Sunday, July 16, 2017

Do it!

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says. James 1:22 NIV

The Gospel message is pretty simple.  God loves us. Jesus died for our redemption and rose from the dead to eternal life. We are sinners but are brought into right relationship with God through forgiveness of our sins through Jesus. We are commanded to love God and love other people, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.  

That didn’t take many words. Now I know that the ins and outs of what it looks like to love God and others can be complicated at times, but the longer I live the more I see that it’s the obvious interpretation of the commands that gets put on the back burner. Christians aren’t stumbling because they have misinterpreted some difficult passage in Revelation.  They are stumbling because they are holding grudges, they are being greedy, they are proud and they are not obeying God’s clear commands and directives. Most Christians have lots of knowledge of what the Scriptures say. Some really do follow God in mind and spirit, but there are a sizable number who don’t. It really is not enough to know what the Bible says. We have to do the loving, forgiving, and dying to self.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Revival Times

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 NIV

In the 1700’s, Europe and America were in the swell of a great revival involving the Protestant churches. A renewed sense of evangelism gripped many people and encouraged some of them to settle in the New World where they set up institutions of higher learning with Christianity as their base. Others became missionaries who preached the gospel to the slaves of the southern United States.  When I hear the beautiful music of an enthusiastic choir of African Americans singing their praises to God, I can thank the people of the 1700’s who took the great commission seriously for bringing this blessing to us. Many Europeans viewed the slaves as dispensable workers, but the missionaries were able to tell the slaves that they were loved by God and precious to him.

I think God gave a lot of wisdom to the early governments in North America. The governments weren’t perfect, no government ever is, but in a very short time Canada and the United States grew into prosperous, peaceful countries. The prayers of the early settlers surely were answered. We still need to preach the gospel in and out of our communities. We need to pray for our governments and know that God will honour those prayers and raise up the leaders that we need at the right time.  Our countries are a huge testimony to the whole world. They will see that countries with a Christian heritage are blessed beyond measure.