Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Time to Return to the Lord

Time to Return to the Lord I recently heard a statement that went something like this: America has traded in the blessings of God for unbridled pleasure and that our Nation needs to return to God. My thought is this: The church in our culture has traded in the blessing of God and our Nation is under reached, unchanged, and now considered to be unchristian. Until the Church comes back to Jesus we can't expect our Nation too. What say you??? I received a great question in response to my statement: So does that mean that the Bride of Christ is to blame..... That is a loaded question. I don't want to make a blanket statement. I know that there are many totally sold out believers. However, there are many in the Body that are stagnant, compromised, and divided in their affection for Jesus (Nice way of saying-spiritual adultery and idolatrous.). I am speaking of those of us who are professed Christians. Let me interrupt my train of thought and make a side note. Lest I sound self righteous and judgmental, I confess that I too, must accept responsibility for the tarnished, weakened, condition of the Church-Bride of Christ in our culture. I don't always live, act, speak, and serve in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Thanks be to God for His amazing grace, tender love and mercy, and His ALL sufficient power and strength that He gives me. I don't deserve it and yet He gives it to me freely every day. Now I will get back to my original thoughts. I think the Church in our culture (the Bride of Christ) are in state much like is found in the book of Hosea. Our culture has seduced, allured, and deceived us into thinking we can profess Christ and live our lives as if He doesn’t exist. Because of this condition our witness in our society has been weakened. As a result the Church in our culture is low on conversion and high on transfer. Churches are dying, doors are closing, and in many cases the communities they were in don’t even know they are gone. Unfortunately, the Church in our culture is giving ample reason for those outside of faith to play the hypocrite card. We can’t expect our Nation or those who are far from faith to act like Christians but we should expect those who profess Christ too. That is the premise of my thought and the results speak for themselves. I love Jesus, His Church, and the local Body of Christ. I believe God has called us all to so much more. I believe the bar has been set high and it is time for me and all of us to rise to the challenge of our calling. There are so many lost and hurting people right here in our community and they deserve to see the very best of Christ through us. It is far past time for us to make the change. My prayer is that we revisit the blood stained cross, experience grace anew, walk in the power of His resurrection, and demonstrate His love and compassion toward one another, our friends, neighbors, associates, community, and our world. Long answer to a very thought provoking question. I am not crazy about the word blame. I would say we need to accept responsibility for the condition of the Church and as Christians encourage each other to return to the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When the Church in our culture returns to Jesus then maybe we might be able to make a difference in our Nation. Thoughts??????