Other Options

  Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4

...."The biblical definition of rebellion is simply refusing God's counsel. It is drawing back from God's Word." Beth Moore...."The world will always be the world. The tragedy is when the Church is no longer the Church." Francis Chan

 

People from Missouri have the reputation for being stubborn. I've found, as has most every other pastor, that this trait is not limited to folks from Missouri. I remember a fellow pastor once saying that in his counseling times with his people, they would present to him a particular problem or situation they were facing, and he would share with them what the Father's direction in his Word was. Very often, the person would consider this for a moment, and then ask, "What are my other options?" God's guidance and counsel is readily available to any and all who would hear it. Our problem is that we are usually looking for "other options." The Bible describes such an attitude as being "stiff necked and rebellious." We would not. Our flesh can enable us to become highly skilled at not only denying His Word, but denying that we're "denying" it at all. How else may we explain the comfort level we seem to have with lawlessness within the Church today? We live in a lawless world. One look at the behavior of those we elect to political office verifies that. Yet we continue to elect them. The Church is to be salt and light, both of which purify, but they also inflict pain upon that which is impure and dark. We do so in love, His love, but, we do so! There is no other option for us....except disobedience....rebellion.

Chan's words pierce. We can decry the increasing depravity and darkness of the world, but if it is increasing, it can only be because the effect of the salt and light of the Church has decreased. The world will always be the world. To what degree are we truly being the Church? Yes, we minister in love, but as someone said, love not only wins, it warns. The Father has not been fearful in stating His heart and desire to a fallen world. Somehow, the Church has...and that is truly a tragedy. We may fill sanctuaries with people, but when they leave, are they truly salt and light to the world they go out to? Are we threats to the darkness, impurity, sin, that is all around us? Or are darkness and sin quite comfortable with us, because regardless of what we say, we've become quite comfortable with them? That darkness readily offers us "other options." Where and how have we accepted them?

I pray that even at this late stage in my life, He would raise me up to be salt and light in an impure and dark world. I pray for a Church that will be the same. A Church that doesn't just offer a social network, or a safe haven for our families, or surround us with like minded "nice" people, but a Church emanating powerful amounts of salt and light. A Church that does not draw back from the full counsel of the Father and His Word in Christ. A Church that offers no other option but "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." A Church that will not cease to be the Church.

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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