Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fear of Exposure

The Christian life is a walk not a sprint. It is a life-long walk; steady, long, sometimes lonely, sometimes discouraging, other times joyous and exuberant. Sometimes we trudge, other times we walk with purpose and vision.

In 1 John 1:6 it says: “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.”

If we profess to be Christians yet walk in darkness, we are living a lie. If our “Christian walk” consists of name and habit only, we are living a lie. Are we Christian in name only or do we “walk” (or trudge) in the light?

The reason we are reluctant to walk in the light is the fear of exposure. Light reveals truth; it exposes us for who we really are—sinners in need of a savior.

In John 3:20-21 it says: “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."  This “exposure fear” is our fear of other people really seeing us as we truly are; as Luther said, “We are all beggars at the foot of the cross.” We work hard to keep our puffed up image before the world; we live in fear of being found out by the world. If we live by the Light, the world will see that our good deeds are all the result of a transformed life. Walking in the Light transforms us. All this is a gift of God.

The Good News is this: God knows who we are. In His light we are fully exposed yet He is willing and able to forgive and forget our sins. Isaiah 43:25 says, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

We should have no fear of walking in the light fully exposed. God knows all our sins; He is able and willing to forgive and forget. As for other people seeing us walking fully exposed in the light, it renders us transparent and approachable by a hurting world. Keeping up our inflated image of ourselves distances us from others. Step fully into the light for the time is short. A hurting world needs the Savior and we are His “fully exposed” witnesses.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Addendum to my previous blog

Please click on the above link.  After reading my last blog, a friend shared this site from the Baptist Press.  It's great.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Chilean Miners and lepers thank God

Last night I watched the conclusion of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. It was a proud moment for Chile and the world. There was much to be proud of; the Chilean government assembled a rescue team that consisted of the best people and the best technology that Chile and the world had to offer.

Watching these men come up, seeing the reunion with their families and fellow workers brought tears to my eyes. As the program concluded, a succession of the actual moments when each of the 33 miners got out of the capsule was shown. As I saw it, only one dropped to his knees and thanked God. This rescue was a miracle from God and only one showed visual appreciation and thankfulness for God’s miracle of deliverance from the bowels of the earth after 69 days. (I do not know the hearts of the others.)

This miner’s actions reminded me of the ten lepers; men whose situations was also desperate and hopeless, and only one came back to thank Jesus for the healing miracle. One out of ten for the lepers and one out of thirty-three for the miners; I guess not much has changed over the last 2000 years…in all things be thankful.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Barbarians at the gate or chariots of fire in the hills; what do you see?

My brother has cancer once again. He is tired; his wife is tired; but he plans to fight.

When we Christians live this life with its trials and tribulations, I ask, what do we see? Do we see the barbarians at the gate (cancer) or do we see the chariots of fire in the hills?

Second Kings 6 relates the story of a war between the King of Aram and the King of Israel. The prophet Elisha, through the power of the Holy Spirit knew everything the King of Aram was going to do. Elisha passed on his God-given insight to the King of Israel who benefited much from the revelations of the Prophet Elisha. King Aram figures out what’s going on and sends his army to capture the prophet Elisha.

Elisha is in the city of Dothan with his assistant. The assistant awakes early in the morning to see the Barbarians at the gate. The city is surrounded and they are looking for his boss, the Prophet Elisha. Concerned, the assistant says, what should we do? Elisha says in 2 Kings 6:16-18 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.”

I ask you, what are you facing today? Who and what are the barbarians at your gate? Do not be afraid! Cancer, financial collapse, broken relationships…look to the hills, and by the power of God, see His angels, horses and chariots of fire. Remember, our battle is not with flesh and blood ("For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12)

Even though you feel weak, remember this, the weakest among us does not fight alone.
Do not focus on the barbarians at the gate. Look to the hills, look to heaven from whence your deliverance comes; your deliverance comes from the Lord.

Come quickly Lord Jesus, come. Oh Lord, open my eyes to see your horses and chariots of fire.