by: Katherine Jones
Dear Friends, the Jesus Way is free from deception and full of honesty. And as we learned from Pastor Del this week, being honest is a bigger deal than we might think - and lies might be more plentiful than we imagined. Apparently, even animals lie.
But it's not all innocent. Lying is the language of Satan, and it's a language that we start to learn, regrettably, even before we learn English. If we follow "our way" we'll likely find ourselves caught in a mix of stressful, silly, and serious lies. Deception adds up to real harm in our souls, and in our relationships. That's why we're glad for the HOPE that a new language can be learned - the language of loving truth that Jesus spoke.
What Del shared was just the beginning. And as we learn The Jesus Way, I suspect we will encounter more concepts like this one; when we realize how far "our way" actually is from "God's way" - and how much grace and power we will need to follow Him!
THE WORLD ON FIRE?
Inflating prices, decreasing supplies, shrinking liberties, growing fears, lingering illnesses, battling factions, angering developments, dividing communities, increasing taxes, looming wars, and troubling realities fill the headlines right now. Even apologists for the status-quo are admitting that things are off the rails - and not just in America. Why is all this happening, and what can we do?
1. The world has always been on fire, remember that. Peaceful prosperity is the exception in the history books - and while all of us are glad to have lived in an exceptional time, in an exceptional nation, it's not guaranteed to last. I for one am grateful for the incredible joy, peace, and prosperity I've already experienced in my life. Even if it was all over tomorrow, I'd still have to say, "Thank you, God, for a life of undeserved blessing!"
2. The world on fire is a quickly-dimming spark from heaven's viewpoint. There's a MUCH bigger reality out there - and whatever happens on our pale blue dot of a planet isn't the whole story, and it certainly isn't the end of the story. If anything, troubles in our lives should cause us to think about eternity more - and to invest more in things that will really last. Ecclesiastes what right 3,000 years ago, and it's still right today. If you need an emotional pick up, read it. (LOL, jk.)
3. We're going to need fresh vision. Whether we are talking about individuals, churches, nations, or even whole "world orders" - vision animates every system and every person. When the vision fades, so does the system, or the soul, of whatever or whoever it is. Remember what Proverbs says? "Without a vision, the people ______." It's very clear that America has lost forward vision (evidenced by a willingness to spend the future on the present, without any regard for consequences). And this trend has occurred around the world. That's one of the reasons darkness is surging, and freedom is in retreat. America isn't leading the world right now, at least, not in the sense of moral, spiritual, or visionary leadership. And who is? There's the problem. It need not stay this way, but to pull out of this nosedive, we're going to need a new vision (and we're going to need new visionaries!).
4. Telling the truth is the first step. Once again, The Jesus Way isn't just a better way, it's the only way. Until we can get honest about our problems, we'll never solve them. That's true for nations and governments, and it's also true for you. In fact, the honest truth is that whatever the world becomes next, and wherever the current craziness leads, is going to depend partially on you and me. If we want a new future, we have to start somewhere. And before we point fingers at anyone else, we can ask, "Lord, what's Your honest assessment of ME? And what would you like ME to do?"
I know it sounds too simple to be true, but here it is: The answer for YOU is the answer for AMERICA and for the WORLD. Are you ready for it?