For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. -Romans 1:16
We live in a country where it is perfectly legal to worship as Christians; people don’t generally throw you into prison or torture you for admitting your faith. At least not yet. However, in many ways [and more so as time marches on] people will insult you for it, accusing you of being narrow-minded, judgmental, hateful and just plain ignorant. They are offended by the cross of Christ, as Billy Graham put it recently in his My Hope America broadcast. Somehow, for standing up for Biblical principles, more and more Christians in this country are being shunned by the mainstream. It has always been there, it just that fewer and fewer attempt to hide it.
For some of us, it is tempting to give into our fear and need for approval from everyone around us and hide the fact that we know and love Jesus, acknowledging Him as our Lord and Savior. The best remedy for this is an increase in one’s prayer life and regular time in fellowship with other Christians, studying God’s Word and worshiping Him. At least, this is what has helped me to come forth and proclaim the good news of Jesus without reservation. As we practice the things I just mentioned, the Holy Spirit is better allowed to work in us and through us and fear becomes some memory of what used to be, not the method we choose to operate in today. May God bless you as you strive to be closer to Him in every possible way.
Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize. -Proverbs 3:35 (MSG)
Sometimes I just love the way The Message interprets scripture. It’s easy to blame God when bad things happen to us; sometimes people even think God specifically did something as a punishment. God as I know Him is loving and full of grace beyond my reckoning as a person. The thought of God specifically doing some horrific thing to somebody when He has given us a message of love and contentment is hard to fathom in most instances. Sin has consequences–and even though our Father forgives our sin [and makes us right through the awesome blood of Jesus shed for us at the cross] the act itself often has repercussions. As we grow in the Holy Spirit, we will find that we sin less and less because we no longer want to. Thank God for His Word and the power with which we can understand it and implement it in our lives.
I would like to wish Billy Graham a happy 95th birthday. May God continue to richly bless him. Please be sure to tune into “My Hope America” with Billy Graham tonight!
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. -Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)
When times are rough, it’s really nice to know that God is there at our side to see us through the toughest and most frightening moments in life. All we have to do is acknowledge His presence and let Him walk beside us.
A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing. —Luther