The archives of The Sun Will Rise, organized by month.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I’ve blogged several times in the past on humility, but I wanted to write about it again today because I am convinced that it is one of the primary things the Lord is highlighting to me personally and to the body of Christ in this season.

So often we just look at humility as going as low as possible, gritting our teeth and pasting a smile on our face as we endure a difficult situation, person, or circumstance. Yes, embracing humility is difficult. There are moments where our pride begins to rise up and say “No! I deserve better! I have better skill! I can say it better! I can do it better! I have more experience! This is my calling!” Humility goes against the grain of every fiber of our fallen, sinful nature. But God is not out to hurt our pride, as the old proverb goes. He is out to kill it.

God ordains seasons of difficulty, discord, and dissension to train us in humility. But God’s definition of humility is so much more than just “going low”. Yes, that is part of it. But in God’s eyes, humility is embracing the lowest place and finding great joy and delight there. It’s finding joy unspeakable in the last place - in the place of demotion, being overlooked, being misunderstood, or being hurt by another.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On Sunday, the United States Congress passed a bill that allows federal funds to be used for abortions. President Obama will sign that bill into law today. Many look at this new reform as a severe blow to the long-time efforts of lobbyists, activists, and the pro-life movement in America. Some in the church of Jesus are also very discouraged, as many have been contending in prayer for righteous leaders, the ending of abortion, and the reversal of the “death decree” to babies in the womb for years.

While this is certainly disappointing news to me, it is not surprising nor does it come unexpectedly to me. In fact, it should never surprise us that the unredeemed behave wickedly and unrighteously. It’s so easy to look at the world’s unrighteousness, assume that it is the church’s mandate to “fix it” through prayer, intercession, and dominion, and then end up disillusioned, discouraged, and unhopeful when these things we contend so earnestly for do not come to pass as we pray.

But the Bible is so clear - Jesus the Messiah alone is the only one qualified, capable, and worthy to drive darkness off the face of the planet. No matter how many signs and wonders we see, how many laws change or don't change, how many cities experience revival or transformation, or how many new converts to Christianity we see in the coming years, I want to make it clear - things will never be okay here until He returns.

In times of discouragement (and even in times when things seem to be going “well”), it’s critical for us to set our minds on the “hope to which we have been called” (Ephesians 1:18), and to once again “rest our hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to [us] at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13), lest we become “weary and discouraged in [our] souls” (Hebrews 12:3). Our hope lies in the age to come, not in this age in any way.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

As Christians we all know about what Jesus called the "first commandment", found in Matthew 22:37-38:

“Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment.”
(Matthew 22:37-38 NKJV)

These 27 words of Jesus are perhaps the most weighty and most demanding yet the most inviting and invigorating words ever spoken. In them He gives us the only plausible outlook and only foreseeable future if we desire to live in the highest expression He has for our lives. He calls us to give Him everything.

But many believers tend to look at these words as only a commandment and neglect the invitation into the commandment. This call to love God with all of our being is more than Jesus saying “you’d better do this, or else…” With every one of God’s commandments always comes the invitation and enabling power to walk it out.

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