Imagine the effect the death penalty must have had on society when hangings were done publicly. Crucifixion must have had the same effect on the Romans in the time of Christ.
A speaker at North Star Church in Kennesaw very effectively pointed this out when explaining how government influenced the thinking of the people who heard Jesus’ words:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
While today, we understand his words in light of ‘after the cross of Christ‘, imagine hearing these words prior to the cross. Or think of the effect it must have had when a Roman took up a cross and drug it through the city to the place of execution. That person and everyone on the streets knew what this meant. It meant the person’s life was about to end in a cruel death without mercy and without hope of reprieve. To Roman citizens the cross was a thing to avoid if any way possible.
I fear that in this country we all have lost sight of something very important. Michael Youssef reminds us in “The Kingdom Sat” of something I sometimes forget and some people seem to have never realized. God is identified, in the Bible, as Jehovah-Jirah, the Lord our Provider. It is God to whom we must look for provision. Certainly God expects those who have to provide for those who are unable, but ultimately we all must look to Him.
We are being foolish when we think we can look to ourselves, to a president, to a system of government or a philosophy to provide for our needs. It is easy for me as a conservative to see how liberals err by expecting government to provide all our needs with tax-payer dollars, but as a conservative perhaps I make a similar mistake by trusting in what I am able to provide.
Conservatism does seem healthier for us spiritually because it forces us to face our own lack of ability to provide and in so-doing many people will look to the Lord and live, but the source for life is from God.
When Christ tells us to ‘take up our cross’ He is telling us that we are handing over our very life never expecting to take it up again. The Romans and Jews who heard Jesus’ words knew very well what He meant.
When I was here last I wrote about how the government health care plan would cost the working people more and the non-working less.
Over the week-end I kept remembering that some people believe that is appropriate. Shouldn’t those who have money take care of those who have less or nothing? Christ teaches that we should take care of the ‘least of these’ and who are we to judge who is able to work and who isn’t?
These last two questions have caused much division in our country. Those who work are becoming resentful of being forced to care for so many who are on the welfare rolls and feel that this isn’t what Christ intended! One thing we can know. Christ intended for us to love one another.
Whether conservative or liberal we are all people who probably care about similar things. Our life experiences and those we have come in contact with have helped to shape our views. God loves the world and the Bible teaches us that he wants us to be civic minded and just, but above all he wants us to love.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” Deut.10:12
‘The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:34
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 1 John 4:12
The division in our country likely grieves the Lord. He doesn’t see us in the light of our political persuasions. He doesn’t see us by a racial or ethnic title. He sees us only as sheep needing a Shepherd, as sinners needing a Savior, or his children in need of their Father’s care. We should look at one another with love regardless of our political persuasions.
- In The Name Of The Lord (cbnindiablogs.wordpress.com)
- Our Ministry (snowwhitedove.wordpress.com)
- Organizing the Inside – Day 197 Choose to Give Christ Complete Access (lizmason.wordpress.com)
- His Love Is A Gift (gibsongirl247.wordpress.com)
- What the Bible Teaches About “Good Works” (verticalviewer.wordpress.com)
- The Cross and the Empty Tomb…….. (jeremylum88.wordpress.com)
- Kingdom of God 4 (ptl2010.com)
- 2 Corinthians chapters 8-10 (loopyloo305.com)
- …having nailed it to the cross (jlue.wordpress.com)