Saturday, July 9, 2016

Let It Shine!


God owes us nothing … He has given us everything … but He owes us nothing. I believe we are dangerously close to experiencing the results of God’s Divine Displeasure. He is a loving and caring parent who is upset with the world He created. This is not the first time God has been upset!

God is not happy with this world and He hasn’t been for a long, long time!

God is not happy yet God is hopeful and we too should share His hope.

The world without God in focus faces some insane moments. When I read historical accounts from periods past when evil leaders ruled over countries and empires I am in awe how mankind ever survived. We owe everything we have and all we hope to hold to a loving God who is merciful and forgiving above any reason I can fathom.

Three days ago a man who was deceived by the devil and filled with hatred planned and carried out a cruel ambush aimed at Dallas law enforcement officers. In the wake of his madness 11 police officers were shot of whom 5 were killed. We are living in a world gone mad … a world that makes no sense to any sensible person … a world in greater need of Jesus than ever before. However,  

Two days ago Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an anti evangelism bill into law forbidding Christians from witnessing to others about the saving grace of Jesus on the streets, in private homes, in rented buildings or on the internet. Churches who do not currently own their own buildings can no longer legally meet anywhere and Believers in Jesus are forbidden from inviting anyone to a Church meeting even in churches which are registered and recognized by the government.

It is now illegal for any foreigner or missionary to make any attempt to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ either in writing or with speech. The government promises to aggressively pursue every angle and be a constant vigil against any infraction. Citizens will be fined, churches disbanded, organizations penalized and foreigners deported in accordance with these stringent anti-evangelism guidelines. How does this affect us?

Currently I mentor as many as 50 Russian Pastors via Skype and travel to Russia every couple of years to disciple leaders and speak to our Russian congregations. We help to provide written discipleship materials including our daily devotional which has been translated into Russian and is in daily use within the country now. I already have a meeting set up for this Friday to go over our Sunday Circles and Life Shape materials with Pastor Sergey from Russia. He will be here in our Church next Sunday on his way back to Russia. At present we are unsure how these new measures signed into law will end up affecting our churches. Of course we will continue to evangelize and disciple others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only thing we do not now know is at what cost!

What has happened to America and to the rest of the world? Why is there such violence in the streets of our cities? When will people wake up and realize the real enemy and the only answer? How can we help?

Today in pulpits across America and around the world the Church must be a voice speaking into the darkness and addressing the ills and injustices of the day. What would have happened if God had have ignored the darkness we read about in the first chapter of Genesis and pretended it didn’t exist or that it was ok to continue in such chaos.

As we understand darkness in its most simple form, it simply does not exist. Darkness is merely the absence of light … darkness does exist in and of itself. You cannot bring me a jar of darkness … Darkness is the place where the light is not shinning. We must continue to hold faith that the only answer to this world’s trouble comes when we continue to share the glorious light of the Gospel of Christ.

Jesus said: John 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 8:12  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

And, Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

What shall we do in a world and for a world gone mad?

·        First we must pray to our Heavenly Father.

·        Next we must remember the promises and the plan of God:

Exodus 1:12  But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.

Isaiah 59
19  So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
20  "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD.
21  "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."

Isaiah 60
1 ¶  Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.

·        Finally, we must shine!

John 8:12  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

How shall people know about the loving, caring, merciful, gracious and forgiving God unless someone tells them? We must not put our faith or the love we have for Jesus under a cover but rather we must set it up on the rooftops and raise it to the mountains so that others can see the light and come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. We shall not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who will believe.

Isaiah 50
4  The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
5  The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
6  I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
7  For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

1.  Pray
2.  Have faith in God
3.  Share the Good News in the lost and dying world!

Pray for our Law Enforcement and First Responders
Pray for our Military
Pray for our Church Leaders
Pray for our Government
Pray for our Families

The only way to dispel the darkness is to Shine The Light!

Let It Shine!!!