Archives For witness

Armpit Verses And Lights

October 2, 2012 — 2 Comments

light house
Luke 6:27-38
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

I’m a dedicated hunter. I get up early during hunting season, and head out the door long before the sun comes up. I love it. One of the places I hunt is way out in the country and just getting there in the dark of the night is quite difficult. There is one area of road that is about 5 miles long near the land I hunt and has more curves in it than a Monte Carlo racetrack. I drive slow and careful as the headlights light the way. Nothing is odd about that because that is what you do on a country curvy road in the dark.

Now let me share a situation and then submit a question. Suppose I was driving that same road in the dark of the night and decided to turn my lights off and navigate the road in the dark. What would you think about that decision?

You would think I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. You would think I was mad because the natural thing that is going to happen sooner or later is…I’m going to run off the road and wreck. Just like turning my light off on a curvy road in the country would be crazy, so is turning your light out on an enemy.

Jesus said in Matthew 5 “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father which is in heaven.”

When you and I turn our light out on our enemies, it’s only a matter of time until we run off the road and bring dishonor to God’s love.

It’s our call and duty as Christians to shine our light on the just and the unjust because it’s the God thing to do. We know deep down these verses are the right way to live, the kingdom way to live, but knowing and doing are two different things. So what does God have to say about loving our enemies?

Some verses in the bible I call armpit verses. We prefer to put deodorant on them and move on. Luke 6 is a great example of some of these armpit verses. However, Don’t look at that passage as a list of moral rules to put a check beside of when you achieve them from time to time. Instead, look at it, as it truly is- the true character of God and the character that should be in his children.

N.T. Wright once said this, “Think of the best thing you can do for the worst person, and go ahead and do it. Think of what you’d really like someone to do for you, and do it for them. Think of the people to whom you are tempted to be nasty, and lavish generosity on them instead. These instructions have a fresh, springlike quality. They are all about new life bursting out energetically, like flowers growing through concrete and startling everyone with their colour and vigour.”

Finding Jesus In Sadness

October 1, 2012 — 2 Comments

Sadness
When you find someone that is sad, you might just be finding Jesus.

There are times I’ve encountered people who seem really unfriendly and indifferent. My first reaction (just being honest here) is to get as far away as possible. After all, I wouldn’t want to come down with a case of unfriendly and indifference myself. However, Jesus was a friend of the brokenhearted and so must I be also; and so must you. Every person has some kind of sorrow that he or she tries to hidden deep inside; and many times, a person that I label a cold person, is only someone that is really sad.

Sadness is everywhere in this world. Sadness is everywhere you will venture today. Look for it in burst of anger from people. Anger is an extension of sadness that is deep inside of a person. They are afraid to share their hurt with anyone, so it’s much easier to be angry at the world and everyone around them. They would prefer to just slip away and be by themselves but they must work. Angry keeps people at a distance.

You see, when a person is sad, they desperately and sometimes just naturally withdraw form others. They rather avoid people altogether. That’s where you come in and allow God to use you for His glory and their benefit. Once you recognize someone is really sad, that just might be God’s invitation to you to help, instead of running away. With all the sadness that is in the world and at our very own doorsteps, it has been said; “we are under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers.”

The bible tells us in Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Therefore, if the Lord lives in us through the power of the Holy Spirit, then He is certainly seeking to be near those who are sad by working through your life and mine. The Lord is always leading His followers to the wounded if they will just simply follow and obey and not run away from where He is trying to work.

I want to remind you that Jesus was a ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.’ He knew what sadness felt like. He experienced sadness all the way to the cross. He endured the cross for you and me…and the world of sadness.

We are told in Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I want you to remember today, that when you take time to bring a little joy to someone who is sad, you are allow them to look at Jesus through the reflection of your eyes fixed on Him. Scripture makes it clear that when we minster to the hurting of the world, we are in fact ministering to Jesus. You are finding Jesus in sadness. God bless you today and you do your part to stamp out sadness and replace it with the joy of Jesus.