"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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Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7: Work Urgently


NOTE TO SELF: Everyone will face God. That’s a reality we should face. Even the atheists who claim there is no God, will face Him. They will see for themselves, face to face, the God they rejected and denied. How do we get them ready for that introduction?

Let me share with you something I posted several weeks ago on my facebook status:

Sometimes I feel that my viewpoints are incredibly offensive to those I love, and I feel terrible for that. However, I can't change what I believe just to keep friends and loved ones happy with me at all times. I come with a mouth and I use it. I believe that's what God created me for. Many Christians don't speak up about social or political issues--or any issues at all--but that's okay, because maybe that's not what God called them to do. But I believe I have been called. God has clearly given me Word after Word after Word to keep speaking, even if no one listens. Again, I'm so sorry if you are angered with me because I stand on the Word of God. I'm sorry you may hate me for what I believe. I'm sorry that it offends you. I truly am!

This was triggered by an email devotional I had received just that morning which encouraged me to keep speaking, regardless of the implications:

"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)…

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…

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. ("True Peacemakers" by Harvest Ministries)

This is what God is urging us to do. We aren’t telling people about Christ to be liked, but instead to prepare them for their inevitable encounter with God. It means sometimes being a troublemaker. Speaking the truth often means trouble, because most people don’t like the reality of truth.

The devotion I received tells it point blank: we have to be aggressive, not passive. This is why God tells us to “work urgently.” We can’t be shy with their reality. We can’t be timid or fearful. The truth is we will offend many, but our hope is that it will prepare them to face God. 

PRAYER: Father, we lift up our voices to You and to Your people. We ask that you anoint our voice and use it to prepare others for when they meet you face to face. We realize that the Truth we speak will create enemies in our lives, and we pray for tough skin to endure the battle before us. Give us a sense of urgency, Lord. Give us the Words to speak. Amen.

JOURNAL: Do you often feel like a troublemaker when you speak God’s Truth? Write about how that makes you feel, and then consider today’s reminder and put it into perspective.

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