October is supposedly "Pastor Appreciation Month" - another worldly distraction from the real purpose of the church that takes her eyes off of her first love and puts them on the pulpit where they do not belong. Do you want to show appreciation for your
16Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17But beware of men; for they will hand you over to their councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On My account, you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they hand you over, do not worry about how to respond or what to say. In that hour you will be given what to say. 20For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. 22You will be hated by everyone because of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Truly I tell you, you will not reach all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for a disciple to be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
Fear God Alone
26So do not be afraid of them. For there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.
28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
These are the words of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 10, verses 16-31. We are at a time in the story of humankind that these words take on very special and very powerful significance. We are beginning to understand that indeed there are wolves among the sheep and men who’s god is the Father of All Lies and they seek to destroy not only the image bearers of Yahweh in general but those who carry the Word of God in them specifically.
It is difficult to know where to turn, to whom to listen, and, quite frankly, when to fight and when to turn the other cheek. I believe that God intends it to be this way. Let me tell you why.
God knows us. God knows that, if given the chance, we will usually (always?) take the path of least resistance; thus He does not outwardly mark the children of darkness and the children of God, making it easy to discern good from evil.
– He marks us on the inside.
Children of the light carry within the fragile vessel of their fleshly body the Spirit of God – the very same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. They have also the Word of God – the never changing, infallible Word that teaches, leads, and rebukes. Lastly, the children of God have a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ the son. This relationship, made possible by the grace of God and grounded in His Word, manifests itself in humble prayer and supplication to God’s will as we walk every day bearing our own crosses in the Kingdom that He has established.
“May your Kingdom come; May Your will be done, one earth as it is in Heaven.”
Oh how often we pray those words not digesting their power. God’s will manifest’s itself in the transformed life of the believer and in the fruit of the Spirit that is on display to the world with every thing we do, every word we speak, and every breath we take. Being engaged in this relationship is not a matter of religiously following rules or delegating only a specific time to commune with the Almighty – it is a matter of intentionally committing to a loving, submitted relationship to the God of all creation – who also knows my name and loves me dearly.
Do not fear having faith. Do not fear God’s will. Do not fear standing in the very center of hatred and chaos preaching God’s Word and living out the fruit of the Spirit.
God is sovereign and although our ways are not His ways, He is working out the story of humankind according to His will, His pleasing and perfect will.
Keep your eyes up and on the cross.
Get out of your bunker, put on the full armor of God - Trust in His Will - and do what He says. We do not need to look for the battle; the battle has come to us. We do not need to seek the enemy; the enemy is ore than willing to confront the good, pure W
Pastor Brian is the senior pastor of Churchtown Church of God and regularly shares his thoughts & insight here - he invites you to join in the discussion of life & faith!