You Be You!

 

There are a LOT of important events going on in our world right now, each vying for our attention.

Dallas is at the forefront, where 4 criminals just committed multiple murders–targeting Police, as they were trying to fulfill their sworn duty, escorting a protest march.

Those protesters were voicing concern over police shootings that seemed–at least from all we know now–to be way outside the lines, and resulted in the deaths of two black men. This is obviously not an isolated incident, and it raises great concerns, among all people of good will, who stand for justice and fairness.

In addition to these voices, there are the Politicos, each seeming to push the envelope to further levels, trying to show how ‘the other person’ is the worst nominee ever, and unfit to lead our nation. There is ISIS, trying to establish its caliphate, and trying to terrorize all peace-loving nations and people that don’t agree with them in the meantime.

What’s do all these voices have in common?

Anger. Negativity. Even (on some level) Hate.

I believe our country stands on a precipice.

We are balancing on a very thin line, and depending on our response, may fall over the edge into a chaotic, hate filled abyss.

…and our spiritual enemy, the devil, revels in it!

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy…” (John 10:10)

“He was a murderer from the beginning…he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

I believe that he is playing in to this division and drama at a high level.

How should we respond?

By doing the opposite!

Love…respect…fairness…forgiveness…

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

 

Are you a Christian? Do you follow Jesus with your life?

If so, you (and I) must commit to living our faith out in our everyday lives, in our relationships, and in our conversation. In so doing, we will be pushing back the darkness.

 

I believe with all my heart that the enemy is involved in this mess. I believe with all my heart that a big part of the reason we are ‘here’ in our nation is because we’ve turned our back on God, thinking we knew a better way.

We have believed a whole slew of lies from the father of lies.

Now it’s time to turn back. It’s time for our culture to repent and turn back to God.

It will only happen, however, if Christians–those who know and have experienced the love, grace, and mercy of God–share it in how they live.

You Be You!

This is who you are! This is your new nature!

 

Martin Luther King purportedly said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have experienced love and grace that this world needs to see! We must keep living it out–in our conversation, our Facebook posts, our ‘Tweets’, etc.

Jesus said it this way: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Pray for Dallas. Pray for Baton Rouge. Pray for Falcon Heights.

Pray for victims, families, witnesses, and authorities.

Pray for our nation.

Pray for each other.

Pray for yourselves–as I am praying for myself–that we could “Do evertying without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 3:14-15) 

Keep ‘Pushing Back the Dark’ in how you live!

Through It All…

Life can be tough.

Even a life well lived–with God at the center–can include pain, setbacks, grief.

Some would say that ‘If you follow Jesus, nothing bad will happen’, but even Jesus refuted that.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Truth is, this world–fallen, broken as it is, cries out for redemption…for hope.

And that is where Jesus comes in:

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

The promise of Eternal Life gives us hope to rise above ANYTHING in this world!

The secret: Focus. Fixing our eyes on the right object–not the ‘trouble’ that is hitting us (as gut-wrenching as it may be), but rather, on Jesus as our Lord and Savior–the One and only who can lead us through it and lead us out of it.

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have Life, and have it to the full!” (John 10:10)

The Key to that is that our hope, our focus, our drive and ambition, our pursuit…all must be focused on HIM!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2a)

This world will have trouble, setbacks, defeats and pain. Sometimes it can seem unbearable. Jesus leads us through, however, and gives us hope. We know by faith that this world is not our home, and that we can overcome–by His Strength.

In the meantime, ‘Through it all, my eyes are on You…”