John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
I’ve tried to make it a point to avoid much of the press these days, the news can be difficult to decipher and the articles that do make sense don’t have much good to report.
The amount of skepticism regarding the dissemination of information is at unprecedented levels in society today. A brief survey of recent reports includes the resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, record heat waves, rapid glacial melting, devastating earthquakes, asteroids that make near misses, a wobbling moon that brings with it future flooding, genocide, suicide, infanticide, climate shifts, earth axis shifts and of course a worldwide pandemic that seems to not only persist, but is spreading with an increasing level of momentum.
If I were reading a fiction novel in the 1980’s, I would be thinking to myself the author is spreading this on a little too thick.
Usually by now there are people on the streets holding signs up that the end of the world is coming, strangely, I haven’t seen them. Is it that there have been so many doomsday reports that society has simply grown numb to them? The report will have to be completely outrageous to draw any attention in this day and age and yet thirty years ago, any one of these reports would have stoked end of the world messages in churches everywhere.
I don’t believe anything happens randomly while God remains Sovereign.
The apostle Peter thought the Lord was coming soon.
1 Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”
Well, that was almost 2000 years ago and the world moves on, the church continues in its work, and the Lord tarries in His return.
For those who lived 2000 years ago, the end of all that they knew did transpire. The Romans sacked Jerusalem, the Temple was destroyed, and the disciples and Christians were scattered abroad. Eventually, they all lost their lives, some died as martyrs, others of old age, but they all died. Sometimes I wonder if the reminder isn’t concerning global change but more of the individual reality for the brevity of life.
The brevity of life is a constant theme in a world that seems to be going mad. With each wrench thrown into everyday events of life, people seem to be increasing in anxiety, tempers flare, drug and alcohol use is exploding, and the effects of these maladies only adds to the chaos.
A balanced view of life is necessary while navigating the uncertainty of the times.
1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
We, the people of the Living God, are called to a purpose. Our purpose is to be stewards of what God has entrusted to us.
What has God entrusted to us?
The manifold grace of God
2 Corinthians 6:1 “As God’s fellow workers, then, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.”
The grace of God is revealed in many ways and in various forms. The ways that we exhibit the grace of God is a reflection of the grace we have received. Our actions are to be a testimony of the love that God has shown us and how we go about doing this varies with the circumstances and the people we are called to testify to.
We are also called to demonstrate the true message of God’s grace as it is revealed in Jesus Christ. The message has been watered down by many and diffused to the point where people don’t understand the implications for rejecting this grace. There is only one way to eternal life, God’s grace is not imposed upon every person on earth, it must be accepted and believed upon. Belief is reflected in action and those who follow Christ follow with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
The Oracles of God
2 Corinthians 2:17 “For we are not like so many others, who peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as men sent from God.”
The Word of God is a precious jewel that must be handled with care. Misrepresent it and you defile it. The message was revealed exactly as it has been portrayed so there should be no deviation from its intended purpose.
When the people of God speak with the Word of God in mind, they speak as if being a spokesman for God. To the lost, the message is a message of judgment and grace. To those who have committed their way into Truth, the message is correction and encouragement, helping others along the way and understanding how to hear and walk with God themselves.
The foundational message:
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
This message has been realized by all that know and love Jesus as their Savior.
Ministering to Others
To minister to someone is to attend to their needs. The minister in a church is often looked upon as a pastor, teacher, counselor, overseer, and friend. I believe that the call and role of a minister is one of the most difficult and yet important roles for a person to accept. If you want to become a minister, I suggest you pray long and hard before you make such a decision, assuming a role such as this carries much weight of responsibility and invokes a commitment that exceeds earthly bounds.
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
The role of minister is not exclusive to an overseer, we are all called to minister to one another in love and good works. We are called to minister to those in need and in so doing, we exemplify the love of Christ.
“Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.”Francis of Assisi
Do you see the difference of how God’s people react in a world of chaos and uncertainty?
God’s people continue in the work by which they have been called, regardless of the obstacles that are present before them. If the Lord leads the way, no mountain will stand before them. If the circumstances change, the message continues on, the ministry may look different but the work continues. There is nothing that can stop God’s church when they walk in the power of His Spirit.
Are your eyes on the chaos or are they on the Creator?
It makes all the difference in the world.