Sometimes it appears that joy has been set on our spiritual back-burners, because we just don’t seem happy about being in Christ. It especially shows in our singing from time to time. We are in the book of Habakkuk this morning, and if you remember from last week, initially Habakkuk goes to God questioning why he is allowing the sins of Judah to run rampant. It’s quite obvious the answer he received from God was not even close to what he expected to hear. He was hoping for a remodel job, and found out God had a total teardown in the works. The hard part of God’s plan was that he was raising up the evil people of Babylon to be his wrecking ball. Initially, Habakkuk struggled with God’s choice until he came to realize (with the help of God) that God can do whatever he chooses, using whomever he chooses. Once Habakkuk processed everything which is to happen and saw the wisdom of God, he wisely decided to step back and watch what is soon to take place. What is particularly strange about this conversation with God is Habakkuk’s song in chapter 3. Habakkuk goes from complaining to God (chpt 1), to mourning over God’s decision (chpt 2) to singing out with joy over the works of God. Why the change? What happened? I could tell you now, but I’m going to wait until Sunday morning. I will give you a hint. One word changed everything for Habakkuk.
This morning let us think about Habakkuk and what we have in Christ. And then let that thought uplift our hearts as we raise our voices and sing with joy; Come we that love the Lord and let our joys be known. Join in a song with sweet accord and thus surrounds the throne. Because we are marching to Zion beautiful beautiful Zion. We’re marching upwards to Zion the beautiful city of God. Blessings.
Thursday marks the beginning of the season of Thanksgiving. On next Thursday our focus will be on giving thanks, and then a month later, we will share in the giving of gifts to special people in our lives.
If someone were to ask what you are thankful for this thanksgiving, what would you say? Would you begin with family, friends, jobs, houses, cars, heat, stuff, and more stuff? How would you answer? Here is a better question. Where on your thankful list does the cross & resurrection appear? It is interesting as you listen to the apostle Peter in 1 Peter chapter one as he describes what we have been given by God at the cross of Jesus; which he describes as being more precious than gold. For many, thinking about what to be thankful for, is often viewed toward the physical. It is after we inventory our physical life, that we conclude, if there is much (if anything) to be thankful for. What if a family member was a victim of a recent shooting? Would that change thankfulness? What if you just found out you have a terminal illness? How would that impact your thankfulness? What if you just lost your job and your hope for a bright future? What about if you were homeless? Hungry? The list of all that can go wrong in our world is endless, but only one entry is priceless- THE CROSS. Nothing that happens to us, near us, around us, can have any impact on what has already been done, from above us, and now IN us -on Calvary. You see, it’s all in where you look, and as Peter says, it’s what you remember. Let’s not allow the cross to get so far removed from our lives, that its’ power becomes diminished. Never allow anything in the world to overshadow the greatness and power of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. And lastly, let us be eternally thankful, regardless what happens. Praise be to God!! Blessing to all this Thanksgiving season.
This week we will finish the discussion we began last week entitled “ In The World but Not of the World.”
To put it succinctly, the world is a messy place. For those of us in Christ, it is filled with an abundance of pitfalls and temptations, all with the capability of destroying our spiritual walk, and life in Christ. The apostle Paul called it “shipwrecking” our faith. Because of this, most Christians opt for separating themselves as much as possible from worldly people and the things of the world. Yes, the bible did tell us to guard our hearts, but it also told us in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God and go to war as we walk in the world. So, how do we do both? The answer is not found in isolating ourselves (which we discussed last week) but to take the more aggressive approach which is insulating ourselves. To insulate simply means to walk among the world being both light and salt as we are called to be, but at the same time recognizing the danger and pitfalls that await. Therefore, we must be wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). Jesus calls us live an insulated life. Our ability to insulate lies within the strength of our walk in Christ. It’s the word of God alive and active in us, that gives us the strength to say no to sin. It’s time for us to go to work. It’s time for us to boldly walk among the mess of the world with the heart of Jesus, looking for those who are seeking the cross. The truth is, without us things will not only fail to improve, they will worsen. Port Huron is looking for those who will walk through the fire of the world to rescue the perishing. Can they count on you?
Last week the focus of my heart centered around the lack of spirituality in the people of God in regards to worldly issues. As I continue to ponder this perplexing situation, another thoughts infiltrates my thinking. What happened to the church? When did we become an invisible entity in the world. There was a time when although those in the world chose not to follow the ways of God personally, there was a general respect for God and his people. Today, all that has changed, and no longer is the church relevant in the conversation of right and wrong according to the world’s standards. In fact, the world has taken an even stronger position in opposition to God and his infallible word. It’s nothing new to us, all in Christ have experienced this shift away from anything remotely Godly. The world has labeled the word of God as “antiquated” and all things God are no longer germane in this society. The question is why is this so? Before we lay all of the blame at the feet of the world, I believe we need to take a look at our role in this discussion. In Romans 12, the apostle Paul challenged believers to be transformed from their old ways in the world into a new life in Christ. In John 17 Jesus prayed for his followers to be left in the world, but protected from the evil one. In other words, we are to be in the world, but not of the world. Perhaps that could be a part of the problem. Many have grabbed hold of Ephesians 5:1 and have decided to ISOLATE themselves from not only the works of darkness, but those in darkness themselves. But, that is not what Jesus prayed. He said we are to remain in the world; among the world. How else will they ever see our light if we are hiding out in our spiritual monasteries. Our job is to walk among the world as light, and salt. Therefore, we are to INSULATE ourselves with the word of God, so that we can reach those who are lost. (continued next week). Blessings.