Life and Faith

Life and Faith

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

“I feel like my overall pessimism about life restricts me from trying to reach out to him because something is telling me he won’t listen to my prayers or they won’t make a difference. I don’t know why of all people he could listen to, he’d listen to me. My relationship with God consists of me hoping he sees what is happening and knows what to do.”
This was written by a young woman with which I have a relationship on social media as part of a larger conversation about the loss of a family member to death. What you see above is just part of her response, but is the part I want to key in on in this blog. I can’t imagine the many millions upon millions of people who feel this exact same way regarding their relationship with God. Their lives overall are pessimistic, with no real sense of purpose or movement. They just go through the motions and hope things turn out OK.
This woman is a believer. She believes in God; in His power and might. She also says, “Something is telling me he won’t listen to my prayers or they won’t make a difference.” She then goes on to ask the question many ask, “Why would he listen to me?”
There is, of course, a certain wonder in the notion that a God who created it all and sustains it all would stoop down to listen to little-old-me. That wonder is not soothed any at all by a reading of the Scriptures, the teachings of Jesus, or anything else. In fact, the wonder of it only increases and becomes even more wondrous the more we know and the more we understand about the God of heaven and earth.
But let’s go back for a moment to her pessimism. Could it be that her pessimism is a product of her failure to take God at His word? Could it be that she thinks so little of herself in the great scheme of things that she begins to adopt an attitude of resignation and hopelessness? Could it be that if she could somehow grasp the Truth of the statement of Jesus, “For God so loved the world,” she could be freed from her pessimism, hopelessness, and resignation?
So, let’s see what we have here…we have a young woman who has a generally pessimistic view of life, living, and the future who believes in a cosmic God of the universe. She can’t fathom how that God could possibly have any interest in her, possibly due to the fact that she sees herself…her life…as irrelevant and immaterial to the greater scheme of things. And because she believes in this God, and because she can’t think that He actually pays attention to and listens to her, she just hopes that He sees and knows what to do to make her life and the world bearable until she dies.
Are you living life this way? Oh, now, admit it. You too have often, or even now have this idea about God, prayer, the world we live in, and our outlook on life in general. What can I say to help? Unfortunately, not much. You’re going to have to find out for yourself just what is the Truth of the Word of God as found in the Sacred Scriptures. And you’ll have to not only find that out intellectually, but you’ll also have to absorb it into a faithful response to that God in some way.
Can you do it on your own? No, not at all. But take heart. If you have any measure of faith (or desperation) at all, you can petition the God of the universe to help you and provide you with the wisdom and open heart & mind to take in, understand, and appropriately use what is abundantly clear in the written Word of God. This is the place, I think, to start.
Blessings as you work through this time in your life.

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My Overriding Responsibility

My Overriding Responsibility

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I’ve been doing some thinking this morning as I complete my class lesson for this evening and also catch up on some reading. The focus of my thinking has been, well, focus. What is important? What is not? What should I spend my time doing or working with? What should I consider to be not of great importance in my work? How can I better spend the time God gives me? What is stealing precious minutes out of my day?
If you’ve never thought of these things, you haven’t had much of a life, I would venture to say with some tongue-in-cheek. I think we all, from time to time, take account of what we do and how we do it. Whether it be a vocation, a hobby, daily routine, chores, or whatever, I think we all in some way try to focus on the most important and do our best to prioritize.
OK, this is a church blog. What about church things? What do we focus on as a church? What do we as individual members of the church focus on? What is important to us? What should be important to us? How do we spend our time? What occupies our thinking, time, and energy?
If I read my Bible correctly, there is nothing more important than to love God and love others. Along with that, our divine call to work is to serve others and make disciples, or followers of Jesus. It seems to me that all else rather pales in comparison to these. The trick is to incorporate these into our everyday lives and work in such a way that we accomplish them well while going about the routine of our day.
It is so easy to become distracted by things that don’t matter much. These things seem to clamor for our attention, and are never satisfied even if we devote our whole existence to them. Of course, I am offering below an example or two of just what I’m talking about. (Otherwise, this blog would be just … ordinary.)
If my calling is to love God, love others, and serve & make disciples, (and those things can easily occupy my entire existence on earth), why would I want to spend my time and energy dealing with things that have no definitive answers? Why would I want to spend my time and energy on something that has been debated, argued over, cussed and discussed for decades (or centuries), and still there is no answer? Do I somehow think I am smart enough to arrive at THE ANSWER to a problem that has been around since the middle ages? Who do I think I am?
OK, I’m talking about things such as

Whether to sing modern songs in the worship service or just the classics.
Whether we should have a meet-and-greet as part of our worship services or not.
Should we have one communion cup, or are individual cups OK?
Should we have anything to do with that church down the street that has a different name on their sign than the one we have?
Should women have special servant (deacon) roles in the life of the church?
That church that has a praise team…are they really saved and going to heaven?
Can we stand during certain parts of the service, or should we remain seated through the entire service?
Is it OK to use a modern translation, or should we only use the “authorized” version?

OK, you get the idea. And, you may laugh a little at some of these. But you need to know that there are folks who obsess over these issues. They spend literally years of their lives trying to convince others of the correctness of their opinions regarding these. They go so far as to write books, attend lectures, and distance themselves from anyone with differing opinions on these matters. They even go so far as to not even converse with or have anything to do with those of differing opinion. And those people are right here among us.
I ask again. If my overriding job and responsibility is to love God, love others, and serve & disciple others, why would I want to expend any energy on such as I’ve written above?

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What’s On Your Wall?

What’s On Your Wall?

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I have several photos of people hanging on my office wall, along with other photos and papers. The wall of people photos is quickly becoming my “hero” wall. Let me tell you who the people are (with one exception) whose photos are on that wall.
Victor Udohabasi, missionary in Nigeria supported by RiverWalk. Many of you know Victor. He is working in a difficult situation in a nation torn apart by violence, political turmoil, and high inflation, and still manages to baptize many in the course of a year, besides mentoring several younger preachers.
Jessica Peters (now Mateo), firefighter. The photo I have of Jessica was taken several years ago as she was fighting a wildfire. Her face is blackened; she’s in full gear, she’s been working for days, and she’s smiling for the photo. Jessica is proof that most vocations have no such thing as a gender barrier, and that women can work right alongside their male counterparts.
Moses Ogar, missionary to Nigeria. As with Victor, Moses also operates in the same circumstances and conditions. And yet he too baptizes many in the course of a year. He has only average financial support, and relies heavily on God to provide. He makes the most of what comes his way, and is bearing much fruit.
The 8 Oaks girls. These girls, many of whom are now young women, have come through incredible hardship and have had to adjust to a life they had never before known. They’ve done well and have blazed a path for others to come, and we pray they are the first of many to find freedom.
Trinna Heasty. If you were in class some weeks ago, you heard Trinna’s incredible story. Her fall into sin, her life on the streets, and the redemption she found in Jesus Christ was riveting and compelling. It has forced us all to take another look at ourselves and our relationship to the One…the only One…who can truly create a new being out of the old.
Sam. Sam is about one year old and was born to a local couple we know. He has a cleft palate and heart condition. He’s already had numerous surgeries and can plan on even more as the months go by. Sam is a bright, cheerful, and gregarious baby who has the hope of a normal life ahead because of the grace of a merciful God who has provided the means to repair what is lacking. Sam also reminds me of his parents, who have been through the fire, and in many ways still are, yet are trusting God for daily strength and provision.
Boschee and Dizzy. These are dogs…animals. They were especially trained therapy dogs who worked at the Logan County Manor in Oakley, Kansas. God has provided for mankind in many varied and wondrous ways. The members of the animal kingdom are just some of those ways. Many humans owe their lives, their livelihoods, and their well-being to animals. God is indeed great and good.
In addition to these, I have a painting done by a young woman in our congregation who has become a friend, a photo of the Earth taken from space, a photo of Pluto taken in the last few years by an exploratory spacecraft, a couple of miscellaneous papers, and a cartoon photo of Eeyore of Winnie The Pooh fame. Other walls in my office have photos taken by the Hubble space telescope. Each has a story. What’s on your wall? (Stop in anytime and take a look.)

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May God Have Mercy

May God Have Mercy

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I went to the store this afternoon to pick up a couple of grocery items after I had gone to a Quik Trip to put some gas into a pickup for a man who uses it for work, but didn’t have the money right now for fuel. He’s been in before for help at times. So I know this man and know something of his background.
Before we went to the Quik Trip, he spent some considerable time in my office telling me of his last few months and of all of the issues he’s faced during that time. A traffic ticket, family troubles, an old debt not paid, and other issues have dogged this man the last several months. And if the truth was known, these kinds of things probably have dogged him for much of his life.
After I got him the fuel, I went the short distance to the Braums and picked up some bread and a couple other items. As I left that Braums, I thought about how much privilege I have. I picked up those items in the store and had the cash to pay for them. Had I not had the cash, I had two debit cards, each with much more money on them than I needed for this purchase. And if all else failed, I had a couple of credit cards on me that have a lot of credit available.
I could have gone to the mall and gotten as many packages of underwear I wanted, plus a couple of packages for the benevolence ministry. I could have purchased a drawer full of socks, jeans for every day of the month, shirts, shoes, whatever. If I need toothpaste, toilet paper, or shampoo, it’s no problem.
Our home is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The water works fine. The gas is turned on. I have a tank full of fuel in my pickup, which is well-cared for. Unlike this gentleman’s driver-side window, mine rolls up and down. His is down all the time. My wife has no worries about her car not starting or working. And if for some reason it won’t start, we can call the towing service if nothing else and have it towed to the mechanic. We can pay for having it repaired, or we can purchase another one on good terms.
I have pills in my pocket that I take for various issues. They lower my cholesterol, keep my arteries open, and by blood pressure down. I can get them easily because we have insurance and a flex benefit plan that has money in it. If I need to see a doctor or dentist, I just call and make an appointment. I don’t worry about paying for it.
This gentleman I helped could not do any of what I have described for myself. He is struggling to live from one day to the next. He’s paddling like mad to keep himself out of the poverty whirlpool, with mixed success. He’s rough-looking, has had a rough life, and it shows.
What is it that makes the difference? Why him and not me? Why does he not have debit cards with money on them, cash in his pocket, and the ability to buy whatever he wants? Why do I? Is it fate? Luck? Privilege? God? Family? History? Environment? Something else? I honestly do not know.
What I do know is that with the privilege comes a responsibility. A responsibility to be generous, caring, compassionate, and loving. A responsibility to encourage. A responsibility to talk about things spiritual as well as physical. A responsibility to emulate Jesus as much as I possibly can.
That’s a tall, actually a too-tall order (apologies to Ed “Too Tall” Jones of the Dallas Cowboys some years ago). But just because it’s an unattainable order doesn’t mean I quit trying, and don’t try to improve. It means that I “press on” as Paul says…that I do, not so I can earn God’s favor, but because I am loved by God and already have been a recipient of a huge amount of grace.
But that still doesn’t answer the question of “Why him and not me?” Maybe some questions are best left unanswered, at least in this life, but that doesn’t diminish the wonder and the sense of awe, along with gross unworthiness at the way things have turned out so far. Yes, I know that tomorrow, the world may cave in on me. I know that things can turn around in a split second. The poverty whirlpool is never far away for most of us. But while I’m here…while I have the benefits of these privileges, I must do with them as God would have me. And I know that doesn’t always happen.
May God have mercy on me a sinner!

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Let Me Tell You A Story

Let Me Tell You A Story

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

Let me tell you a story.
Carissa came in to our church office a few days ago after having called the office a little earlier. In that phone call, she said that she needed rent money in order to avoid having to move. I listened to her story, even though we don’t give rent support anymore due to the enormous need and our inability to even come close to filling it. We instead work with utility bills, fuel for cars, food, and clothing.
I told her on the phone that we couldn’t help with rent. But because there was something compelling about her story and the way she told it, I asked her if she had transportation and could come in…that I’d like to see her and visit further. She said she could be there in a few minutes. Some short time later, Carissa appeared at the door of the office with a 7 year old daughter in tow. I invited her to my office where we talked more about her situation.
Carissa has been married to her husband for some years. They used to live in a town about an hour and a half from Wichita. In 2012, her husband was shot five times, (wrong place, wrong time), during an altercation in the neighborhood where they lived, and is now a paraplegic. The story was in the news back then.
Carissa obtained her CNA certificate some months ago and is working at a long term care facility in the area. A month or so ago, a home accident she was in broke her arm. Since a CNA has to lift, move, and otherwise deal with residents in a physical way, she couldn’t work. She also hadn’t worked enough to build up vacation or sick pay time.
As soon as she could qualify, the facility put her on light duty, so she’s working again. However, she was off for several weeks without pay and is the sole support of her family. Her husband is on SSI disability, but when Carissa started working, his disability support was drastically cut. They appealed that cut, but were only told that if they would divorce or legally separate, then his disability would go back to the original level. That was something they were not going to do.
Carissa has worked to obtain educational resources to advance her career to Registered Nurse, but has been stymied by the FASFA (Federal Application for Student Financial Aid). She didn’t understand how to complete some of the questions, and the staff at the university where she applied were of no help to her. She is cognizant of the future, has a plan, is articulate regarding that plan, and wants to go down life’s road toward self-sufficiency for her family and herself. Their utilities are paid up, they have food, and seem to be well cared-for, except for the rent situation.
I asked for the contact information of her landlord, and paid him a personal visit after speaking to him on the phone. He does not want them to move. They are good renters. He had built a ramp for the husband and re-did some of the interior so he could get around. The house is small, but liveable and relatively nice for the rent paid. The Landlord told me that if he evicted them, they would have no place to go. I was impressed with his take on their situation and his willingness to work with them.
I told Carissa that I didn’t know what I would do, but would contact her the next day one way or the other. She was good with that. Later that day, I told a church member about Carissa and asked if they could help with all or part of the rent for them. Later that evening they emailed back to me and said they would cover all of the rent for her until September 1.
I called Carissa the next day and told her. She was at work. She cried over the phone and said she would be in after work to pick up the check. She did come in, and the situation is now taken care of.
She said she knew they were at the edge of what I call the poverty whirlpool, and were quickly falling into it. I toldher that she has a chance now to stay out of it and continue to support her family. I told her that her landlord was cheering for her, as were we and the one who contributed their rent. We talked about her spiritual life. She said she was the daughter of a minister, and hasn’t been faithful to God. We extended an invitation to her to come and meet with the family at RiverWalk.
I also introduced her to Jim, one of our ministers, who does a great job with career services. She has made an appointment with him, and will follow up on her future educational and vocational plans with him, pro bono.
I tell you this story to give you an idea of what goes on during the week at the office. This is just one story out of many in a month’s time. All are a little different. Most have the same general theme of someone or some family either teetering on the edge of the poverty whirlpool, or they have already been sucked in and are either part way or most of the way to the bottom of it. Obviously, it’s easier to help those who have not yet been sucked in, but we at least listen to and try to help others as we can and are able.
I also tell you this story to let you know of the generosity of the members of this congregation. Not only this member in this situation, but several times we’ve reached out to members for private donations for specific causes…and they’ve always come through. Many of our members are generous, almost to a fault.
Thanks for listening. Continue to pray for those who come to the doors of the building during the week. Continue to thank God for those who contribute generously to the work of the church in this place. And continue to pray for souls to be rescued as we work with the needs of those who turn to us for help.

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Stop! Just Stop!

Stop! Please Just Stop!

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I have often wondered where the idea that God has been thrown out of our public school system came from. Because, you see, that’s not true at all. God has always been in the public schools, and will always continue to be in the public schools.
“But we can’t have a classroom prayer anymore,” you say. True enough. But does that mean that God isn’t there? Heavens, I hope not!
I ran across a blog post by Scott McCown today that implores Christians to just stop saying that God is no longer in the schools. He also outlines several specific things that can legally be done in the public school having to do with the free exercise of religion. Listen to him. Hear him.

Stop the Religious Freedom Lies by Scott McCown

Every year, no month, maybe even weekly I read or hear some well-meaning Christian say or I see them post about:
• How God is taken out of our schools.
• That the Bible is a forbidden book in school.
• That pray is banned from school.
Please, please listen. Stop! Stop spreading Satan’s lies. God is too powerful to be kicked out of anywhere He desires to be and especially where His children are. Stop blaming the schools for the failure of parents to teach their children about God. Stop. Please, stop.
Amy (my wife) and many other Christians I know are public school teachers and your misinformed posts about the evil of public schools make them out to be pawns of Satan. Your posts are judgmental, harsh, and sometimes wrong.
Parents, grandparents, preachers, aunts, and uncles here are some things the children you care about can do in public school.

1. Have religious discussions with their friends as long as all participating are being kind.
2. Wear religious themed clothing, as long as it is not hateful in tone.
3. Pray when they get to school, before they eat, and BEFORE A TEST!
4. Start or join a before school or after school religious club.
5. Read the Bible during free reading time.
6. Write religious themes in papers when appropriate (Science papers and American Literature papers lend to religious discussions).
7. Hand out religious literature before and after school as long as it is not hateful in tone.
8. Post religious posters in appropriate places. Be sure to follow school policy on permissible locations.
9. Produce religious artwork in class. Schools can display this artwork alongside other student art.
10. Express religious opinion in class at appropriate times.

God will be in public school as long as there are Christians in that school.

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Discussion of the Day

Discussion of the Day

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

Every so often, a particular topic of conversation seems to make its way around the church office. We think about it and discuss it among ourselves. Often, those discussions lead to other discussions, bulletin articles, and even sermons and classes. These discussions could easily be called discussions of the day.
One topic that tends to crop up on a regular basis is generosity. What is it? How is it manifested? How do we know if we are being generous? What does it mean to be generous? You get the idea.
Sometimes, the topic of generosity is raised as we are talking about church finances, the budget, cash flow, and those “earthly” things that are necessary even in a spiritual place like RiverWalk. Yes, we do discuss those things. Yes, we are very cognizant of the trust you have given us to be good stewards of your gifts of gratitude. Yes, we try to squeeze every last cent out of every last dollar in some way that benefits the Kingdom of God.
But sometimes, the dollars seem to be fewer than the needs. Contrary to what some (especially the non-churched) might think, we don’t have pots of cash laying around gathering mold. We aren’t squirreling money away in bank accounts that no one knows about. And we certainly aren’t becoming wealthy as a congregational entity or as ministers.
So there are times we talk about generosity. We struggle to find ways to teach the principles of generosity. We Elders and Staff really do try to be good examples of a generous nature and spirit. We wish there was some way we could open up heads and pour in a generous nature that would take root and grow in the life of each one who calls RiverWalk home.
However, we’ll have o make do, so to speak, with the words of long ago. Because if these words won’t move one to be generous, nothing will.

Ten Biblical Truths Regarding Generosity

1. Generous people often give more than they are asked to give. Exodus 36:1-7

2. Generous people give in response to a great cause. II Corinthians 8 and 9.

3. Generous people give out of their substance, whether large or small. Luke 21:1-4

4. Generous people give more than just their money. Luke 10:25-37

5. Generous people give even when it doesn’t make sense. Genesis 45

6. Generous people give to help others, even when they differ from one-another. Luke 7:1-10

7. Generous people give to see the impossible become possible. Matthew 14:14-21

8. Generous people give as a byproduct of their own personal transformation. Luke 19

9. Generous people gie out of their own poverty. Luke 21:1-4

10. Generous people give when others will not. Philippians 4:15-16

Now for the hard question. Are you generous? Do you see yourself in these Biblical truths? Can you tell someone what it means to God to be generous? Only you can answer those questions. Only you can decide if you really see yourself as God sees you.

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To the Uttermost

To The Uttermost

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

When was the last time you tried to fix something, and your repair didn’t work out like you had planned? Maybe you tried a new recipe, and decided after tasting it that you probably won’t make that recipe again. Or you got the latest “new” over-the-counter medicine for sinus and allergies and found that it didn’t work any better than what you’ve been taking all along. The outfit that looked so good on the mannequin in the store or on line just didn’t fit the way you thought it would.
You get the idea. Many times, it seems, we have an idealized notion of how things might be, when the reality is anything but, and leaves us disappointed.
So where am I going with this? Look at what Hebrews 7:25 says about Jesus and our salvation. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”
Did you catch that phrase? Did you see that phrase “to the uttermost” in there? The salvation that Jesus offers is not less than it seems to be. It is the whole thing. It will not disappoint.
That verse actually says three things we need to take to heart.
1. Christ is able to save sinners.
2. Christ is able to save “to the uttermost.”
3. Christ’s salvation is open to all who “draw near to God through Him.”
Jesus is fully able and capable of dealing with sin. There is no sin to bad; no sinner so far gone, that Jesus cannot save him or her. The salvation that Jesus offers is full, complete, and “to the uttermost.” ALL sins are forgiven. And ALL sins continue to be forgiven the penitent child of God (I john 1:7).
The work of salvation is perfect. It is complete. And it is a work of Jesus Christ, and not of ourselves. It indeed is the gift of God.

Thoughts taken from an article in the “Poplar Pathway,” a publication of the Poplar Avenue Church of Christ in Wichita.

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Which Are You?

Which Are You?

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

Excerpt from “They Smell Like Sheep” by Lynn Anderson: “…deep and lasting relationships of authentic spiritual leadership do not work among worldly people. They are only possible among people who know God. Worldly leadership is about power and control and is driven by self-interest. But Jesus says, “Do not be like them. If you want to keep our life, give it away. Deny yourselves. Be servants. The way up is down.”
Anderson is talking about the relationship of church elders to their “flocks,” the congregation. He’s saying that elders need to be less about control and business-like conduct and more like shepherds, leaders, guides, and mentors. And he says that this kind of leadership will only work with flocks (people) who know God…are Christ-followers…Christians.
So, I have a question. If this is true, and I have no doubt that it is, can we extrapolate, with very little effort, the following. If Elders do their work in the congregation by means of power and control, rather than mentoring and guiding, and if that method seems to be working in the congregation, might we postulate that the congregation in general does not know God the way they should know God? Another way to frame the question might be, “If Elders must use power and control to do their jobs in the congregation, does that betray a lack of spirituality and commitment to God among the members of the congregation?”
I think you must conclude that the answer is truly, “Yes.” Congregations whose members know God, follow Christ’s example, and dwell in God’s will willingly will submit to the gentle leadership and mentorship approaches of their Elders. Those who are worldly will only respond to worldly methods of leadership and control.
OK, the inevitable. Which camp are you in? Will you willingly submit to the leadership and shepherding of men who lay their lives and hearts out for all to see and know? Will you follow them as you would if you were a sheep with a shepherd? Will you trust them, place your well-being into their capable hands, and submit? Or will you only “come to bear” if poked, prodded, and threatened? Will you submit only under some kind of penalty or punishment? Must the elders govern with an iron hand, or will you allow them to shepherd and guide?
I can’t answer that for you. I can only ask the question. You will have to stand before God today and supply the answer, And if you find you have a hard, unrepentant, unleadable heart, you need to ask God for the heart of a sheep…a heart of submission and willingness to follow. If you claim to be a child of God, you have no choice, because none is given except this.

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One. At. A. Time.

One. At. A. Time.

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I recently read some thoughts from a good friend of mine, Kristen Bennett Marble. In her thoughts, Kristen pointed out the passage in Isaiah 2:4, where Isaiah prophecies, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”
Kristen goes on to say that we often look at these words as some kind of futuristic idealism that is for us in this day, unrealistic. She postulates that these words, far from being “pie-in-the-sky,” are, as she says, ”…in fact a depiction of God’s Kingdom fully realized on earth.”
She then takes what I believe is a good look at the reality of Christian thought today. Listen as she goes on. “But as beautiful and needed as this vision of peace and hope is, I’m afraid we don’t read it correctly. The someday-in-the-future realization of this vision tends to make us wistful and passive, rather than committed and active. Our role as Christ-followers isn’t to simply sit around and wait for God to move and act. Rather, we are to be about joining him in his work and actively pursuing and bringing about his Kingdom. “
I think she’s right. God has not called us to be on the sidelines complaining about the state of the world (or our corner of it), and how bad everything is. He hasn’t called us to hunker down and live in our bomb shelters away from the blast of life and living. He hasn’t called us to hoard our resources and be stingy with our talents and abilities.
God has called us to service. He has called us to partner with Him to redeem the creation. He has asked us to be active, useful, and diligent to use the abilities and resources He has given us to make our corner of the world more like He would have it.
Will we make it perfect? No. As imperfect beings, we have no way to create perfection. In an imperfect creation, there is no such thing as perfection. But that doesn’t mean that we go to the corner and sit on our hands waiting until God finally decides He’s had enough and calls a halt to the whole thing. No. It means we continue. We go on. We run the race. We see the goal at the end.
Paul the great apostle, in Philippians 3, says that he strains himself ahead, pressing on toward the goal. Will he get there in this life? No, and he knows that. But he continues to move ahead. He continues the work. He continues to partner with God to redeem the creatione as God has given him the ability.
Sitting on the sidelines is for losers. Hunkering down in the bunker is for sissies. Hoarding resources is for the greedy. Christians ought not be any of these, or have any part in them. For us, there is but one thing…to press on toward the goal, straining to reach that high calling. And we do that by serving…one meal given…one transport ride donated…one Bible study conducted…one child mentored…one church visitor greeted…one class taught…one young person counseled… One. At. A. Time.

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