As I was preaching to myself last week, I wrote things down. This is what I wanted to send in my Tuesday email.
What would it take? Someone on Facebook recently asked a question – what it would take to get men to a Bible study. I was tagged in a comment to add my two cents. I could not write anything. I wanted to but honestly I could not write what was in my mind. What would bring men in? Free food, open bar, loose women, and probably drop the talk about Jesus but if you must talk about Him leave out all the sin and work parts. I have a question myself. What would it take to get Christian men to stand up together and march into neighborhoods for Jesus? And since you can’t find a man to go with you, please be passive and do nothing at all. When we really decide to care about someone’s soul, we will get up and serve God’s people. Then God will use us for mighty things – changing hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Until we decide to care, until I decide, I will watch those around me die and go to hell. A soul that aches for the lost in passivity is just as useless as a dead soul.
This is what I sent instead.
Jeremiah 29:7 – Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the LORD for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.
As I read this verse yesterday, I asked myself if the elect are exiles today. Peter uses that term in his first epistle to describe the elect. The exiles were told to work to bring about prosperity where they were and I’d say the elect are tasked with the same thing in our cities today. Yet it never seems like there is enough change based on the number of people claiming to be Christians. If you are anything like me you may feel that the task is too much for you but we are not powerless. We know Jesus was filled with power from on high. He is our prime example of one man working to bring about prosperity. If you are one of God’s elect then you have this same power living inside you. That is pretty amazing to me. Of course you may think the same thing as me – He was the Son of God and I am not.
It is difficult not to abandon the power God gives me. Maybe I do this so I do not have to accept responsibility for all the lost souls around me. I’m sure we could come up with countless reasons we do this, reasons I do this. The response I prefer in my own life is standing up and taking that one step that leads to many more. Is the first step always the most difficult? Not in my life – all the steps are difficult. The Adversary makes each one difficult. He wants me to surrender and accept defeat. But the power Jesus gives me, the power He gives us is greater than he who is in the world. Time to keep working for prosperity in the community. Let us pray to the LORD for our cities.