The gap is Widening in the West, and I’m finding myself more and more in the minority as the days go on. In case you’re wondering, I’m not referring to being a Christian, although you will find more and more opposition to the simple doctrines in that arena. I’m talking about those who seek to follow and love Christ through obedience and adherence to God’s Word.
Let me put it this way: Do you believe the whole Bible to be the inspired Word of God? If Jesus declared Himself to be God; if He truly died and rose from the dead as attested by eyewitnesses in history, and He affirmed Old Testament scriptures, and if His disciples/apostles went to their deaths proclaiming it, then I’m willing to abide by the whole thing! Although it hasn’t reached here just yet, I should count it an honor to die in Jesus’ Name as many of my brothers and sisters around the world have boldly done and continue to do.
Do you believe that the Bible is still relevant for our day and age? That “He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,” (Ephesians 1:9) That “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” ? (2 Peter 1:3) Finally, that “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified” and “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thess 4:3, 7-8)
I shared this perspective just last Sunday, that every human being is either operating out of a God-centered worldview or a self-centered worldview. We either love God according to His revelation of Himself to us, or we take the best of whatever we can come up with. This also includes church and bible-reading! I can either be searching the Bible or choosing a church that will hopefully verify what I already want to believe, or I can humbly allow the Bible or a biblically-centered church to speak Truth into my life. In other words, I can either be shaped by human culture and wisdom, (which could also be influenced by the demonic realm) or allow for my Creator to give me His Purpose and Will for my life.
The apostle Paul, the former persecutor-turned-Christian, didn’t mince any words, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel— not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things— and the things that are not— to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:17-29)
A long quote, I know, but I as a mere pastor cannot put it any better! To summarize, I need to allow for God’s wisdom to take priority over everything the world and this culture has come up with. This includes my views on life, marriage, possessions, work, time, etc. Granted, that’s easier said than done. But if coming to Christ is essentially repentance and surrender of self, believing in what He’s done, then I continue in that spirit of living for Him!
So, “Should I buy that new car?” “Should I jump into the Powerball Craze?” “Should I invest more into my retirement or meet the need down the street?” God’s Word speaks to every principle that is a part of life. I can either allow for God to define sin and life standards, in effect, teaching and directing me, or I can let the ever-changing world do it. The question comes down to, “Is God and His Glory first in my life?” As we approach Valentine’s Day, we should consider how we love God through our everyday life and interactions with others. It begins by understanding what He desires through His Word! By His Grace, may I live under His Perspective.