by Paul Sheldon: Author of “A Voice From The Pew”
September 26, 2016
Well it’s no secret, the cold weather is definitely approaching, and with it comes the promise of bitter cold, and a death like appearance to the natural world around us because of the void of life. For many this is a curse, a dreaded time, but it also is perfect example of what is happening to the hearts of many who call themselves throughout churches across America. Every day the news grows worse in it’s anger and intensity. From riots in Charlotte, to out of control gun violence in Chicago. In fact, Scripture warns us of such knowledge, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” ~Matthew 24:6-8
As a nation, we have many sins that have not been addressed within our own borders; from slavery, to reservations and internment camps. These wounds have continued to fester and seep with anger and hatred since the time they were perpetrated. As one who has sinned before, I know that grace is a gift and not a requirement. I didn’t/don’t deserve the grace that allows me to call Him my Heavenly Father, but His love trumps my reality. So much of our society is blaming the ills of their misfortune on the choices they have continued to make, instead of choosing to forgive, and allowing God to spread His grace. What has been done in the past is gone, and it cannot not be paid for, or done over. We only have THIS day to make our mark, to make an impact and to be different than whatever stereotype, or label would be placed upon us. Like the changing of the seasons, we are able to tell when winter is approaching because the temperatures slowly grow colder. And so it is with the love that we once had for one another as a nation. “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the INCREASE of wickedness, the LOVE of most will grow cold.” Matthew 24:10-12
Love and hate have been catch phrases that are thrown around and they’ve lost their true meanings. There are people who live in sinful lifestyles that equate love with acceptance of their choices, and to disagree with their choice equals hate. Love isn’t acceptance, love is SACRIFICE. Love requires the giver to forego their own well being in order to serve another. “Greater love has no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 You see the enemy to love isn’t hate, but INDIFFERENCE! We who call ourselves followers of Christ, MUST seek the Lord and be obedient to His instructions when we ask, “Lord how can I love today?” We have a sphere of influence, and people within that sphere who are needing to know the love of Christ. But if we refuse to ask the question, or fail to act upon how we’ve been instructed then the temperature of our love slowly diminishes and the truth of Scripture will be, “the love of most will GROW cold.” Brothers and sisters, let us not be lukewarm followers of Christ, let us instead be be hot, passionate lovers of Christ, and infectious wherever we might go. The World is filled with cold, heartless, and lost people, who are seeking the warmth and love of our Savior, so let’s kindle the fire of His Love and follow the example of Christ, but choosing to sacrifice, in order that some may live.