It comes down to freedom.
As we navigate the ups and downs in this wretched world, sometimes it becomes necessary to take a new direction. But change is a hard pill to swallow for some of us. So, many of us who are short-sighted and the narrow-minded put up barriers and resist every notion of change.
Then, one day a spiritual awakening happened, and suddenly you morphed into a completely different person. And for the first time you realised that you were wrong all along. It now becomes clear that the path you had chosen leads to a dead-end street.
Still, you have to decide whether to stay stuck in your old ways or reset and embark on a new direction. Thankfully, like apostle Paul, some of us choose to explore a new direction.
Today one of the most famous religious institutions–the Catholic Church, finds itself between a rock and a hard place. The head of the Church wants to take the institution in a new direction, but members of the ruling bodies vehemently oppose. Still yet, this hardened opposition is not base on Biblical principles. If anything, it is base on Church traditions sprinkled with some moral principles.
Therefore, it is not blasphemous to say the Catholic Church got stuck in tradition, in the same way, the Pharisees was when Jesus called them whitewashed sepulchres. For it appears that majority of its members both in the ruling bodies and the pews are more concerned about public opinion than winning souls for the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus was on earth, He ran into similar opposition. Luke 5:30-32 documents one of His encounters with the religious class. The Bible says Levi put on a great feast for Jesus, and there was a great company of tax collectors and sinners among them.”But the scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are well needed, not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Happy New Year everybody!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was at the beginning with God. All things have been made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
I would like to take a little time to thank all of you for your continued support of this blog. You guys have been simply awesome–beyond measure.
Even though we may not always agree on every point; we treat each other with respect. I wish the greater society on the whole would take a page out of our books.
I pray that the God of Abraham will continue to inspire you to inspire and lead others to Christ.
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me’ (Matthew 25:34-36).
Unfortunately, not all of us Christians will hear those welcoming words. Some of us will hear these:
‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire. Prepare for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in; I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me’ (Matthew 25:41-46).
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
In 1993 former basketball star, Charles Barkley declared to the world in an Ad that he was not a role model. Charles was at the peak of his career, and even though he hadn’t won a Championship kids everywhere looked up to him. They thought he was somebody they could emulate. He was their role model. But he could handle the responsibilities or the pressures of the squeaky clean role model. So, he ran an Ad on TV titled ‘I am not a role model.’
So, I took another look at the Charles Barkley ‘I am not a role model’ Ad, and it occurred to me that every Christian is a role model. It is part of our responsibilities as followers of Jesus Christ.. When Jesus says, “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16); He is really asking us to become the light that leads others to Him.
Make no mistake, the world will never find Jesus on its own, and even though it will never admit it, It is morally bankrupt and in desperate need of your help. It needs mentors and role models like you that it can emulate. And since we are Jesus’ representatives here on earth, we must step up and be the role models and mentors the world needs to help steer it back from the precipice. But this is no easy task. Therefore, as committed servants of Jesus Christ, it is of paramount importance that we lead lives that are worthy of the calling we have received. Not only when the spotlights are shinning on us, but also when no one is looking.
Further, as Christians and role models and mentors we must stand out among the crowd wherever we go, and we must never be afraid to embrace who we are and who we represent. The Apostle Paul emphasized this in Romans 12:2 ” Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
My friends, I do not know what burden you carry to the cross today, but whatever the situation do not worry and do not give up. Your heavenly father knows what you need and in due season you will reap a harvest beyond your comprehension.
The crippled man who came to the pool of Bethesda for healing every day never gave up. Even though, his chances of getting into the pool at the right time was slim to none, he never stopped trying. But when it was due season, he reaped a harvest. This time he did not have to compete to get into the pool. Jesus came by and healed him.
Of course, it is hard for anyone to stay focus on God when his or her world is falling down. And it is doubly difficult if you have come to the cross for months, perhaps years, yet your situation remains the same.
Nevertheless, let me urge you to use the crippled man as an example and hold on a bit longer. Do not give up. The Scripture says, …”Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
There is so much trouble in the world; one can hardly keep up with the frequency of troubling events that keep popping up.
Here in the USA we have more than our fair share of problems.
But the world does not have to exist in a continuous state of unrest. If its citizens could find it important to set their differences aside and see each other as human beings, rather than non-entities, then this wretched world would be a better place.
Still, I am aware that it will take more than spoken and written words to change the world. It will take a revival, but revival cannot happen without willing hearts.
Therefore, I am suggesting people everywhere embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply them to their lives. A good place to start is Matthew 5:38-48:
Teaching about Revenge
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you got sued in court and your shirt got taken in the process, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
Teaching about Love for Enemies
“You have also heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”