© 2020 Chip Kawalsingh / Harvest City Church
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith… [Moses] chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. (Hebrews 11:7, 25, NLT)
We live in a strange time. Morality and justice are at an all-time low and almost everyone seems to be angry, offended or upset by something or someone. Truth seems more elusive than ever before as lies are hidden in culture and what’s seen as socially acceptable. The US (and the rest of the world!) is gripped by politics, agendas and personalities, and it’s becoming weirder by the day.
Most people use their social media platforms to share their thoughts and views, but very few use it to talk about Jesus, the cross, the Bible or church. On my own personal Instagram, more people will like or comment on a picture of a bunny than when I share truth or Scripture!
Everyone wants either to be accepted or to be a voice, yet very few truly want to follow Jesus. He is embraced in name only. It’s clear from social media that proclaiming Jesus is just a tagline and not a lifestyle.
The passage above reminds us that Moses chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. Some translations say Moses ‘chose to be mistreated’ rather than become part of the world. I wonder how many would choose this today?
Truthfully, I’m fearful. We live in a day where some who claim to be Christians are clearly not. They lie, cheat, swear, blaspheme, sleep around – and yet say ‘I want to give glory to God and Jesus my saviour!’ And other believers follow them blindly! They run after self-appointed men and women, even though God has denied these people by not calling them.
Others are more passionate about the country they come from than the Kingdom of God. Yet these things are only temporary. Even our race is temporary. We are spiritual beings in a human shell, that’s all! Of course, many inter-race relations need a touch from God – His healing and love – but these things, too, are only temporary in the light of eternity.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5, NIV)
This seems like it was written just last week, doesn’t it?
They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. (2 Timothy 3:6-9, NIV)
How revealing! The world is a dark and deceptive place and the Bible warns that many will be led astray in these last days. But there is hope! As the world gets darker, God’s Word will indeed shine brighter.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21, NLT)
Just like Noah of old – who was saved with his family and credited with righteousness by God because of his obedience and faith – we ought to strive for righteousness and holiness. Without these, the Bible warns, ‘no one will see God’.
Friends, it’s time for self-examination. Ask yourself these questions and be honest in your answers.
- Am I a true follower of Christ?
- What does my social media say about me?
- What do my thoughts say about the real me?
- Am I more passionate about the injustices I see than the lack of righteousness in the world?
- Do I follow my church and leadership wholeheartedly?
- Have I allowed offence or the offended to influence me?
These are key questions we all need to ask ourselves. If you’re going to live for Jesus – really live for Him – you should put His Word and the church first. Christianity is not meant to be a convenient, lack-of-conviction journey, but a faith-focused walk in love. Like Jesus, we’ve got to say, ‘Yet not my will, but Your will be done!’ Not what we want, but want He wants. We must serve God and His church wholeheartedly. Be a pillar in God’s house and not just an attendee. Truly give your all to God. Surrender everything: your home, your life, your all for Jesus.
Are you happy just ticking over week after week, month after month, doing nothing for Him or His Kingdom? I pray not! Jesus said ‘the love of many will grow cold’. A heart like this is lukewarm and will soon fade away.
What is your decision? What does your lifestyle say about your walk with God? The truth is that you alone know what’s in your heart. Let the Holy Spirit come in and let Him transform you.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2, NLT)
All this week, the words of two old hymns have been burning in me: ‘I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold, I’d rather have Jesus than riches untold…’ and ‘I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back…’ I choose Jesus, before anything or anyone.