february 4th - Cracks
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV)
It is frustrating when you see the cracks appearing in the foundation. My home was built on an almost flawless slab of smooth concrete--then came a sustained drought--which leached all the moisture out of the ground around and under the foundation and eventually led to the cracks that now mar the surface of the concrete. I did not know that a sustained pattern of weather could impact and undermine the foundation of my house. In this case, ignorance is not bliss.
I have always had an interest in history, world news, politics and sociology. Over the years I was slowly being cooked like a frog in the kettle, with political concerns and opinions. I would spend a couple of hours each night watching the political spin on various news channels--and walked away feeling angry, frustrated and concerned. Maybe I had missed my calling--maybe I was called to be involved in politics. (I even had some political doors open for me)
In my prayer closet the Holy Spirit asked me a question. "Have the political concerns of the nation now become your cause?" (Good question) The impression that I got was that the Lord did not want me to combine politics and preaching; I needed to make a choice: Fight for my ideals in the political arena, or preach the good news of the Gospel. I chose the good news.
I now see cracks in the foundation of the church in general. Whereas the church should be having an effect on the culture around it, instead, we are being "salted" and transformed by the culture. This effect is reflected in our children and grandchildren. The church, which should be
bound together as one through a bond of love and our Lord Jesus Christ is showing the strain of worldly concerns and the politics of our day. The cracks are beginning to appear, and the divisions are more pronounced.
Please know that the policies of a country are important and effect us all; However, I am convinced that it is the Gospel message that redeems people and saves nations. Further-more, I believe that it is Christ in the hearts of people that brings needed transformation, not political reform. Our best attempts at social engineering cannot compare to the effect of spiritual renewal. In my opinion, politics amount to a pot of beans in comparison to the riches and effectiveness of our spiritual inheritance.
Let me get to the bottom-line: "We," who strive to follow Christ, should not allow the politics of the day to divide us. We need to "Be of one mind, having compassion for one another; with love as brothers, tenderhearted and courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling."
Author's Note: We live in a politically divided country; we cannot afford to have a politically divided church. We have, too often, allowed politics to become our cause, to the point of creating division. The church should not be defined by the politics of the day--it must be defined by the Message of the Gospel and our love for one another. RJD