Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Real Deal

The United States is not the first State to experience decay mixed with hope.

Our good friend, Pastor Richard Vicknair, recently wrote:

"I have never seen a time when our nation was more divided.  All of us are aware of the current political divide, racial divide and economic divide. On all sides we are witnessing the handiwork of an unseen enemy. 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual forces in the unseen realm.' I sense many of us are slowly losing hope, because the situation seems utterly hopeless.  

What can you and I do about any of this?  

The Lord gave me a strong word of encouragement recently.  His word had nothing to do with 'doing' anything. Rather, 'the most you can do to change the world is to be the real deal in your walk with Me.'

If I am the real deal as a follower of Christ, I will do my part, wherever my walk takes me in this world.  If others are the real deal in their walk with Christ, they will do their parts, wherever their walks take them, being living examples of the right thing to say and do.  

Let me encourage you to turn your gaze away from the current distress of the world and focus on being the real deal in your walk with the Lord."  

Richard's exhortation reminded me of Athenagoras' description of Christians to Marcus Aurelius, in decedent Rome: 

"With us...you will find unlettered people, tradesmen and old women, who though unable to express in words the advantages of our teaching, demonstrate by acts the value of their principles. For they do not rehearse speeches, but evidence good deeds. When struck they do not strike back; when robbed, they do not sue; to those who ask, they give, and they love their neighbors as themselves."

Those believers, in another difficult place, took Paul's words to heart, and in due time changed history: "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders..." (I Thessalonians 4:11-12).

This is our challenge today, just as it was for believers in Rome. It appears to me that rising to this challenge will be more critical in the immediate years to come than anyone in the United States could have imagined just one long decade ago.

Onward and upward.