Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Far More than can be imagined!!!

"I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:8-9

These early Christians were so terrorized that they had to hide and as their anointing become stronger their persecution grew and grew....people will hate you because of your blessing and they will never realize the hell you went through to get there. Look at these Christians in Corinth. The Corinthian church of Paul's day struggled with worldliness and sexual sin, both of which were typical of this cosmopolitan city. They also struggled with material wealth and had large market places. Paul was a tentmaker (or leather worker) and may have had his place of business in the city's commercial marketplace (agora). This would have afforded Paul numerous occasions to speak with customers and passers-by of the resurrection of Christ.

The Christians had upset the economy of the entire city and eventually the entire empire. The Christ-followers shared their wealth with each other and grew to help each other. There was also a large business of selling idols and things to sacrifice to idols throughout the market place. When you lay allegiance to the One True God, you no longer buy and purchase these high market products. As the church began to grow in population, the secular economy went down. Thus, those selling in the market place were not happy with the church and its competition. The Christians are trouble and they were being treated as trouble...

Paul reminds the Corinthians they are not alone in this trouble and their brother and sisters in the Macedonian church had experienced the same things....look at the text again; “grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” Yes, it is hard to be bold and to take a stand, especially when the world around us does not support the efforts. Yes, it is hard to be bold when the people at work are not believers and shun you when you take a stand for the what is right. Yes, it is hard to be firm in the faith when your neighbors are out drinking and carousing, or the ball team is compromising on the integrity of the numbers or the checker in your line miss calculated your ticket and you know she gave you to much in return....IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE EASY! In fact, if it were easy, anyone could do it.

I am not talking about the “casual hard.” Such as, “Oh, it has been a rough year, we didn't get to go to Florida this year....or its tough they cut my premium cable channels off... or things are hard, I was not able to upgrade my Lincoln town car this year and will probably have to wait until next year.” To be a Christian is not intended to be “casually hard.” It is not easy! You will have to make sacrifices in friendships, in ethical choices, in reach out to others you do not like, in praying and supporting your competition, and in the daily routine of serving the people you live with.

The church has become so phony that we can't handle hearing the truth....the early Christians had struggles and temptation the same as we do and it will exist until the Lord return. Temptation to fornicate is the same as to cuss someone out. The temptation to run a red light is the same as it to neglect your neighbor. The temptation to cheat on your wife is the same as to cheat at work or school....temptation is temptation.

Your job is to be strong and establish before that temptation come that you and your house will follow the Lord. You must do as the Macedonian church did, “ They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” In order for us to be far more....We must be Bold for God's purpose in your life.

Is it becoming clear?...The true test of mercy is our eagerness to give. If we are to be FAR MORE then we will confess our sins and we will be bold for God. Then, we will be passionate in our faith.

Looking to be far more....you know I love ya, Don

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