Christianity 201

February 10, 2017

The War on Terror is Fought with Love

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Some of you will recognize the name Floyd McClung in context with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) or more recently, All Nations. Floyd has not been well for over a year now. This article was posted to his blog in November of 2015, and was one of the last half dozen things he posted there before being unable to write.

Perfect Love Casts Out Terror!

That’s how Jonathan, a co-worker living in the Middle East described his response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut. “Perfect love casts out terror.” The outpouring of terror in Paris and Beirut make me angry – but it does not dictate my attitude to terrorists. Jesus defines my responses to terror, more than any government or act of terror ever will be able to do!

I know the difference between my response as an American citizen and my response as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom comes above America, as much as I love my country.

There is a place for governments to protects it’s citizens. God has created them for that purpose. But while government armies can protect us, they cannot win the real war, the war for people’s hearts. That is the war that counts for eternity. And it is not fought with human weapons.

God challenged me years ago with these words, “You see yourself more as an American than a Christian –I want that to change.” I made a covenant with God in that moment to build my life – and my identity – on the words of Jesus

Perhaps these words from Jesus in John 10:10 can help you as much as they did me to respond like Jesus to terrorists and others far from God – I know they helped me:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

What we’re seeing in ISIS and its associates is a movement of fear: of killing and destroying.

Jesus is the leader of another kind of movement, a movement of life and love. People who use terror and violence to advance their cause do so because they are losing the battle for people’s hearts and minds.

That’s right. They are losing the battle precisely because they fight with hate and violence.

Terrorists get the media’s attention, but they don’t win the battle for people’s hearts. There are far more people responding to the love of Jesus than will ever join up with ISIS and it’s movement of fear!

Millions of Muslims are turning to Jesus around the world and it is precisely for that reason: they are sick and tired of hate and violence. They are tired of man-made religion. Of rules and self-righteousness. They want something more. They hunger for what only Jesus can offer.

All Nations, through our ministry called Serve Syria, is part of a movement of love and life. We are sharing the love of Jesus with Muslims in many countries, especially with the Syrian refugees.

One such Syrian refugee named Ishmael was a former secret service agent in Syria – assigned to assassinate those who opposed the regime. He was sickened by what he was doing, but fearful to speak up. He decided to run for his life – literally. He escaped at night across the desert with his family to Jordan.

There Ishmael met “George” (not his real name – changed to protect his identity as he continues to minister in Jordan). George led him to faith in Christ and Ishmael in turn started 38 Bible studies with other refugees – including back in Syria itself.

The real war on terror isn’t fought with drones and AK47s! It is being combated with love by our dedicated workers who are right now serving on the Syrian border and in refugee camps in Europe.

Terror is just another word for fear. And perfect love casts out terror and fear!

 

September 3, 2015

Has Your Identity Been Stolen?

This is our fifth visit with Ben Nelson at the blog, Another Red Letter Day. Click the title below to read this at source.

who you are in ChristIdentity Theft

It’s a huge problem today. People have had their identity stolen and they don’t even know it until they go to check their assets and realize don’t have any access to their wealth.

I’m not talking about cyber-crime.

I’m talking about Christians who think they are lowly sinners, barely citizens of the kingdom of God. Christians who believe they are barely saved, and stand the risk of eternity in hell if Jesus happens to come back the day they skip church. After all, we should never do anything we would not want Jesus to find us doing when He returns.

It’s a crime, and Jesus is the victim.

What the thief made off with is that for which Jesus paid the ultimate price. God didn’t just pay a ransom of gold and silver to buy you back from the clutches of hell. He laid down the ultimate ransom. A life for a life. The life of the One and only Begotten Son of the Almighty, for you—for me.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. – Romans 5:10

We know from the Word that this transaction did not simply return us to His ownership—His slaves. He signed the papers with His own blood, and declared us—not His property—but His family.

Satan offered us up as slaves for sale, but Jesus paid for daughters and sons.

Sadly, though the price has been paid and the chains have been broken from our wrists and ankles, we approach our Father as though we are still enslaved by the hater of our souls.

It’s a crime, and the world is the victim.

Heaven’s plan, detailed by Jesus, included us walking through our generations as He walked through His, abiding in His Father, breaking the power of sin as we encounter it in the lives of others, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, raising the dead, setting the prisoners free.

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. – 1 John 2:6

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. – John 14:12

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. – Matthew 10:7-8

Because Christians don’t know who they are, or what they have in their possession, they live low impact lives. They (we) keep our heads down, not wanting to impose our “beliefs” on anyone else.

It’s a crime, and Christians are the victims.

We have been given so much and yet live with so little. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Him.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, – Ephesians 1:3

The Host of this party has asked us to sit in the best seat—a heavenly seat with a perfect view of all that surrounds us. And yet, every time we approach our Abba, we’re groveling, begging forgiveness. Our lives are marked with compromise, not because we don’t love God, but because we don’t know we can live above the poverty level.

and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, – Ephesians 2:6

Let’s take back our identities, and live like the supernatural soldiers we are.

 

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