SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 5:19 (TM)
God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.
A young man enlisted, and was sent to his regiment. The first night he was in the barracks with about fifteen other young men, who passed the time playing cards and gambling. Before retiring, he fell on his knees and prayed, and they began to curse him and jeer at him and throw boots at him. So it went on the next night and the next, and finally the young man went and told the chaplain what had taken place, and asked what he should do.
"Well," said the chaplain, "you are not at home now, and the other men have just as much right to the barracks as you have. It makes them mad to hear you pray, and the Lord will hear you just as well if you say your prayers in bed and don't provoke them."
For weeks after the chaplain did not see the young man again, but one day he met him, and asked -- "By the way, did you take my advice?"
"I did, for two or three nights."
"How did it work?"
"Well," said the young man, "I felt like a whipped hound and the third night I got out of bed, knelt down and prayed."
"Well," asked the chaplain, "How did that work?"
The young soldier answered: "We have a prayer meeting there now every night, and three have been converted, and we are praying for the rest."
Oh, friends, I am so tired of weak Christianity. Let us be out and out for Christ; let us give no uncertain sound. If the world wants to call us fools, let them to it. It is only a little while; the crowning day is coming. Thank God for the privilege we have of confessing Christ.
The world does a great job in shutting us up… or they simply out-shout us. There are those who think they have a better message than we. They feel that they are in the right… that they have a better plan… that all of the answers rest with them… and they have gotten the attention of the world and dominate the headlines.
The ridicule and name-calling has caused us to become quieter until we now find ourselves in the minority with our message of love and forgiveness. Christianity is a curiosity and little else. We are petrified that we might offend someone with our witness. We have allowed the world’s agenda to push us to the sidelines. We have allowed the beaters-of-the-war-drums to make our message of reconciliation and forgiveness irrelevant.
What has made it even harder is that there are those who claim to be Christian whose voices have been raised well above anything that we are saying… they out-Jesus us… or so it seems.
The time is now… the time is here… the time has arrived for all true believers to standup and bare witness to the truth that is in us. Hate produces hate, retaliation results in retaliation, bullets and bombs end up with more bullets and bombs.
Isn’t time for us to truly try it God’s way? God squared the world through Jesus Christ and we have been trying to twit that message to fit into our perspective of whom it should work. How can we tell everyone what God is doing if what they hear is “getting even” … repaying evil with evil.
Where are those who believe that there is a better way?
PRAYER from A Guide to Prayer for all God’s People:
(Our) Lord and friend, in the quietness of this hour, reconcile (our) contrary motives and conflicting desires. Give (us) a singleness of purpose that (we) may come into your presence unashamed and sit under your gaze without blushing. Amen.