Jesus said two things that have often troubled me. The first is one of the Beatitutes: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled," and the second is referred to as the Great Commandment: "Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength..." These sayings trouble me because of the intensity they demand. We live in a society where so much balance is required. We are a little of this and a little of that. We are taught not to be intemperate about anything, including religion. Wouldn't such conduct as Jesus demands make us fanatical, unbalanced and perhaps--if taken too far--even mentally ill?
That is what Satan would have us believe. The prevailing wisdom, after all, is worldly wisdom. It proceeds from the flesh, not the Spirit. The Spirit continues to call us to total commitment, to a God who alone brings purpose and depth, meaning and joy to life. Total commitment is not a burden to be born but a fantastic opportunity to be embraced. Jesus tells us about a man who was walking across a field one day and stubbed his toe against the edge of a buried treasure chest full of fabulous wealth. As soon as he could calm himself he ran off and sold all that he had and bought that field. He has been hugging himself ever since that he had the sense enough to pay the price to purchase the land on which it was found. That, says Jesus, is what findng the Kingdom of God is all about.
May God wake up His church that is half asleep atop the treasure chest of the Kingdom. Please don't hesitate to kick me in the leg the next time I give the impression that the Christian life is anything less than an opportunity to tap into the unlimited funds of God.
Beginning the week of April 22, I will begin a series of blogs on various aspects of Christian love, since our church is involved in a six week program called "40 Days of Love." Stay tuned and give me some feedback on the subject and the topics presented here. Bring your questions, comments and criticisms and let's see if we can't make this stimulate your thinking and produce some behavioral results, because, after all, changing behavior is what the Gospel is all about.
Rick Santorum has quit his campaign. He was accused by many as being too socially conservative and, according to them, should have spent more time talking about the real issues, such as the economy, Obamacare, etc. So what really is a Social Conservative and why did he consider such a thing important to the nation? The word "Conservative" has many stripes and flavors. But a "Social Conservative" is one whose primary concern is values. The values by which people live and by which governments operate drive everything that happens personally and corporately. I am first and foremost a Christian Social Conservative. Our problems as a nation reflect the problems which afflict our citizenry. I have taught and preached for years that when one becomes a Christian his worldview is the first thing that needs to change. When a Christian worldview begins to change it produces a Christian lifestyle. What a person truly believes is true and important in life always shows up in his conduct. The problems of our nation cannot be fixed without altering the worldviews of its citizens. We must return to the FIRST principles before the direction our country is heading in can be altered. The God who put us on this planet requires obedience to His principles since He made us in His image and "wired us up" to work best when we honor Him in everything we do. That is why He said, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Conversly, He will not and cannot bless a nation who wants nothing to do with Him and considers him irrelevant. That, I think, is the belief of too many of our citizens and far too many of our politicians. I want God to again bless this nation. And that is why I am a Social Conservative first of all.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship