“I have a great need for Christ: I have a great Christ for my need.” Charles Spurgeon
Tonight’s offering is a bit off the cuff. I’ve been thinking and reflecting quite a bit on the culture around me for the past month or so. What have I seen? Well, we’re really, really into….ourselves. Our wants, our feelings, our needs. How do I get ahead? How do I get more…more of what, we might not be sure….but nonetheless, we know we need more of it.
The culture has been taught since birth that we need to have high “self esteem” and at a very young age we’re often awarded not for achievement but simply for participating. Entitlement has become a right and if someone doesn’t agree with our perspective it’s not good enough to respectfully agree to disagree (and realize that we may have something to learn from the other side of the fence). Instead we feel the need to dehumanize the “opposition” by framing them in “less than” terms…Nazi’s, snowflakes, fundi’s, bigots, racists…all the while elevating our positions (whatever they are) as culturally superior. Of course we could never be as “evil” as “them”….right?
We have exchanged the truth for a lie. We have embraced an insidious form of pride that has blinded us to our true state before God. Where is our reverence for Him? Our “fear” of Him? Jesus isn’t my “homeboy”….in His grace He has made me His friend (see John 15:15) but He’s also my God, my Creator, my Rescuer, my Redeemer and everything holy, good and pure. Not to rain on anybody’s parade (actually yes, bring the storm) but He didn’t pay it all, in the manner that He did, just so that I could have a winking Jesus bobblehead on the dashboard of my car and that my “worship” be contained to 25 minutes of Christian pop/rock or hip hop covers on a Sunday morning….
Our worship is NOT the songs that we sing (….and I’m saying this as a worship leader). At MOST those songs should be a mere reflection of how we desire to live from Sunday afternoon through the following Saturday night. If, outside of that hour and a half on Sunday morning, our lives reflect nothing of Jesus and the life He calls us to live…we have a problem, my friend. And you need to spend some time reflecting on that and asking God for clarity regarding what to do next and how to move forward in the right way….in His way.
This past election we’ve heard an awful lot about how to “make America great again” and I’m all for that. But do you really want to know how to do that? It’s not in celebrating our “pride.” Let me be very clear here: If we elevate ourselves in that manner God will humble us. There is no one worthy of that throne in our hearts but God Himself. If we take pride in anything, take pride in what Jesus has done on our behalf. Take pride in the fact that we’re adopted sons and daughters of the Most High King. We’re rescued and adopted heirs. Saints only because of His grace, not because of anything we have done. We don’t need to elevate ourselves. We need to humble ourselves and then He will lift us up, in due time. In the meantime, how are we loving others (especially those that we disagree with)? How are we extending an olive branch and reflecting the love that God has so lavishly given us? How are we using our resources, talents, finances and time? What are we doing with the life that God has blessed us with? The true nature of our spiritual condition is reflected and manifested in our physical, everyday lives.
So, the true secret to making America great again? I believe it begins here:
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Take up your cross daily and follow Jesus. Ask Him to help you love like Him, encourage like Him, be wise like Him and be strong like Him. You see, we aren’t called to be like other Christians….our calling is much higher. We’re called to be like Christ!
So this fourth of July, while we celebrate our historical independence from tyranny, let’s also celebrate our complete and total dependence on God. For we were once lost but now we are found. We were once in a state of being slowly digested by spiritual darkness. Now we’ve been rescued from the pit (both literally and figuratively).
If you would allow me, I’d like to pray for you….
Heavenly Father, thank you for each person that is reading this. I put them in your care and ask that you would reveal Yourself to them in a way that is unmistakable. Bless them with humble and soft hearts so that they would be able to follow the lead of Your Spirit. Convict them in a way that would lead to repentance in areas of their lives where that needs to happen and break any dark strongholds or generational curses. Fill them with a joy and hope that is beyond both circumstance and understanding. Please bind up their wounds and brokenness like I know only You can do and give them a greater understanding of Your love for them and the life that You have blessed them with. This is our declaration of dependence, Lord. Guide us in every way and help each of us to, in turn, point others to You as well. You are our great Hope, our Peace and the only One that can bring eternal significance to our time on this earth. Thank you for what You are doing and going to do. Let these requests rise as incense before your throne. In Jesus’ name I pray….and all God’s people said…..Amen!
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32