The Long Winter

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

The long winter brings the chill of ice and snow. The grass and trees hibernate, waiting for the return of spring and the warmth that it brings. Life doesn’t stop in winter, many people love the snow and cold and even thrive in such conditions. Fires are kindled in homes striving to stay warm, candles are lit to bring extra light and the glow of life illumines the darkness. While the northern hemisphere finds the days much shorter and the nights grow long, it brings the reminder of a world that waits for the light of Christ to be revealed once again.

For the past 6000 years the darkness of sin has encompassed the world. The harsh reality of a fallen world brings with it the cold finality of death. The grave is a constant reminder that life as we know it has a conclusion and no matter how hard we try, we all meet the same fate.

Spiritual life has continued and even thrived in this dark world of sin and yet new life awaits for those who are prepared, for those who will endure. There are those who have embraced the chill of sin and even thrived for a time, the faithful may wonder why God allows the wicked to succeed, but God doesn’t measure success like christians do.

Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

In the midst of the darkness there remains a light to guide us on our way. God’s people are not left as orphans in this world, He does not abandon them when times grow cold, but His love remains steadfast, like a fire that remains kindled bringing forth the constant warmth of His presence.

Believers are not meant to stay by the fire, they are to go out into the cold and bring in any who have lost their way. There are many who wander in the darkness, groping to find their way, the enemy lurks there waiting for an unsuspecting victim to succumb to his lies.

“Come this way and be warm”, the enemy beckons, while leading the wanderer further into the wilderness.

Will there be any who show mercy to these who go to their grave? Where are the faithful witnesses who hold their candles high, like a small beacon of light with hope for all who may draw near?

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

The call of the Father goes forth across the land, offering a reprieve from the fate of sin. He sends forth His servants to guide those who hear the call, showing others the way, teaching others the Truth, bringing hope to those who were once hopeless.

Even the light that brings hope can be used deceptively.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 “But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

The people who dwell in darkness often times don’t realize they are blind. The enemy masquerades as light and so the world has a litany of “nobel endeavors”, to fill the pallet and bring forth an unjustified sense of morality.

You may have heard of a few of these ‘social programs’ by which people have sought to become champions.

Ethics and Morality

Immanuel Kant is the central figure in modern philosophy and formed the ethical theory, a paradigm of the deontological moral theory. According to these theories, the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative. In ethics his attempt to derive the form of any ethical duty from the very nature of a rational being is the philosophical high water mark of the Enlightenment’s vision of humanity as essentially and uniquely rational. What Kant aims to provide is a “metaphysics of morals” in the sense of an analysis of the grounds of moral obligation in the nature of a rational being.

Many have taken these grounds of ethics and formed their own interpretation. Movements such as:

  • Save the Whales
  • Environmental activism
  • Women’s Rights
  • Global Warming
  • Homelessness
  • Feed the Children
  • Transgenderism
  • Gay Rights
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Animal Rescue
  • Me Too Movement

The list of socio-political endeavors is endless and yet when the dust settles and the manner by which these issues are being addressed is quite clear, it’s the morality of these organizations that comes into question.

From BLM socialist creeds and destruction of the nuclear family, to pouring millions into studies of environmental impacts while demanding free housing for all who claim homelessness. People will value animal lives over human lives, bathrooms are opened up to allow men the freedom to walk into women’s areas, and parades with exhibitionists on floats celebrate lifestyles that are offensive to many.

The Bible supports the greatest measure of human rights, stewardship of Creation, and value of people regardless of lifestyle, yet the world claims that christianity is bigoted, hateful, and archaic; what the world can’t see is the Lord who formed the very foundation of morality.

The hope of the world is to find self-satisfaction in supporting movements that look righteous from a surface point of view. Marching down streets, breaking windows, ramming fishing vessels, pouring millions of taxpayer dollars into programs that show little fruit only exaggerates problems, they don’t fix them.

Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

No matter how impressive people try to portray themselves, it’s the heart that reveals the position. Eventually, the sinner will expose the darkness of sin that rules over them through their actions. Typically, the most common evidence for one who is controlled by the enemy is a lack of love.

Cold People

Romans 2:5 “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

I recently witnessed a woman who had acquired a puppy. She seemed very excited and frequently talked about how cute the dog was to her. The puppy recently got sick with the disease called parvo. Unfortunately, the fight to save the dog’s life was unsuccessful and it died. The utter devastation the woman exhibited from this dog’s death made me curious as to why an animal with such a short history could have such a deep effect in her life. Certainly it’s sad to see any animal perish but to have the loss affect a person to their core lends itself to consider where they place their passion? It is these types of responses that leads people to commit suicide during a stock market crash, or for others the breaking up of a girlfriend or boyfriend. Extreme fluctuations in emotions reveals instability in how someone perceives themself, they place their own well-being into something of lesser value.

Philippians 3:8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

There is a cold loss of life in the hearts of those who place more value in the Creation rather than their Creator. Looking for joy in anything other than the unsurpassing goodness of God leaves people vulnerable to conditions they can’t control.

The world looks for meaning in social endeavors, in activities, in animals and trees, and yet these moments of delight are only fleeting.

The long 6000 year winter of sin is about to come to an end, the spring of new life is about to burst forth; Until then, we must be steadfast in the call of God upon our lives.

For those who have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, these have found true life. The dark cold of a world that lies in sin is only buffered by the glow of hope in Christ alone.

Let the fire that burns within the heart of the believer be the spark that ignites the flame of faith in those around them. The Spirit of God is the source, believers are only the vessels that carry this flame.

Don’t hide the flame, let others see Christ in you.

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