Saturday, December 29, 2012

What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

The gospel is offensive because it points out sin. How, Lord, will we know that we need you if our need is not exposed? So, when I stand for You, I will not be surprised when they hate me. When they are offended by the testimony of light shining on the darkest parts of their hearts. I will keep in mind that the world hated you first. If I belonged to the world it would love me as its own. But I do not belong to the world. You have chosen me out of the world. Jesus, I am Yours. I will never stop freaking out about what You have done for me. I did not get pulled out of the darkness into Your marvelous light to be quiet about it. So let them persecute me. Let them falsely say all kinds of evil against me. Let them throw me out on account of Your Name. I will rejoice and be glad. For when I am insulted in Your Name, I am blessed to be counted worthy of participating in your sufferings. You who were stricken, despised and rejected by men. Hated without reason. A man of sorrows, well-acquainted with sufferings. When I bear Your Name, so too will be my portion. And for it, I will praise God that His Spirit of glory rests on Me, that His testimony is on my lips and in my heart.

I am tempted towards holding unforgiveness in my heart.  I must take battle with the roots of bitterness that desire to entangle me in thoughts of satisfaction that they get what they deserve - what they've wanted all along - a life without You.  An eternity of that is their future unless You intervene.  But You, Oh Lord, are patient. You are not slow in keeping your promise, rather you give second chances. You want none to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. You cause the sun to rise on the evil and the good. You send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Give me a heart like Yours. Give me righteous anger. And give me compassion for the lost and perishing, for once was I. Flood my heart with Your goodness so that grace and mercy overflow and extend to even my enemies. For they know not what they do.

God, because you are my refuge, I can dare to be bold. It is the godless who are on shaky ground. I will proclaim Your Name, with the full knowledge that doing so will bring division. I will not suppose that You have come to bring peace that glosses over the truth for the sake of superficial harmony. The line will be drawn between those who choose to follow you and those who don’t. There is no neutrality, for he who is not with You is against you, and he who does not gather with You scatters. You have sent me out like a sheep among wolves. I will not be afraid of them. I will acknowledge You before men because I am not ashamed of the Gospel; for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. If anyone will not welcome me or listen to my words, I will shake the dust off my feet when I leave. For if I say, ‘I will not mention You or speak any more in Your Name,’ Your word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

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