Rejoice and Praise The Lord Regardless
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
–5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -ESV
In the ongoing culture around us the motto is- “looking out for number one”. In many ways Christians have been no different than anyone else. Put me in a car going down the freeway and most of the time it’s ‘do to others before they do to me’ –not exactly the Golden Rule that Jesus had in mind.
Even in churches, some of the meanest people I have ever had the misfortune of coming across have been supposed Christians sitting in the pews. Over the years when teaching classes I have occasionally been pulled into battles over minutia that didn’t amount to anything more important than a slight disagreement over eschatology followed by a severe tongue lashing. Anyone that has been posting on the internet for a while can attest to how ungracious fellow Christians can be sometimes.
It really is time for Christians to be different. For too long we have been pulled along with the culture—but this culture is no longer Christian and the prevailing values no longer reflect an underlining effort to do good. Actually increasingly what is ‘good’ according to the scriptures is now increasingly being called bad and what is evil is now starting to be considered good. In my lifetime I have lived long enough to see everything turned on its ear.
It is time for Christians to reflect a ‘Kingdom Culture’ which is increasingly at odds and different than the dominant culture around us in America and the Western world.
We may pray every day—”Let your Kingdom come let your will be done”—it is time for the Kingdom to become a reality in our everyday living. We should stand out as gentle, reasonable, and considerate folks letting our lights shine as beacons into the increasing darkness.
This doesn’t happen over night but only as we allow the Holy Spirit to come in and dwell with us as we do our daily tasks—going down the toll road, shopping in the store, and reaching out in kindness and civility to those working around us. As a beacon of light that will draw people to you and the Lord which should be reflected in our lives. Let the Holy Spirit’s light break through.