Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pity The Lost, Do Not Fear Them

Perspective is everything in life and I love it when the Spirit changes mine so that I am able to see more clearly God`s perspective. This morning the Lord added to my understanding a better insight into those without Christ. Often we are confused about our relationship with them, not understanding the fear we sometimes have or why it is that the Word tells us not to be unequally yoked with them. But there is a reason we should not fear and there is a reason we should not be unequally yoked.

First of all we need to understand that they do what they do out of instinct not out of will. We should know this considering we all came from there; it was our former life. Without Jesus we have no power over sin and in fact we are a slave to it. We can't help ourselves. It is only because of Jesus that we have been brought into this great light of understanding and have been released from the slavery of sin, empowered to overcome it. But those who are still slaves to it have no insight, no understanding and cannot see the reality of our loving Father. The cannot understand the Bible or their own condition without the conviction of the Spirit. The psalmist put it this way:

I have a message from God in my heart 
   concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: 
There is no fear of God 
   before their eyes. (Psalm 36:1)

They have no fear of God. They scoff at us for the warning of the coming judgement. They do not correct their way because they see no reason to repent:

In their own eyes they flatter themselves    too much to detect or hate their sin. (Psalm 36:2)

They are blind to their own sin and without knowing Jesus they are unable to hate it. They are to be pitied and I think we forget this. They are not to be feared with all their angry words and hatred; with their words of doubt and destruction; with all their mockery and belittling. They are like a drowning man lashing out, ready to take down anyone who comes to his rescue. We must understand that it is not a simple matter of correcting their behaviour because it is their heart that is sinful and the great producer of their behaviour:

The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; 
   they fail to act wisely or do good. 
Even on their beds they plot evil; 
   they commit themselves to a sinful course 
   and do not reject what is wrong. (Psalm 36:3-4)

Someone might say that they know people who are kinder and better behaved than most of the Christians they know. That is a shame that they do not know more mature Christians but the fact remains that no matter how hard a person tried to be good, without Jesus they are still slaves to their sinful nature which pollutes their best intentions. Simply put, they "do not reject what is wrong".

Now this is the reason we are here, our mission in this place. We are worshipers of God 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we understand that, but we have a specific purpose in being here. It is not to serve ourselves or to try to get things out of God to make our life comfortable or to be separated from this world by being hedged in. God promised to take care of us but we have to seek the things of the Kingdom. What are the things of the Kingdom? The object of God's affection which is every single living, breathing human being. The Word says that his will is that everyone would be saved.

This is why God's word often came to his servants "Do not fear", or "Do not be afraid". God is with us. He is in us and we are in him and our task is to introduced the light to the darkness. The darkness does not want the light because it doesn't know any better but once they see it everything changes. I realize that in school we were/are afraid of the bully and we may even come to hate him, but Jesus said that as his followers we cannot hate. He told us to love our enemy because he was sending us to that enemy with the greatest story every told. It may mean we get `beat up` a bit as we share that love but we can pray just like Jesus and Stephen `Forgive them Father because they don`t know what they are doing`. It is our purpose to go regardless the cost. We have to totally abandon ourselves, laying down our lives, trusting God and go to a people who cannot help themselves.

I think part of the problem is that we have too much of the world in our vision to remember the glory of the one we serve:

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, 
   your faithfulness to the skies. 
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, 
   your justice like the great deep. 
   You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. (Psalm 36:5-6)

His love and faithfulness should be constantly on our heart and shaping our mind. They should govern our actions and our words. They should be our shield as we throw ourselves into the darkest dungeon to bring light to those who dwell there. It could be our classroom, our work place, the streets, in the bars, on the Internet. Wherever we find ourselves is the place that Jesus gave us to represent him because the blind have been given the ability to receive sight. They all need to be rescued; they all need to seek refuge; they all need to be saved:

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! 
   People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
They feast on the abundance of your house; 
   you give them drink from your river of delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life; 
   in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9) 

We can`t be afraid of them, or date them, or even marry them because we have been sent to help rescue them. How can light have anything to do with darkness except to pity them and do everything we can to see them saved? They cannot love us as we understand love. They cannot see what we see because they are blind. They cannot understand our power, authority, motivation or hope. We certainly have nothing to fear from them and it is Jesus` love that should compel us to do something to bring the light to them. This is our purpose, the reason we are here, the reason we were not whisked away, the duty Jesus told us we need to be found faithful doing on his return. So how`s that going for you?

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