Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stand On Truth With Arms Wide Open

As we live in today's world as ambassadors for Christ, we are called to be on mission. We have a lot of freedom in the ways we reach out with the Gospel. We can invest our time and resources. We can compromise on the rights we claim for ourselves if it helps reach people for Christ. However, there is one thing we cannot compromise as we reach out to people with the Good News, and that is the TRUTH.  We can walk many directions as far as the methods we use to reach people in today's culture, we can show them love in many, many ways, but we cannot move away from the Truth. Our feet must be firmly planted on God's Truth as we embrace people with the Gospel.  

The one thing today's society wants the church to give up is the truth.  They may like the ways we help others in times of need.  They may like the ways we love each other. They may like the ways we make sacrifices to assist the less fortunate or the ways we step up when there is a disaster. But they don't like when we stand on a Truth that is contrary to their lifestyle.  Many churches have let go of the truth in order to accommodate the sins we all commit. Churches who claim to be reaching out in love have forgotten that "love rejoices in the truth." (I Cor. 13:6)  We have called right, wrong and wrong, right. We have called evil things good, and good things evil. We have been deceived and taken the bait. We must return to the truth.

In the words of Pontius Pilate, "what is truth?", where do we find it. Jesus says, God's Word is Truth (John 17:17). He says, "I am the Truth."  (John 14:6).  We will either embrace the Truth or be broken against it. 

Stand on the truth, people need it. It sets them free. Our arms have to be wide open ready to embrace those who have been broken as a result of lies. Sin causes hurt. People are hurt by others who have rejected truth. People are hurt when they have broken themselves against the truth. Sin destroys, but we have a Savior who saves and restores. He loves and cares and came to rescue us from the lies we believe. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Jesus Balance

How is it that Jesus was able to stand for important biblical standards and yet still show incredible compassion and love?  How can a church stand for biblical standards and yet still be a vessel that shows the love of Christ?  How can a church avoid accepting every cultural moral ideal and yet still be the loving hands and feet of Jesus?

Jesus addresses the bottom line of this dilemma when a expert of biblical standards asked Him about the most important law that needs to be upheld.    "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

All the rules in the religious rulebook are summed up in these two commands to love God and love others. Jesus was more righteous than any legalistic Pharisee, yet He loved. His Love and Righteousness is what turned the world upside down,

If you Love God you will value His Ways, you will obey His Word, you will seek His Will and you will Love those He loves.

Love, don't fall away from the Truth. Don't accept the cultural morals of the day in place of God's standards, but love everyone.

Culture wants us to accept everything that it says is morally and politically correct, but to do so much of the time would be to disrespect God and His Word. Accept and love people, but love them enough to communicate the Truth and the Gospel.