Scripture tells us we are God’s image bearers–that the world will catch a glimpse of who He is through us. So, what kind of God are we revealing? What kind of faith are we proclaiming? Do our words and actions reveal our trust in a God who never leaves, never forsakes, and can never be diminished or overcome?
There will always be fires to chase after–if we choose. There will always be wars, economic declines, unemployment hikes, uncertainty. Mounting feelings of lack of control. And it’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of chaos and fear.
It might even be easier to spend hours debating a Facebook thread than crossing the street to bring a single mom dinner. Or to have coffee with a lonely old woman. Or to babysit a sick woman’s children.
I think that’s exactly what Satan would have us do. How easy a diversion. And then, if that doesn’t work, or perhaps if he wants a bit more oomph, he’ll pit us against ourselves.
And yet, if we’d step away from our computers for a bit and spend some time with our Savior–the King of nations and victorious, risen Lord!–we’d recognize our true and timeless mission–that of knowing Him and making Him known.
How did Paul respond, in the middle of total chaos, while facing unthinkable persecution? He got busy. He sought out those very ones who persecuted him, to show them a better way. Because Paul knew Christ’s love was stronger.
His knowledge was experiential. Prior to encountering Christ, Paul, then called Saul, was a member of an ISIS-like group. A powerful member, one who spent his time seeking out followers of Christ in order to persecute them. Scripture tells us he witnessed the brutal stoning of the first Christian martyr and “agreed completely with the killing.”
How hard must one’s heart be, how strong must one’s hatred be, for them to stand there and watch, and not just watch, but approve, as a man’s bones are broken by stone after stone?
But then Saul met Christ, and this encounter brought about a radical change, and suddenly this man went from wanting others to die to laying down his life for those who, now, wanted him dead.
How much love does that take, to endure beatings, floggings, to risk death, for someone else? Not just someone else, but for the very ones that are beating you down?
A kind of love only Christ can give–and that kind of love is contagious. It can spread like wildfire, melting hearts of stone and turning lives that have flipped upside down right side up again.