Wolves in the church. Sexual misconduct. Divisions over race, politics, and COVID-19. There is plenty of bad news about the church to go around. But as one pastor recently pointed out, faithful Christians are quietly carrying out good works all around him—and God is on the move.
“I realise there are very serious threats to sheep within our flocks, we should be on guard,” said Pastor Chris Thomas in a Twitter thread Tuesday. “I know that there are theological distinctions that need to be defined and defended, we need rigorous debate. But can I tell you what I saw today?”
Thomas is the teaching pastor at Raymond Terrace Community Church, located in Raymond Terrace, a town in New South Wales, Australia. What he observed this week led him to conclude: “I know there is much to be fearful of, much to mourn about the state of faith in this world, but take heart my friend—Jesus is building his Church, and the gates of hell have not, nor will they, frustrate his plans for her.”
But the Holy Spirit is moving in his church, and faithful believers are still doing good works, even if those are unseen or unacknowledged. In his Twitter thread, Thomas listed several ways he has lately observed Christians love, encourage, and serve one another. “I saw a 70 year old woman drop by our church to sharpen colouring pencils so that the little children could do their Bible story lessons next Sunday,” he said. “I saw a single Mum photocopying her lesson plan as she prepared to visit our local school where she runs religious education classes. I saw a group of 14 teenagers gather after school to brainstorm the program for this Term’s children’s outreach program they run.” He continued:
I saw a brand new Christian share her testimony for the first time. Then I heard her husband, who is completing a “Exploring Christianity” course with one of our Elders, ask, “When can I share my story?” I saw someone weeping as they bowed their head with another. I saw a single woman carrying a young baby so that the tired mother could chat with others over a cup of tea.
“I saw pews of people with Bibles strewn across their laps, eager for the Word,” said the pastor. “I saw hands raised in worship, knees bent in worship, seats filled in worship. I saw exhausted mothers who open their hearts to children who’ve been abandoned and abused, wipe the tears from their eyes and embrace again the very ones who push them away.”
Sometimes God’s activity in the local church is not so quiet. Earlier this week, ChurchLeaders reported on the work the Holy Spirit is doing in Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Over 1,000 baptisms have happened in the past four months, a blessing senior pastor Robby Gallaty attributes in part to God challenging the sin in his own heart. Yet regardless of whether the good works of faithful Christians are seen by many or by few, we all need help remembering that God is on the move, despite the brokenness all around us.
Several people commented on Thomas’s Twitter thread, saying they are witnessing similar good works in their communities and thanking him for the reminder of God’s faithfulness. “Thank you for helping me see what you saw,” said one. Said another, “I can feel these words in my soul…the work of the Lord is not thwarted by humanity…He is moving…thank you brother for sharing.”
“It struck me how often I fail to stop and name the every-day occurrences of God’s kingdom breaking through,” Thomas reflected. “My eye is drawn to the macro, while God is moving in countless ways through the micro, right in front of me. What grace! What glory!”
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights. (Isa. 42:1)
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isa. 53:2–3)
There is no peace… for the wicked. (Isa. 48:22)
These startling words are not addressed to the heathen nations but to God’s covenant people. They describe the people’s condition after their return to the Promised Land from exile. They are a lament. The people have learned so little in their captivity. The reason for their exile is spelled out with a solemn indictment: they had sinned against the Lord, “in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey” (Isa. 42:24). They returned to Jerusalem the way they had left it.
What Israel needed was salvation.
What Israel needed was a Savior. One who would come from “outside of themselves.” What Israel (Judah) needed was a Servant Savior who would do what she evidently could not do for herself.
This also is our need.
And God had good news for His rebellious people, news built upon His “covenant love” (hesed) for them. (Isa. 54:8, 10)
The prophecy of Isaiah made promises that were difficult to fulfill.
Chapters 2 and 11 depict a united, transformed world, but there is no sign of that when the exiled Hebrews return to the ruins of Jerusalem. Chapter 9 suggests a glorious David-like kingdom, but there is no sign of this reality on the horizon. Are these promises more like aspirations than certainties? Longings of what might have been rather than what actually did occur?
No, there is more than wishful thinking here. These promises find partial fulfillment in the dawning of the new covenant era: the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the significance of Pentecost; and the spread of the church from Jerusalem to “the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And to bring this larger canvas into reality, a Messiah-figure is promised. His depiction is threefold:
1. A King, like David, who will rule and reign over an expansive, worldwide kingdom (see Isa. 1:26–27; 7:14; 9:7; 11:1; 32:1–6; 33:17–24).
2. A Servant, depicted in four “songs” (Isa. 42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12). Twice, the servant is identified as Israel,5 but it is immediately apparent that she cannot be the sinless servant depicted in these songs. She has neither character nor desire to fulfill this role. On the other hand, the true Servant is a revealer of truth, perfect, obedient, and explicitly, a substitutionary sin bearer who voluntarily dies and lives again to clothe His people with His own righteousness.
3. An anointed Conqueror. As Isaiah looks forward, he anticipates one who is anointed by the Spirit, engaging in both salvation and vengeance, blessing and cursing (see Isa. 59:21; 61:1–3; 61:10–62:7; 63:1–7).”
And it becomes increasingly clear that the Messiah will come for both the covenant community and the gentiles (the nations):
I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations. (Isa. 42:6)
We might have expected that this responsibility would have been fulfilled by the covenant people themselves. Had they not been told that their joyful obedience would lead the nations to say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” (Deut. 4:6)? But, as we have seen, God’s people in Isaiah’s day are “blind” and “deaf” (Isa. 42:18–19; 43:8).
If not Israel, then who?
And the answer is another King-Servant-anointed Conqueror—Jesus. From the corridors of the eighth century BC, Isaiah saw the coming of Jesus who would bring redemption and restoration. This is why Isaiah is called “the evangelical prophet”—his entire focus is on the evangel, the “good news” of the gospel.
These 51 Easter quotes will help you stop and reflect on this holy season of Easter. Each Easter quote comes from a meaningful Easter sermon on SermonCentral.com.
“Jesus could have been satisfied with giving the world bread and water. He could have given them a healing clinic in every town. A leprosarium. School of exorcism. No. He gave himself. Spiritual sacrifice to God. Broke the bond of sin and death and set us free forever. He left for us an empty tomb.” Eldon Reich in Easter: What God Gave to Us
“Muhammad died, and was buried. His faithful followers take pilgrimages to visit his remains, the same is true of Buddha and other religious leaders. But it is not true of Jesus. You cannot visit His remains; you can only visit His empty grave, because He isn’t there. He Arose!” James Wilson in Easter: Jesus Arose!
“The empty tomb tells us of God’s ultimate power. A power that points to an ultimate purpose. Throughout His suffering, many times Jesus was told to show His power to escape His suffering and His death…but He knew that beyond all demonstrations of power and miracles…it was the ultimate power over death which had to be revealed.” Brad Bailey in Easter: A Tomb Tells All
“For the separation of humanity from God is depicted way back in the garden…We have a broken relationship with God, both in the depths of our souls and the actions of our hearts. This is precisely the reason Christ came. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.He bore our cost.” Brad Bailey in Easter: Rooted in Time and History and Yet Timeless in Its Impact
“An event can be thrust upon you and it takes you by surprise; you never would have predicted it in a million years. Now here it is – staring you in the face. What will you do? You can’t stay the same, you can’t pretend it didn’t happen. You may not know what to do, but this much is certain, you have to do something. This is the Resurrection.” Ken Sowers in Easter: Grave Robbers Didn’t Rob the Tomb; God Did!
“When it comes to believing in the resurrection of Jesus, we cannot simply seek knowledge; instead, we must seek faith. Nobody comes to faith in Jesus because of knowledge of Him. Even Satan has knowledge of Jesus, only he doesn’t believe in Jesus.” Michael Deutsch in Easter Sermon
“If you were to return to the scene of Christ’s execution that Sunday morning, you’d find relics of his death: A braided crown with scarlet tips. Three iron nails covered in dirt and blood. And an empty cross tinged red with the blood of God.” Scott Bayles in Easter: Empty Promises of Easter
“Perhaps the message this angel spoke was the most important one in Scripture. The message of the angel is still true today ‘don’t be alarmed – He is risen! He is not here; you will see him again.’ Jesus is alive!” Andy Barnard in Easter Angel
“Easter is the focal point of all history–because Jesus Christ is the focal point of all human history. Every time you date a check, print a calendar…every time this unbelieving world puts a date on a newspaper or magazine they are bearing witness to Him. History just cannot get away from Him.” Steve Malone in The Easter Door
“These angels are involved in our lives for several reasons, but one of them is to learn about God’s grace by watching us. When you study the Bible or reflect upon the person and work of Christ, you are joining in the curriculum of the angels; you are on holy ground.” Ed Vasicek in Easter Angels
“Jesus knew His followers were confused and frightened. They had hit rock bottom. And so He says, ‘Peace be with you.’ This is not simply a salutation; it’s the first application of Easter—peace.” Robert Leroe in Easter Qualities
“Jesus had power over death. Death was no match for him. People had feared for centuries that death was a stone cold grip from which no one could escape. And Jesus very calmly asserted His authority over it.” Matthew Rogers in He Defeated Death
“Do you want to live life to its fullest? Then aim higher. Don’t set your sights too low. Determine to become all that God created you to be. Give yourself to Christ, follow Him completely, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Because of Him!” Ryan Johnson in Because of Him
“Think about the promises of Easter. There are three of them. Each promise is marked by something empty. An empty cross, an empty tomb, and empty burial clothes. It is the very fact that each of these is empty that assures us that God’s promises are real.” Steven Kellett in The Empty Promises of Easter
“But with the gospel also comes a call to live a holy life, a life of spiritual depth and growth. This is what we mean by nurture, being nurtured in the life God calls us to. Although we do not contribute anything to our salvation, once God saves us, he calls us to live differently. He calls us to a life of transformation, a life where we grow and mature. He calls us to put down deep spiritual roots that are nourished by the truth of God. He calls us to nurture a holy life.” Timothy Peck in Renewing Our Vision
“When Jesus came into our world, He revealed not only Himself but He revealed the very nature and personality of God. So there is a part of God that we can see because of Jesus. And in the same way, God wants others to be able to see Jesus in us.” Melvin Newland in He Is the Root and Morning Star
“To do something in the name of Jesus is to ‘act consistently with who He is and what He wants.’ It is to do all that we do for the glory of His name. The more that I wear Jesus’ clothes, the more that people will think they are seeing Jesus coming when I’m on the way.” Chris Talton in Hand-Me Downs
“Beyond our greatest fear is his hand reaching out to us, beckoning us to come with Him, to believe, to know that God is with us at all times and in all places. We do not have to fear.” Kyle Blanton in Easter Sunrise
“Jesus’ resurrected body was a real body…He didn’t return as a ghost or a mist…He told his followers, ‘Look at my hands and my feet, it is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ “ Rick Burdette in The Mystery of Easter
“The Scriptures tell us that on the first Good Friday, darkness came over the land from the sixth hour until the ninth hour. The earth itself was mourning and protesting the death of its Creator. And you have the great symbolism of the Light of the world being extinguished and the world being plunged into darkness.” Claude Alexander in Jesus and Easter
“What we find inside this Holy Book is the greatest gift given to the world. Through the power of a simple empty tomb, our wealthy heavenly father has given us a great fortune that leads us to an eternal home.” David Trexler in Easter Message
“Jesus becomes human. 100% Human. 100% God. Lives, dies, is able to rise up, overcoming death….Spiritual death. The Bible does not simply mean physical death; it means spiritual death as well which is separation from God.” Peter Loughman in Easter: Fear This
“Jesus is not resuscitated; He is resurrected. He is raised by the power of God into a new way of life, a new existence. The power of Easter comes as the resurrected Lord is raised to a new way of life, and then, in a miraculous fashion, shares with us that new way of life.” Gregory Neal in An Easter People
“However you see Jesus, He is my Savior! He died for me. He paid the price for my sin, and the historical, proven fact of His resurrection has influenced the lives of millions upon millions.” Oris Hubbard in Easter’s Influences
“The tomb of Jesus also told a story. But it was not what was inside his tomb that told the story, it was what was NOT in his tomb. There was nothing there. The tomb is empty — and that tells it all. The angel said to the women at the tomb, The bones of the Buddha are on display. The tombs of world leaders are full of the remains of death. But the tomb of Jesus is empty because he is not there. He has risen — just as he said.” Rodney Buchanan in Easter’s Surprises
“The things He said were so preposterous and dangerous. He claimed that the Scriptures were all about Him and that the prophets spoke about Him. He had the audacity to state that He was the only way to God. Not that He knew the way, but that He WAS the way. He claimed that no-one could come to God except through Him!” Bramwell Hayes in Easter Is Dangerous!
“Easter in us is the resurrection power of life that God desires to place in every Christian’s heart. God generally doesn’t do this unless we are open to it. Let us pray that God puts Easter in each of us, and through His presence in us, may God’s glory be revealed in the world. In the words of the poem, ‘let Him easter in us.’ “ Anthony Seel in Easter in Us
“If you can think in computer terms, He has downloaded our sins upon Himself. Now if you know anything about downloads, a lot of them are free, but in order for them to be free, someone had to do the work earlier to make the download possible. That is what God has done for us. He has made forgiveness possible; He has done the work for us. As a result, He downloaded our sins and took them upon himself and went to the cross.” Richard Pfeil in Experiencing Easter
“God threw open the doors of heaven. He invited all nations, tribes and languages to Himself. Jesus doesn’t separate the believers. He does the opposite. The blood that He shed sanctified us and made us one. And one day, one sweet day – we’ll all be privileged to see that around God’s throne.” Eloy Gonzalez in Easter–For Whom?
“Christianity alone possesses a founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same.” Dan Cormie in Hope at Easter
“Whatever you face, whether it’s today or tomorrow, the promise of Jesus to everyone who puts their trust in Him. In this there is hope, even when it feels like ‘Checkmate.’ Because…THE KING STILL HAS ANOTHER MOVE IN YOUR LIFE. You might feel like you’re in checkmate, but Jesus says that if you believe in Him…HE WILL SAVE YOU.” David Kinnan in Easter: Hope
“We are embraced by God. That means all that we are, including our wounds, our sins, our sorrows – is embraced, accepted completely by the everlasting God. This is the beginning, because forgiveness is just a beginning. Then God sends us out to live as free people, ever thankful for the freedom Christ won for us on the cross. We’re sent out as free people to be agents of His love, to be ministers of reconciliation, to be people through whom God’s best intentions for this planet and every soul on this planet are made to happen, made real, made manifest.” Matthew Parker in The Easter Continuum
“Whether one believes nothing yet or has come to a partial understanding, believing is a process of uncovering errors and weaknesses and coming to a deeper, more authentic relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. This process is furthered only by one’s own experience of the Word; no one else’s experience can be a substitute.” Paul Andrew in Easter Impact
“Forgiveness is powerless unless it comes from one who has the power to forgive. Unless it came from one who had the power to say, defeat death. Without the resurrection, that forgiveness would have been worthless, simply more words from a prophet proved wrong by his death. But when He stepped out of the tomb everything he said, everything he taught was proved to be right. And His forgiveness became a certainty.” Denn Guptill in Rediscover Easter
“People are brought back to life everyday in emergencies rooms across the country. That is not resurrection – that is resuscitation. The people who are given a second chance at life by resuscitation – will eventually die. That is not what we are talking about with the resurrection. If you are in Christ, you will be given a heavenly body. You will be given an imperishable body. You will be raised in glory. You will be raised in power. You will have a spiritual body and you will never, never, never, die again. You will live forever with an imperishable body.” Tom Shepard in The Arrival of Easter
“The Risen Lord actually lives, is alive, and is present today in our testimony of his Gospel. In a very real sense, our lives should be a ‘5th gospel.’ “ David Rigg in An Easter Message
“No other holiday is as critical to the Christian faith as Easter. The very foundation of Christianity stands or crumbles on the truthfulness of the assertion that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Easter is not about religious ritual or tradition. It is about the resurrection of the Son of God, an historical event. It is significant because of what the resurrection of Jesus validates.” Jerry Flury in The Importance of Easter
“Paul speaks of salvation. Jesus speaks of loving God with all of our hearts and our neighbors unconditionally. Timothy speaks of the importance of order in our lives. Jesus speaks of the importance of a relationship with Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life. David speaks of repentance; Jesus speaks of forgiveness. Joshua speaks of obedience, Solomon speaks of trust, Isaiah speaks of hope, Jeremiah speaks promise and Jesus speaks of finding the Glory of God through a relationship with Him.” Rich Anderson in The Heart of Easter
“We have a God who knows, not just theoretically but experientially what it feels like to suffer, to have pain, to be betrayed, to be ignored, to be forgotten, to die. That means we can share our pain with God. We can draw near with a confidence that He knows and He understands and yet He tells us He still loves us.” Nathan Eyland in An Easter Message
“Death couldn’t hold Him. The resurrection proves that Jesus was who He said He was. It proves that Jesus did what He said He was going to do… and it proves that all who put their faith and trust in Him as Lord and Savior will be forgiven of their sins, granted eternal life, and be made right with God!” Ken McKinley in Easter 2017
“Bad news? Death is our enemy; good news? Death is defeated! Jesus died the death; Jesus took all of the pain; everything that you and I deserved He paid for on that cross.” Bud Rose in Easter Sunday
“In a very real way, God’s kingdom could not have come unless Jesus was willing to do the will of the Father. But also we should not expect God’s kingdom to come, to transform our lives, our neighbors’ lives. We shouldn’t expect to see healings and answered prayer unless we are willing to seek the Lord’s will. I fear that far too often we expect God’s kingdom to come and great things to happen to us in our church and our lives without submitting to the will of God.” James Tetly in Preparing for Easter
“Faith is shaking hands with God and getting right with Him. Faith is putting our hands up and surrendering our lives to Christ. Faith is raising your hand and saying, Here I am Lord, take me in Your loving hands.” Ross Cochrane in Hands of Easter
“And then there are those who truly get it. They know the resurrected Jesus and He lives strong in them. They pour out their compassion and love, their mercy and grace, which is only through the power of Christ inside of them.” Mark Engler in The Wonder of Easter
“Faith begins with knowledge, which is where the intellect is involved. Then it moves to the emotions where convictions are developed. Saving faith must then move to the will, where a commitment is made. True saving faith involves appropriating what Christ has done for us.” Brian Bill in Easter Comeback
“Death is not the end for Christians, it is only the beginning. the beginning of a life spent in Heaven with our Creator and our Savior. As Jesus now lives forever, we also can live forever … with Him, because we have true hope.” Bruce Ball in The Proof of Easter
“For the disciples it took only three days. On Friday they are in deep despair, but by Sunday night they’re on top of the mountain because of the resurrection. So sometimes things can be quickly reversed.” Melvin Newland in Easter: At the Tomb
There’s one scene in the book of Acts that’s always fascinated me because it showcases both the power and the limitations of angels.
One night as the apostles sat on a cold prison floor, an angel swung open the door to the jail and “brought them out” (Acts 5:19). The angel told them, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life” (v. 20).
Angels are so powerful they can burst through man-made barriers with no effort whatsoever. It’s like the walls of that prison were made of butter, not brick. In other biblical accounts, they rolled back a heavy stone (Matthew 28:2); removed thick chains (Acts 12:7); and even closed the mouths of lions (Daniel 6:22).
Angels are mighty spirit beings who command attention. They’re not cuddly cherubs, but glorious creations called to worship and war in the power of Almighty God. But it’s important to note that despite all their astonishing attributes, not everything is theirs to do.
There’s at least one critical thing angels cannot and will not do, which is witness to the saving grace of Jesus in their own lives.
Angels testify to the glory and creation of God, but God has called you and me to bear witness to the grace of God. The angel commanded the apostles to go do what he couldn’t do – speak “all the words of this Life.”
We’ve been given something angels have never experienced – the forgiveness of our sins. At the cross, the angels stood amazed by the love God demonstrated for sinful people through Jesus’ death. Angels can only admire what God has done in saving us and giving eternal life to all who believe.
God could have written His message of Good News in the sky or delivered it through a majestic angel. But He chose people like you and me. We must never expect an angel to do what God has told us to do. We are the ones called to proclaim His amazing grace to the ends of the earth.
I heard about a gallery owner who called one of his featured artists and said, “I have some good news and some bad news.”
The artist said, “Well, what’s the good news?”
“The good news is that a man came in here the other day and was looking at your paintings. He asked whether the value of the paintings would go up if the artist were to die. I told him they would, of course. So he bought every one of your paintings.”
“That’s fantastic,” the artist said. “So what’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is the man was your doctor.”
I think we can all use some good news in a bad world. But even as bad as things are now, they were even darker in Israel in the prophet Elisha’s day. It was, in fact, one of the darkest moments in Israel’s history. Everything had gone wrong. The king had basically become powerless.
A famine had swept the land, and things were so bad that they were actually eating dove dung, or to put it in modern vernacular, pigeon poop. The Scriptures also tell us that a delicacy at the time was the head of a donkey. Even worse, the people actually were turning to cannibalism.
Why had this happened to Israel?
It was a result of their disobedience to God and their repeated worship of false idols. This reminds us of a very important biblical principle: God will not share his glory with another.
You see, God put us on this earth to glorify him. Jesus said, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8 NIV). We were put here for that purpose. God wants us to fulfill that purpose.
And he certainly does not want to share his glory with any other gods. Two of the Ten Commandments deal with the topic of placing other gods before him.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, isn’t that a little paranoid on God’s part?”
It is not paranoia at all.
If you’re married, how would you feel if your spouse went out with a different person every night? That would be ridiculous. You wouldn’t put up with something like that.
But is it any more ridiculous when we turn from the true and living God to false gods? Is it any more ridiculous when we bow down to the idol of success or the idol of money? Is it any more ridiculous when we bow down before the idol of fame or the idol of pleasure?
God is saying, “You belong to me. I am not sharing you with another.”
He basically told Israel, “I am your Lord. I am your God. I brought you out of Egypt. Worship me. That is all I ask.”
But they kept turning to false gods. So the Lord allowed them to reap the consequences of their actions. And when the king heard about the people’s cannibalism, he ripped his royal robes. And underneath those robes was sackcloth.
At that time sackcloth usually was associated with mourning and repentance. We would assume that the king perhaps was truly repentant before God. Hardly. Because right after that, he decided he wanted to kill Elisha, the representative of God.
The king was saying, in effect, “Listen, I tried the whole wait-on-God thing. I have tried the whole faith deal. It isn’t working. I don’t want to wait on God one day longer. I am ticked off. And it’s Elisha’s fault.”
Elisha had done nothing wrong. He simply was the Lord’s representative. What the king and Israel were experiencing was a direct result of their own disobedience.
But whoever said that sin makes sense? When people are sinking deeper into sin and reaping the consequences of it, they strike out at God (and sometimes his representatives, even) instead of repenting and coming to their senses.
Maybe you’ve been minding your own business, loving God and living the Christian life, and a nonbeliever has been hassling you. You’re saying, “What on earth is this all about? What have I done wrong?”
Maybe you’re doing something right, because the Bible says, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).
We don’t necessarily want to be persecuted, but as Christians we will be. And we’re seeing it more and more in our culture today.
You’d better not say anything critical against any particular race. You’d better not say anything critical against a gender. You’d better not say anything critical about any particular group. But you can say whatever you want about followers of Jesus Christ, and that is acceptable in our culture.
Writing in the early 20th century, G.K. Chesterton said, “You are free in our time to say that God does not exist; you are free to say that He exists and is evil.… You may talk of God as metaphor or mystification. . . . But if you speak of God as a fact, as a thing like a tiger, as a reason for changing one’s conduct, then the modern world will stop you somehow if it can.… It is now thought irreverent to be a believer.”
If that was true back then, how much more true is it today?
I’ve heard it said that Christians are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good. That is ridiculous. Because the fact of the matter is, those who think the most of the next world will do the most for this one.
Sometimes I’m surrounded by all these grown up’s and think, “Wow, they are so wise. I hope when I grow up I have half their wisdom.” Then I get the harsh reality that I might be considered a grown up.
Is 37 a grown up???
I’ll have two teenagers next month. My oldest is taller than me. Making me feel even more like a child.
I struggle to feel qualified to share anything. The enemy has me right where he wants me. Scared, insecure and unqualified.
There’s this woman at my church who insists I use my God-given gifts!!! The nerve, right? She pushes me out of my comfort zone often and then tells me to knock it off when I’m filled with doubt. She sees something in me that I can’t see for myself. At times I’m convinced she’s crazy and other times I’m so grateful that God would put someone in my life who demands more out of me.
1 Timothy 4 says,
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Okay, so maybe I’m going way too far with this whole “youth” thing because lets face it, 37 is practically 40 and the aching back and wrinkled eyes paint a different picture. But these verses still pierce my heart. “Do not neglect the gift that is in you…” I so want to neglect my gifts. I want to hide where I’m safe from ridicule. I want to stay in the safety of feeling like I’m soooo young and have plenty of time to share my amazing insights and lessons. But God is asking me to “give myself entirely to them, that my progress may be evident to all.”
So scary, right? But there’s good news! I can be unqualified and still obey because Christ is qualified and His Spirit resides in me. hallelujah!
I pray you all have someone in your life, who you try to avoid, so they won’t ask you out of your comfort zone.
God has great use for you and I am thankful for that.