Even under adverse conditions, the body of Christ can do much good
On some social medium, a brother whom I am not now able to identify said that we shouldn’t confuse the mess of the world—or in his instance, of the USA—with the good health of the church. His warning is appropriate, for the family of God often thrives in less than ideal circumstances. It often grows in the midst of persecution.
With the persecution in Jerusalem, the disciples scattered and proclaimed the gospel wherever they went, Acts 8.2-4. There were great results in Samaria. The gospel reached as far south as Ethiopia. The scattering went to Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, Acts 11.19. Some men jumped the Jewish fence and began to speak to Greeks, v. 20. From Antioch, Paul and Barnabas began missionaries journeys, Acts 13.1-4ff.
The body of Christ can do much good and win many people under adverse conditions, if it does not let circumstances frighten it and if it has fixed in mind both the sovereignty of God and the constant claim of mission upon it. No hour is a time for silence, when it comes to the Good News.
If some saints spent as much time and energy in evangelism as they spend in politics, we’d see a spurt of growth in the kingdom of God. I’m sure of it. But it’s easier to spout political positions than it is to use wisdom in reaching those around us with the word of Christ.
God’s people have been given a single task in the world: the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the only way to God. In him is the fullness of God; outside of him no source of hope is to be found.
So it matters not if our political, economic, and social conditions are good or bad. Everybody needs the gospel. We have it. Our Leader who holds all authority has sent us to share it.
¶ I used to write for the devotional magazine, Power For Today. We subscribed to it, back before the internet, when finances were better. I wonder if it has suffered a hit because online devotionals are so available now. One hates to see print efforts diminished, but gladness ensues at the good use of new technology.
¶ Speaking of which, my topic at the FHU Lectures in Feb., 2017, will be on technology in missionary communication. If you have stories or perspectives on this topic, please share them with me.
¶ The editor of a monthly bulletin for the congregations in his city invited me to write about recognizing the signs of the sinner in the church. I boiled it down to one: lack of love. What signs would you identify?
¶ The Missus soon travels to visit grandkids for two weeks, leaving me to fend for myself at home. I’ve survived such abandonment before, so methinks my chances are also good this time. But cut me some slack if you hear groans from my corner; the suffering will be great.
¶ Elihu got ignored by the Lord when he finally spoke from heaven. Maybe the young man was a lost cause, so arrogant was he. But he and the other three friends of Job did say some good and true things. Reckon his words in Job 34.23-27 might have something to say about the USA’s and Brazil’s present political situation?
¶ In the Professor’s reading system I’ve followed, Daniel’s time has arrived. If Elihu’s words aren’t applicable, Daniel’s surely are. Can you say “Sovereign God”?
¶ In John 8, Jesus equates belief and discipleship, Jn 8.12, 24. Everywhere Scripture keeps us from the assumption that one statement about faith cannot be taken as the sum of salvation’s requirements. Context is proof.
¶ Another reminder of the reenergized UPLift motivational email list. Brethren are already reproducing its potent content in bulletins and emails. Don’t miss this exclusive material. Be blessed and bless others by it.
¶ Journaling is good for the soul. Some time ago I listed a few questions, but let them fall out of use. I picked them back up again, to help me think of what’s happening in my life and to evaluate my soul. Maybe someone else will find them useful:
- What has happened?
- What does it mean?
- How are you feeling?
- Where are you going?
What other questions might be useful to consider along one’s journey?