Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday's Meditation: A Boss Your Heart Message

Thank you, Kirsten Walkup, for today's Boss Your Heart message. :-)

From Kirsten:
We live in an age of moral relativism and decay. The world’s position is that there is no right or wrong, no absolute truth, and no “one way” to know God (if there is one). Evangelicals are daily painted as “right-wing radicals”, or close-minded “extremist”. Those of us who adhere to God’s word and view it as God’s inspired Word are tagged as “intellectually deficient flat-earth” types. One need not look far to find or listen too closely to realize that our society is one that is increasingly hostile towards Christianity and the values it represents.

Have you ever noticed that the fringe movements that claim Christianity get the most attention paid to them? Several months ago, a disingenuous pastor in Florida held what was billed as “burn a Quran day”. Even though virtually every evangelical denomination and most independent churches went out of their way to condemn this pastor’s actions as counterproductive to bringing glory to God and unnecessarily inflammatory, news coverage went out of its way trying to find others who agreed with this small fringe fellowships’ point of view. A misguided church whose regular Sunday morning attendance hovers in the teens was presented as “main stream Christianity”.

When our beliefs and the things that we adhere to are subject to a daily, non-stop onslaught of negative press-coverage and half-truths, it’s really tempting to stick our heads in the sand and withdraw. It’s easy to buy into the notion that “if I don’t draw any attention to myself, not be too loud about what I believe, and only mention my faith with the like-minded (and then, only in a whisper) I won’t get branded with the extremist or radical label.” And that’s the objective of the daily onslaught, to shut us down and make us irrelevant.

It’s so easy to buy into the false idea that the world is hopelessly lost and too far gone for us to have any real impact. Sometimes it would be so easy to just cover our heads, give up on this lost world as utterly bleak and irredeemable. The way society has decayed over the past 75yrs and current state of madness the world seems to find itself in has led many to believe that striving forward is meaningless in the face of such hostile and irrational opposition.

True, there is much in the world that seems to indicate life is meaningless, the world is hopeless and we are fighting a losing battle. Actually, I've heard this pessimistic view from people of all ages. Don't believe it. The message of the Bible is that no matter how bad things appear to be, with God in your life, you don't have to give in to despair. Relationships may fall apart, your career may be stalled before it gets started, your job may be a dead end road, school may seem like one unending nightmare—-but with God in your life there is always reason to hope.

In the year 60 A.D., the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christians living in the Asian city of Colosse. He was speaking to people who lived in a predominantly non-Christian society, and he showed them how to stand Against the Tide of society's prevailing attitudes and capture a life that is pleasing to God. He talked a lot about what it means to love God, what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to be a Christian in a non-Christian environment

In Colossians 1:3-5, Paul writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

Notice the word "hope". Do you know what that word means? We tend to use it as a synonym for "wishful thinking." Paul uses it differently. He uses it as a synonym for "sensible optimism."

What do we have to hope for? Well, because of Jesus, our hope gives us the assurance that everything will turn out o.k., even if things do not appear to be o.k. right now. Our hope gives us the assurance that God is going to take care of all the details of our life. As we approach a new job, or a new relationship, or a new business venture, or a new move, or any major change in our lives, even though we don't know exactly what is going to happen next, we know that God is going to see us through. Even if we face hard times and difficult opposition, we know that God is taking care of us and he will see us through.

This is not wishful thinking. It is sensible optimism. It doesn't work for just anyone, but it works for those who are committed to following Jesus Christ, because God makes it work.

We know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Boss your heart!



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