Wow. Today has been an interesting morning to say the least. I am on the fourth day of a spiritual fast and my morning devotional started out with mediating on the fact that the first word that comes to mind when many people hear ‘Christian’ is the word ‘hypocrite.’ When we fervently seek God and strive “not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2) we undoubtedly start to view the people, circumstances and situations around us in a very different light. We start to see not only where sin has corrupted our own lives, but where sin is corrupting the lives of others. We being to see how the Devil has pulled a veil over the eyes of others and how they are blinded to the truth. However we must tread carefully, for the reality is this: People need to know what you believe, but by what you preach, but by HOW YOU LIVE.
This morning I shared a petition to stop the release of 50 Shades of Grey on Valentines Day. I’ve never read the book, nor had any desire too, but I was very disturbed seeing the preview and the release date a few weeks ago. I didn’t share this to attempt to start some heated debate, but next thing you know scripture was being thrown around, twisted and used to defend both sides of the argument. (hmmm…doesn’t Satan do the exact same thing?) What really I found most upsetting was a comment by an old business associate on the thread: “Wow. Christianity sure is enticing. (Read sarcasm directed at the thread as a whole).” It was a poignant reminded of a very powerful truth we must all keep at the forefront of our mind and deeply rooted in our hearts: Our lives as a follower of Christ is the ONLY Bible many will ever read.
My first thought was “Christianity, not enticing?!? What?!?! UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, PROVISION, FELLOWSHIP, TRANSFORMATION, FREEDOM? That’s not enticing?!?!” If it wasn’t for Christianity, we wouldn’t have the United States of America, we wouldn’t have the majority of the humanitarian efforts around the world, and actually the arts would be devoid of the much of the iconic paintings, music and literature that we cherish so dearly. However I must keep in mind, that I did not always believe this way. The Bible makes it clear that we cannot even understand the Gospel without the grace and mercy of the presence of the Holy Spirit:
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18
But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. – 1 Corinthians 2:14
I’m beyond grateful that the circumstances of my life finally softened me, humbled me and opened me up to hearing the call of the Lord, that had been there all along. My heart breaks when I see people blinded to the truth, because I only very recently had my blinders taken off. I see now that the Gospel does seem foolish without the Spirit of Truth, and people reject it because it offends them, and puts them face to face with their sin. If they accepted the Gospel as truth, they would have to change, and we all at times love our sin way to much to nail it to the cross.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; – 1 Corinthians 1:27
In closing, I pray that whoever reads this really deeply mediates on the words written in the scripture above, and what I’m going to share below. My life has been radically transformed because of Jesus Christ and Him alone. When I was in a state of confusion and questioning things, an excerpt from an amazing book by C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, came across my path. The words convicted me enough to realize that I did not know the truth, and I was rejecting something I never took the time to read for myself. I was offended by ‘hypocritical’ Christians and was too worried about what I would have to give up to accept Christ, instead of focused on the fact that I would actually through Him gain everything. So all I ask is whoever reads these words, consider what is being said, and search your heart for the truth, God will reveal Himself, if you really want Him too.
A CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY:
“What are we to make of Jesus Christ? This is a question which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings and acts of this Man?’ This problem is to reconcile two things.
On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth and sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favour of the moral teaching of Christianity’—and there seems to be a general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of his immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best. It is not sloppy idealism, it is full of wisdom and shrewdness. The whole thing is realistic, fresh to the highest degree, the product of a sane mind. That is one phenomenon.
The other phenomenon is quite the appalling nature of this Man’s theological remarks. You all know what I mean, and I want rather to stress the point that the appalling claim which this Man seems to be making is not merely made at one moment of His career. There is, of course, the one moment which led to His execution. The moment at which the High Priest said to Him, ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am the Anointed, the Son of the uncreated God, and you shall see Me appearing at the end of all history as the judge of the Universe.’ Well, that is the other side.
On the one side clear, definite moral teaching. On the other, claims which, if not true, are those of a megalomaniac, compared with whom Hitler was the most sane and humble of men. There is no half-way house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him ‘Are you the son of Bramah?’ he would have said, ‘My son you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you would have gone to Mohammed and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’, I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’ The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question.
In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three effects—Hatred—Terror—Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval. ‘What are we to make of Christ?’ There is no question of what we can make of Him, it is entirely a question of what He intends to make of us.” – C.S. Lewis
Check out Elevate 2 Great on Facebook at www.facebook.com/e2gmovement