To repair the breach between Christians and the 20/30 generation, as individual believers we need to ask God to show us what is real about ourselves. Be willing to admit the credibility gap between who you really are and what people might think you are. As I pointed out in my previous posting, many criticisms against Christians are justified but they may leave you feeling already disqualified from representing the faith. Don’t let that rule your life.
Some of us are tied to our past. The enemy mines the deep parts of our memories to bring up those long-ago sins. Though we’re forgiven, the failure drifts back like a dense cloud of smoke whenever we move out to do something significant for the Lord. Divorce, conflict with spouse or kids; cheating systematically on your income tax—any number of “imperfections.” But as we have sought the Lord’s forgiveness, he covers us with his power and protection.
And go back to the ground of your being, God’s Word. Following are some passages to give perspective.
I Peter 1:3-4 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Joshua 1:8-9 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In our culture, the barrenness of a busy life can trip us up. An overly busy life squeezes God out of your schedule, like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. Here I am right now in Denver Airport, trying to get this posting done before I give up my computer for a few days. Though I’d like to get it done before my son arrives to take it–or the computer battery quits–it’s not an essential. But I wanted to leave you with some encouragement before we continue this dialogue in a week …
So—Paul wrote to the church at Corinth thusly, laying it on the line:
I Corinthians 6:9-11, 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Verse 11 describes the past … but also our lives in Christ as we’ve allowed the truth of Jesus Christ to penetrate our lives. In all of our witnessing—speak truth with love.