Monday, March 9, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, March 9, 2015

In The World To Change The World

When Jesus was ready to go to the cross, He desired that His disciples would not fall in love with the world.  He noted that those who loved the world lacked love for the Father (1 John 2:15).  He went on to pray to the Father that just as He had sent Jesus into the world, He was sending His disciples into the world. He wanted them to remember that they were sanctified or set apart for a holy purpose (John 17:18-19).  They were to bring sinners to Christ in spite of the cost.  Leon H. Ellis wrote the lyrics, “Souls are crying, men are dying, won't you lead them to the cross. Go and find them, please help to win them, win the lost at any cost.”

He continued to pray that His disciples would remember that the world would hate them since they were not like the world (John 17:14).  We as Christians must remember this and to know that we are not here to make our neighbors comfortable, relaxed, or to lull them into a false sense of complacency.  The early Christians shook things up (Acts 17:6-8) because they asserted that they followed Jesus Christ.

Today, we should not be shocked and hurt when we assert that Jesus is Lord, He died for our sins, and that He wants the best for everyone and some do not accept that message.  It may be a strange concept, but if we want to obey Jesus and to fulfill the mission that He gave us to, we have to be prepared to challenge and provoke others to good works in Christ and to follow Him. We must remember that God always loves us and protects us as we obey His words (John 17:15). We must win the lost at any cost.

1 John 2:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

John 17:14-19
New International Version (NIV)
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Acts 17:6-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
But when they failed to find them [Paul and Silas], they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
And Jason has received them to his house and privately protected them! And they are all ignoring and acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, [actually] asserting that there is another king, one Jesus!
And both the crowd and the city authorities, on hearing this, were irritated (stirred up and troubled).

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