Breaking the shackles… heavy bricks on my mind

Today’s bricks require some heavy lifting. Carry away what serves you best.

. . .

We need to understand that Christianity is not a persecuted religion, at least not in the western world. This belief leads to manipulation driven by fear. We may be under attack in some ways, but it’s not persecution, not even close. In many parts of the West, Christian institutions remain deeply entrenched in state power structures.

What is persecuted, as always, is the worship of God in Spirit and Truth. This occurs in the public square and within our churches.

. . .

Maybe it’s even better if we lose political influence. Nobody ever came to Jesus due to political leverage. In fact, politics stains our faith in many ways. Have we embraced Pilate while we crucify Christ?

. . .

In the West, Christianity is under attack, however, the weakness is mostly from within, much like the ancient Judaism that Jesus criticized. Those of us who live in the West enjoy too much exterior worship and little interior transformation. So much of our faith today is used to maintain power structures.

Too many Christians focus on winning a culture war rather than seeking to find Jesus in their neighbor.

. . .

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

(Matthew 19:16-22)

He went away sad it says… but he did not follow Jesus. He preferred to remain sad and keep his wealth. Are we doing this now with our accumulation of wealth and power?

. . .

Some churches in the Mideast pray for a poor and persecuted church. Think about that. In the context of militant radical Islam, they pray for this. We can barely even fathom this kind of thinking in the West. We cry out about our religious rights, which is fine. But do we truly give testimony to Christ, or do we just want to win more legal, political, and front page battles?

. . .

Today, the blood of martyrs flows in the Orient and in Africa, this is a Biblical message. Are we paying attention? Are we listening to the cry of the martyrs?

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” (Rev 6:9-10)

. . .

“But there’s a crisis! People are fighting and dying in the streets!” some will proclaim as an excuse for inaction or rushing to seek a worldly solution.

NOW is exactly when we should be rising up as a Body. NOW is the time to live the Resurrection.

. . .

We need new ways, new answers, and a new spirit inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. We must live the resurrection of Jesus with renewed conviction based on eternal principles.

. . .

We are bound and shackled by too many years of spiritual oxidation. We must break free. May the hand of God work there if anywhere.

. . .

We want to cower into a place of security. We want to protect what’s ours. We want to accumulate. So we hide behind slogans and politics, afraid of losing what we have. This is because what we have is of this world, and now it’s crumbling down.

If we knew we already have everything, we would not be afraid.

…sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. (2 Cor 6:10)

. . .

May the Holy Spirit shake us and awaken us from our spiritual slumber. It’s not about elections or fighting in the street or pandemics or any other invention Satan comes up with to distract us.

It’s about confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It’s about finding him in the streets and serving him faithfully.

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in… (Matthew 25:35)

. . .

It hurts when your heart grows… but it’s the only way to love more.

. . .

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