assumptions of humanity

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity,

nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor

by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” ~ Herman Melville

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“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

that though he was rich,

yet for your sakes he became poor,

so that you through his poverty might become rich.” ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

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Glory to God!

Jason

Light in Darkness

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’  And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day” (Genesis 1:1-5).

“God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.”

From the beginning of time.  From Creation.  From the word “go” (literally).  Light is separated from darkness.  They are opposed to one another.  Where one is present the other is not.

The Apostle John proclaims, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5b).  Christ boldly declares, “I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12).  And in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to be spiritual light in a spiritually dark world: “You are the light of the world!” (Matthew 5:14).

We are called to be light.  Light in a world of darkness.  Why is it then that we so often toy with darkness?  Why is it that we too often concede and rationalize and justify any relationship with spiritual darkness?  With that which is spiritually opposed to the God we serve?

The Apostle Paul writing of the spiritual tempo of our lives asks, “What fellowship does light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14b).  Light and darkness are enemies.  The presence of one defies the presence of the other.  How is that we can so easily walk out of spiritual light and into darkness?  Is our faith so shallow?

In Ephesians 2:8 he asserts, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”  He doesn’t even say, “We were once in darkness, but rather we were darkness.”  Outside of God.  Outside of His light.  But in Christ Jesus, our reality has radically changed.

Colossians 1:13 declares, “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.”

John affirms our calling in Christ and challenges that if we “claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk (live) in darkness we lie and do not live by (in) the truth” (1 John 1:6).

The call is just that.  To accept and live into the calling that we have in this life in Christ Jesus to be light in a spiritually dark world.  A city on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).  A lamp on a stand that gives light to all (Matthew 5:15).

Where there is light, darkness scatters.  In our lives and in the lives of those we influence to the glory of the God we serve.

Glory to God!

Jason

effective ministry

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade mankind….  For Christ’s love compels us….  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view….” (2 Corinthians 5:11,14,16).

I’ve been working considerably lately with the first five and a half chapters of 2 Corinthians.  Beginning Sunday September 4th at West Erwin we are going to be diving head-first into the Apostle Paul’s philosophy of ministry.  What we will see is that ministry is a way of life.  Ministry is what our Father calls us to through the Gospel.  And if we understand our calling correctly, ministry is not optional.

In order for ministry to be influential….  In order for ministry to be effective….  In order for ministry to be significant… it must be an extension of who we are.  It has to be authentic.  It has to be genuine.  It has to be valid… if it is to have the impact God intends (and demands) the Gospel to have.  Because people can spot a fake a mile away!

And so “since, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade mankind.”

And it is “Christ’s love that compels us” (His divine love for us evidenced upon the cross and through the resurrection).

And because of God’s relentless pursuit of us through the Good News of Jesus, and because we recognize our fallen state without Him, “from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”

We see ourselves often in pursuit of God.  And certainly we are.  Certainly we do.  But I believe if we are objective and if we are honest with ourselves, what we soon discover is that it is not we who pursue God, but He who pursues us.  He pursues us relentlessly.  The lengths He has gone through in the overarching story of God intersecting humanity throughout the ages, the culmination of the redemptive work of God in Christ through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, the way in which He magnificently works in our hearts and lives today, all reveal one thing to us: It is God who pursues.  It is He who pursues us.  And it is this profound reality that must compel us to pursue Him and His will and His purposes with all that we are.

Glory to God!

Jason