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Into the Midst of Adversity May 28, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Luke 12:1-12
We like to use clichés especially when we are on the verge of difficulty. We say things like, “what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger.” Or, “they can kill me, but they can’t eat me.” It all sounds easy, until it finds us. By then we are drawn into a sort of funk and melancholy that weighs heavily on us. We begin quoting Job and asking questions rather than making statements. Questions like, “why me?” And, “how could it have gotten this far out of hand?”Difficulty is easier than adversity. Adversity is easier than persecution. Persecution aligns itself with suffering like the others, but it is more difficult because of who it comes from. Difficulty can come from anywhere or from anyone. It is broad and generalized. It is faceless suffering that comes to everyone. Adversity comes from people, but not always from people we know. It comes from strangers and people at random that we meet in the general public as we go about our daily lives. Persecution comes from people we are attempting to share Jesus with. It is usually people that we know or that we are investing ourselves into. One would think they would be receptive. They’re not.
We are called to evangelize. The idea is; Jesus saves us and we become witnesses of His saving grace. We then share our experience with others. We stand up for what is right and live differently from the rest of the world. The world is supposed to take notice of how different we are and ask why we are so different. At this point we have opportunity to share the Good News with that person who gladly receives it, repents of their sins and begins the process over again. We imagine a world of saved people all happily living together and eating dinner on the grounds together because that’s what we do. We envision a world without abuse and neglect or addiction or war. It is a happy thought but a fair piece removed from reality.
Reality is found here in these verses. There is hypocrisy and double standards. People are selfish and sinful. They cannot even see that they are lost. People get wrapped in the expectations they have for Christians that contradict themselves, but they cannot see that. Then, when someone speaks out against sin they are persecuted and labeled a hater, intolerant of a lifestyle or behavior. Christian beliefs fly right in the face of the world’s skewed values, or lack thereof, until we find ourselves exactly where we are in our modern world. We are supposed to be tolerant and accepting of everyone but are not afforded the same liberties as everyone else. Every lifestyle in American society is supposed to be accepted. The only one that does not seem to be accepted is the Christian lifestyle and values. Statistics reveal something like 75% of Americans claim to be Christian. How did we wind up in such a mess?
Jesus said, “be careful of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” He then goes on to say that we need to be on our guard. He said He was sending His disciples out like sheep among wolves. He warns that what was said in secret would be shouted, what was said in confidence would be shared. The yeast of the Pharisees seems to be interest in our message for their own gain. They may seem interested to learn about Christianity, but will use it against whomever when they are able.
We whom are Christians are to be encouraged and emboldened by these words though. Jesus goes on to say, don’t worry about those who kill the body, fear the One who determines where you will spend eternity. He says we are more valuable than sparrows. God cares for all His Creation, therefore as the pinnacle of Creation, how much more does God care for humanity, especially those who are trying to do His will. It is not easy. It may not always turn out as you intend. But, if you can do God’s will for the sake of doing it and care less about how you are received rather than how He is received, then we are really doing something. I call this “living the ‘whatever.’” Whatever God wants from me. Whatever He wants me to do. Even if it costs me everything, if that leads to His will accomplished in my life, then I say do it. I am not there yet. There are harsh words for those who do not. If we will not share, if we will not speak, if we will not live it, we will be disowned.
So, can we do it? What our alternative? Live for Jesus or don’t. But, with the promise of heaven and the grace for forgiveness there are responsibilities. Accept them or don’t. But there are consequences.
What will you choose?

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