Saturday, November 20, 2010
THE NORMAL CHRIST-LIFE IS CONSIDERED ABNORMAL BY MANY CHRISTIANS
NORMAL’ CHRIST-LIFE IS CONSIDERED ABNORMAL BY MANY CHRISTIANS
Brothers and sisters:
I am so glad for the mercy of God expressed in His severe discipline in my life. (Hebrews 12)
Are we thankful for hardship and loss? Do we know the joy of the cross, forgetting it’s shame in light of the glory set before us? This is what the man of God or woman of God will experience. Just as Jesus did, we must take up our cross, regardless of nationality or culture.
Many Americans, as I did, grew up thinking our country was somehow ordained a special place in heaven because it was the most democratic and free government ever created. What God is showing us graphically is that putting any country over our heavenly nation, the
, is idolatry. Kingdom of God
Many of us in affluent
have been like Saul, when Samuel anointed him God’s chosen King. (1 Samuel 15) Saul was given freedom, position, and power. What did he do with it? He immediately disobeyed God by keeping the things of the world (…”the best of the sheep and the cattle to sacrifice to the Lord” v.15) instead of obeying completely the Word of God. America
, those who call themselves Christians have compromised the Word of God, holding onto the things we consider “good”, and disobeying the clear call to follow Jesus Christ. We have embraced comfortable heresies that allow us to keep our sheep and cattle, our dreams of success, our love for our lifestyles. America
What did God say to Samuel about Saul? “I am grieved that I have made Saul King, because he has turned away from me…” (v.10)
So God grieves that He gave Americans such freedom and affluence that we turned away from Him, and sold our birthright, like Esau, for a quick meal and a life of convenience.
Brothers and sisters, we should be rejoicing that as all true disciples of Christ through the centuries, we can suffer with Him, so that we can be raised with Him, boasting only in the cross of Christ, and not in
, or our affluent churches with their ridiculously expensive buildings and programs. America
I have lost everything, except my wife and Christ. Many family and friends are not to be found in our need. (You exceptional brothers and sisters know who you are, and you have lovingly helped us!)
We have been forced to live on the “state” at times because “Christians” have told us they have nothing to share, and no way to help us. Men who run businesses and claim Christ, yet have no extra work they could give a brother in trouble. People who have large, comfortable homes with all the latest gadgets, have several cars in the driveway, buy their children and themselves the latest clothes, and eat out in restaurants several times a week. People who give their tithe to the church, and a little more to missionary work in other countries, yet who have nothing for their brothers in trouble right next to them.
This is the heart revealed, the heart of sin and selfishness that has pervaded our churches and our culture. This is what I call “10% discipleship” that wants a 100% return from God. Yet God is showing us that we reap what we sow. We give a little, we reap a little. As God says in Haggai, “the little you brought home I blew away”.
Christ calls us today to live radically different lives. That’s why God’s discipline is among us. Pure and simple love from the Father, who wants all men to come to a knowledge of the Truth.
Let’s rejoice and stop whining. Rejoice in Jesus Christ, and drop to our knees this morning or evening in thankfulness for His lovingkindness expressed in hardship and difficulty, in affliction and trial! (Read James!)
This is the “normal” Christ-life. Not the self-centered, self-focused religiously idolatrous American dream garbage that we’ve been fed.
In Christ’s wonderful love,
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