (does anyone?).
Instead I worry about the integrity of our country above anything. At the end of the day, isn’t that a lot of what makes you up at a person? Not your political party or your social class. A lot of problems stem from a lack of integrity. Politicians want to further their own agendas, people want to meet their own needs, “credible” news stations present one sided and false/biased reports… the list goes on. A country founded on freedom is lacking just that. People don’t have the freedom to decide for themselves anymore. I can turn on one news station and be told that our President is a lying, irresponsible man and then on the other hand a different news station will say he is expanding freedom and equality for all and improving the nation. Somewhere in the middle is the truth, right? I don’t know anymore. I just see Satan’s hand on the earth and although I know the result of this great war that he is waging with the Lord, it is still a scary sight. But, something so comforting is that Jesus is a man of integrity. Mark 12:14 reminds me of our world today as some Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus when they asked him about paying taxes. I inserted part of Mark 12 below…
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.
“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
“But the tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.
“What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture:
“ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ ?”
Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.
It is hard to be a Christian today. Well, by American standards of “hard”. We are constantly attacked about being close minded, judgmental (don’t even get me started on how much I hate the abuse of this word…), and supremacists. Which, honestly, I can see why. The church has become a confusing place, even for me. We are so afraid of this term, politically correct, that many churches don’t even uphold the doctrine that is the Bible– the Holy Word breathed by God Himself. I have been really frustrated lately because the division of High Church and Low Church, Liberal and Conservative, Southern and Northern, etc. If we are supposedly following ONE God, why are there a million different choices? It is like as Christians and churches we can keep all the things we like in the Bible and ignore the things we don’t. “Yes I like justice, but no I don’t like giving up lust” … It’s like a buffet or something. I think first and foremost the Church needs to step up and remember the One that deserves all of the praise. Forget political correctness! Not everyone will be happy, but it is our job to speak truth and let the Holy Spirit touch and change the heart. (Remember Saul on the road to Damascus? Anything can happen with God.) I am sick of Christianity having to literally put out PR statements about abortion, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, adultery, etc. and people getting destroyed for their different beliefs. All of the sudden, there is a right and wrong opinion. The Bible is very clear cut about things that are right and wrong, which is something that the world doesn’t like today. We are very focused on what makes us happy and what you want, no matter what the consequences. There are things that are stated as WRONG in scripture and that is something that cannot be debated or changed no matter if it is 1782 or 2014. And I know we can debate it all you want, but there is truth from God. Christians, it is time to decide if you are all in or all out for believing the Word of God. After all, Jesus did say it was better to be one or the other instead of lukewarm. I hope and pray that if you choose to be all in, that you would aim to look more like Christ and love on everyone, which is hard. I know that for sure and I am working on that every day. Christ was a man of integrity, compassion, love, and yet softly stern as He spoke truth. That is who I want to look like. Gandhi said it best, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
With all of the lies and slander being spoken about the Green family, I think I snapped. Having met members of that family, even if just as acquaintances through school, I was so furious about the false things I was hearing about the integrity of the family. I would not have a bad word to say about them and even after going to school with members of their family, I did not know that they were part of the family that owned Hobby Lobby. They are sone of the nicest and most sincerely down to earth people I have ever met. I applaud their response of silence to this media storm and their desire to keep Jesus at the middle of it all. HE is truly the one in them. I hate this whole Christians vs. the World mentality that has been going on for a while, because we are not to exclude anyone from salvation. Unfortunately, if you are Christian you are immediately excluded from the world. But, fellow brothers and sisters please remember Mark 2:17, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” We are just as sinful as a non-believer, but thankfully the One in us is GREATER than the one who is in the world. Now let’s go be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and expand the eternal kingdom for HIS glory and not our own.