Bible Ballistics: Urgency of the Hour July 21, 2013 Vol. 2 No.10
I pray that your week has been blessed with peace and strength. I’d like us to think about the “urgency” of the hour in which we live. As we look on every hand we see conflict (regardless of which side you are on)—Paula Deen and her “dilemmas”; the Martin trial and it’s verdict; Kirk Cameron and Facebook; the Supreme Court rulings of recent days; the list could go on and on. What are we to do in these difficult and divisive days? Well, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6, we are to “stand fast in the evil day and having done all to stand….” But, stand for what? That seems to be the question of the day. How are we to stand? For what are we to stand? When and where do we to stand? As always the answers are in God’s word, but more concisely the answer is ‘God’s Word’—Jesus (John 1:1). He is the answer to all of our questions, but we must dig into His word to know and discern how He would have us to respond to the issues facing us—any issues.
It seems that ‘political correctness’ is abounding on every hand—but “13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:13-16. We are called by Jesus himself to be salt and light. Why? Salt seasons and preserves, and light illuminates. Are we being salty? Col. 4:5-6 calls us to, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Did you ever taste anything without salt? It’s a bit bland and mostly tasteless. Are we being bland and tasteless to our culture? How do I season those around me? There is an old proverb, ‘ You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’. A true statement as far as it goes but there is a way you can get a horse to drink—you salt his oats!!! Salty oats create a thirst. Well, that is what we are to be doing in, through and by our lives to a world that is corrupt and needs to drink, even when they don’t realize it. We are to be so different to the world that they are drawn by the joy and peace in our lives to seek Jesus—to desire to drink of the “water of life”. Yes, helping people to desire Jesus. We are to STAND fast in the word, prayer and godly, biblical principles that will attract others to Jesus. Our lives are to reflect the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus Christ seen in all we do.
How do we stand without trampling over those we reach out to? Can we accomplish that? How do we speak the truth without causing harm? Although we can’t always accomplish these things, they are to be our goals, and we are not to be aggressively, intentionally or abrasively unkind in our lives. Remember, Jesus said, “if they believe me, they will believe you…and If they don’t believe me, they won’t believe you…..”. So? We are to stand ‘in the Spirit’, “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Gal.5:16 & also Gal. 5:25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” If we are walking in the Spirit then we can have God’s wisdom to know how to respond to each situation that comes our way. We also must bathe our lives, actions, and ministries in prayer. Phil 4:4-6 “ Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Although we may differ in our responses to any particular situation, we must always stand on Biblical principles. We must exercise Biblical judgment based on God’s Word. We are to behave with integrity toward the Word and the God of the Word. We are not to act with malice, and rage—these are works of the flesh (see Gal 5:19+). Isaiah 59:3-4 describes our day accurately, “3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” Sound like America? Are we responding in the works of the flesh, or by the fruit of the Spirit? By what the Word says or the influences of our culture? We must decide!
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” We are living in those “last” days. The times and signs are all around us. We read the news headlines and see these same behaviors in the news every day!! We should not to be amazed but we should never condone wrong. Just because someone is a “celebrity” does not excuse bad behavior, yet we often accept, condone and excuse it even in those claiming the name of Jesus. (Now, I am not talking about incidental slips or misjudgments, but blatant bad and vulgar behavior and/or language continually.) We can also expect “scoffers”, but never join them, 2 Peter 3:2-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” And Paul said in Phil. 3:17-20, “17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” There are those who walk contrary but we are not to influenced by their lifestyles, or accept and follow their ways. We are to be salt and light!! We are to call them to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus for His salvation.
How urgent is the hour? I believe we are on the verge of tragedy and we are to be making a difference in our world. Do folks see Jesus in me, or worldliness? Are we living faithfully in light of the “last” days, or are we frittering away opportunities to change hearts and lives for eternity, before it is too late? The question is yours to answer.
***** For those who are signed up to follow the “blog” I will be adding 2 mid-week “BBs of Encouragement” in a week or so, only those who follow the blog will receive these. These will be short mid-week bits of encouragement to lift your spirits*****