Purpose


"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4: Getting in on the Best

Watering flowers

NOTE TO SELF: Why are we always so surprised and outraged when people attack us for our Christian beliefs? Christ told us that we will have trouble, our family and friends will deny us, and our lives will be at risk.

With the recent development of Chick-Fil-A’s bold stance on the topic of marriage, we saw government officials declaring their denial of allowing Chick-Fil-A restaurants into their cities to start and run their business. COO, Dan Cathy, is going through the worst of times. However, on August 1st, his franchises across the nation got in on the best, as Christians and freedom of speech supporters waited hours in line to show their support. (We only waited an hour and half at our nearby Chick-Fil-A; if you live in Wisconsin, the man on the bottom left is former Senator, Van Wanggaard.)

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When we stake a claim in our faith, the world will viciously attack us. Notice I didn’t say, “the world may,” but rather, “the world will.” (See Part II below.) While the world comes after us with pitchforks and torches,  God’s army is fighting our battles in the spiritual realm. That will ultimately leak into the natural realm. God’s going to bless those of us who take a bold, strong stand against immorality and injustice.

Remember what Mordecai told Esther:

“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)

We are in trying times. It’s going to get worse and our lives will become at risk because of our beliefs. But God promises that while we’re going through the worst, we’re getting in on the best.

PRAYER: Father, help us when the world comes at us at full force. Give us strength to stand tall and be firm. While we pray for safety in all that we do, we understand that our lives are at risk because we believe in You and worship You—everything against the norm. Through our worst moments and trials, we are incredibly honored to know that we are getting in on the best. Amen.

JOURNAL: What does risking your life for Christ mean to you?

Part II: What it Means to be a Peacemaker

I just want to share my Chick-Fil-A experience with you.

The crowd was kind, thoughtful, quiet and diverse. We met new friends, and ran into old ones. We were greeted with smiles at every turn. No one cared to be standing in line for hours. No one complained or even spoke negatively about those who would be protesting in the coming days—nor did ANYONE bring up gay marriage!

Most of the people I spoke to indicated that they were there because, yes, they were Christians, but it was mostly to support our freedom of speech.

In the process, if you are on facebook or twitter, you may have seen this photo:

chick fil a line homeless

We all know that’s not true, because I, myself, have stood in line numerous times to volunteer for various opportunities through our church. But this is what is being said about us. That the “bigots” that we are, will stand for hours to support “hate” but we won’t even feed the poor as Christ told us to do.

Remember, we are being judged by non-believers who think they know the character of God, but are far from knowing or understanding true knowledge of Who He is. They judge us based on the God they’ve created, not the real One and True Creator.

Let me share a recent devotional that came in my email. This should give you some understanding of what it means to be speak the Truth of Jesus Christ.

Peace at Any Cost?


by Greg Laurie

Of all the Beatitudes given in Matthew 5, there is one most likely to meet with the approval of almost everyone: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9). We all want peace in the world. Yet this is not a statement Jesus made to solely advocate working for global peace, although that is an honorable thing to do. I am all for peace, but not for peace at any cost.

The context of Jesus' statement is not about working for peace in and of itself. It is speaking more about those who are bringing the message of the gospel because they want people to enter into a relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Romans 10:15 says, " ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!' "

As people who have met God, as people who have experienced His mercy and have committed our lives to hungering and thirsting after Him, we will be true peacemakers. Romans 5:1 says, "Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

However, let me forewarn you that peacemakers are often troublemakers. As contradictory as it sounds, real peacemakers are troublemakers, because they recognize that as long as people are at war with God, they may have to make them sad before they can make them happy. In other words, they may have to confront them with the reality of their spiritual state before God, and as such, they will have to be aggressive, not passive.

Who was a greater peacemaker than Jesus himself, the Prince of Peace? And how did they treat Him? They crucified Him. So if you are a real peacemaker, then you will be persecuted.

Taken from "True Peacemakers" by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).

 

Did you support Chick-Fil-A? If so, feel free to share your stories and photos!

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