On this cold, and I do mean cold, Wednesday morning, many of us are stirring or have already begun our day. We know what we need to do to fulfill our duties on our job, for our families and friends, our commitments. It being cold outside is a condition that could be an excuse if we let it keep us from doing what we know we are supposed to do...the way that we are supposed to do it.
As Christians, the world can sometimes be as cold as it is outside right now. We face opposition to our faith and the journey gets hard sometimes. The temptation is always there to run and hide or to just not do when we face rejection from people who we believe would benefit from hearing the Good News, the Gospel, about Jesus Christ.
In this have it your way world, it would be so easy to just not do anything but what we want to do; but, if we simply go about doing what we want to do, then we are not truly being Christians. We should strive to consistently do what God wants us to do. I think I may have faintly heard someone say, "Amen."
When Jesus sent out His twelve apostles, even the traitorous Judas, seems like there is always a Judas somewhere in the mix, He gave them instructions in how to live out their faith.
Matthew 10:11-14 reveals, "Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town."
Beloved, the house you enter may be on the job, in your community, in your school, even in your church. Where you are is where God has placed you; but, it may not be where God wants you to ultimately stay.
For a season, however long or brief, God has you where you are because you have the Gospel inside of you and God wants you to sow the Gospel to help spread salvation.
If you are in a place with people who love you and care for you, stay and be faithful. Be at peace in that place with those people.
Do not look for perfection. Or, perhaps better said, look for no more perfection in others than you see perfection in yourself.
Instead, look for evidence that you have been received and will be received. Do you feel welcome? If so, be faithful in that place with those people. Do not be tempted to look to see if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. That green grass may not be where God wants you to be planted.
But, if you face opposition, true opposition, not simply to your ways (nobody is going to agree with you all the time) but to God's ways, then it may be time for you to go. Do know that God and His word should still be the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path. Do not make up your own mind and do not let someone else do it for you. Let us not forget that Satan can show up as an angel of light. Make sure your steps are ordered by the Lord.
As a Christian, you should stay the course until God reveals that this place and these people are not for you.
And, when God reveals, it is time to leave and not look back.
But, if God, and, again, I stress God and not you, does not reveal that this place and these people are truly problematic then you should be prayerful but not anxious to change the path, direction and place for your life. God may simply be taking you through a season of preparation for something greater than you ever imagined.
It requires you to be faithful. You need to desire to be full of hope, trust and belief in God more than you hope, trust, and believe in your thoughts and your emotions. Your thoughts and emotions can betray you because they come from inside of you, the limited you. God's ways and thoughts are higher than yours and He, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, also dwells inside of you to overwhelm the limited you by the omni, the unlimited God.
Have faith in God who is greater than you.
Faith in God is what will see you through your faithful Christian journey. There is no other way.
Tonight, at HOPE Wednesday, we will be studying Faithfulness. I know it is cold outside; BUT, it is warm inside of the sanctuary. For one hour, be faithful and come and be with us as we learn more about what we need and have, as a fruit of the Spirit, to help us be fruitful and impactful in our Christian journey.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!