24 November 2016

politics

***confrontation warning***

God's brought the same word to my heart countless times over the past three weeks, and it's starting to turn pansy of me to hide behind the guise of "I don't do politics."

I DON'T do politics...not online nor around the dinner table.

But this isn't actually about politics or presidents or governments at all.

It's about us, family of God.

We. Are. Blowing. It.

I have seen and read and heard countless countless countless words and hearts and emotions and frustrations and rants and shares and admonishments and fears from us believers that sound simply, absolutely nothing like Jesus.

Am I saying we have to sound like Jesus all the time?

Um, YES.

Do we think Jesus doesn't understand?  Do we think these current circumstances are somehow different than those the Bible is speaking into?  Do we think Jesus joined us in a day and age where there was NOT massive political trouble?  Do we think our current difficulties and injustices with our governments and politics and left-side-right-side friends are somehow WORSE than the Roman times Jesus was born into, with foreign nations cruelly ruling over them, with kings seeking to kill him and murdering thousands of young boys instead, with foreign powers enslaving many, immediately killing anyone who spoke out against their leadership?  There was a huge disparity between rich and poor.  There was NO freedom of speech.  Massive oppressive taxation.  Major. Political. Tension.

And He still said what He said about how we are to speak and act?

Yes.

And that is also for us today?

YES.

This is what is eating me, family.


We are His people.  And we are speaking in front of a very lost world who DOES. NOT. KNOW our Father.  We are representing the Holy One in front of a lost and dying world.  

And we are talking of hate.  Venting of emotion.  Attacking those who do not know Him, in front of those who do not know Him.  Speaking NOT in love.  Turning NOT the other cheek.   

Read just this ONE passage from Ephesians with me.  

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead, He made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved.)  

Remember that YOU, the Gentiles, remember that at one time you were separate from Christ, and strangers to the promise, having NO hope and without God in the World.

He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, abolishing enmity, establishing peace, reconciling.

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, with tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  To each of us grace was given. 

Family, by grace we have been saved.  That last list of how we are to be walking is the OPPOSITE of how the world walks.  And we were once among them, lost, we were once separate, we once had NO hope.  Don't we remember?  

So HOW can we talk of those currently lost, currently separate, with unkindness and meanness and total lack of Christ-speech and love?

Can you even IMAGINE Jesus calling someone ANY of the things we are calling people right now?

HOW can we talk like this in front of those currently lost?  As ones who are driven by our emotions and fears and brokenness?

Hear my heart, family, WE ARE PRISONERS.  We are prisoners of the Lord.  We are NOT our own, we are not to SPEAK our own, we are not to ACT our own.   

We must, oh, we must walk in a manner worthy, with all humility and gentleness, with such patience this world has ever seen, in love, in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit, as ones most wretchedly once-lost, as ones who speak and live and love on His behalf, as ones who once also had NO HOPE.

It is a WORLD of injustice, family.  It is a WORLD of broken and messed up and infuriating and unfair and war.  And we must speak up for it, we must!  BUT IT MUST BE IN LOVE.  And love never includes many of the words I am hearing.

We are noisy gongs and clanging cymbals, Church, shouting our threats and insults and hatred and fear and hot blood and yet having not love.

There are those dying for faith, TODAY.  There are those living in SLAVERY, today. There are those in concentration camps, there are those running for their lives, there are those starving to death, there are those tortured and separated and broken and oppressed...truly.  And there are those full of hate and those full of death and darkness and destruction.

And SO, brothers and sisters, we must be doing better.  We must be looking far different.  We must be talking about more than hate, we must be doing more than showing it.  We must be talking about more than fear, and we must be doing more than showing it.  We must be talking about more than injustice, and we must be doing more than showing it. 

For it is INJUST to be saved by great and unmerited grace, and then to show others anything other than extraordinary, divine salvation and freedom and love and grace.

Every. single. thing. we say or write, family.  Every single thing.  

It must be the words that Jesus said, or something equal in love and spirit, or may we be silent. 

Our opinions will never change the world.  As slaves of Christ, our opinions do. not. matter.

God's opinion matters.  And He sent His son, an infant, and he died a grisly death for the lost.  For the sin which enslaves.  For me.  For you.  FOR OUR ENEMIES.  For those who seek to kill and destroy.

Are we speaking of our enemies right now as if our Jesus DIED for them or as if they are made in the image of God?

If He Himself is our peace, as He says He is, may that peace be manifested powerfully through us...not because there is no reason to fear, not because there is no reason to anger, but because we trust Him, and HE IS ON THE THRONE.

If we do not believe it TODAY, if we do not believe it in THESE circumstances...then we never did.

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