Monday, January 21, 2013
What Do We Do With Jesus?
That name...it has power to bring peace or cause man to stumble, depending on who you are and what you believe. At the sound of the name, grown men may cry like babies or curse the sky with a clinched fist. The Bible tells us that even the demons know the name and shudder. Yes, Jesus has been the rising and falling of nations and the lover of many souls.
So what's so special about Him? Why is the name of Jesus so controversial, and what are we to do with Him?
In the days He walked this earth, it was on every mind and heart of every religious leader and authoritarian. He wasn't a common criminal (though treated as one), but was someone to be reckoned with - that constant reminder of one's state-of-the-heart and eternal standing with their Creator. He held authority and love; brought hope, but accountability for sin.
He's been the cause of ridicule, persecution and even death amongst His followers - many giving up all just to worship His name. Yet His promises never fail. He draws near to those who love Him and gives strength to the weary. He binds up the wounds of the broken and gives courage to the fainthearted. He's a friend to the lonely, and strength to the weak. He's a Father to the fatherless, a husband to the widow and a rock to the wayward believer. Yet the sound of His name strikes a nerve with the hearers.
Today in our nation, our President will accept the oath of office for a second term. He will lay his hand on a Bible and repeat a series of promises that he may or may not keep. A pastor will get up and say a prayer...not one of depth, humbleness, and truth, but one of compromise and political correctness, throwing down the gauntlet of the age-old question, "What do we do with Jesus?" It seems that even our government has turned a deaf ear. Just as with peoples of old, He is not welcome here anymore, but what do we do with Him?
In our schools where God's commandments and The Golden Rule were once held in high esteem, His truths are now replaced with gun violence, disrespect, bullying, and majority rule.
Hollywood has asked the question out of one side of their mouth while blatantly forging ahead with programs of greed, abuse, murder, ungodly sexual relations, etc. They've tried to hide Him in a corner, in a closet, put Him in a box, or completely ignore Him altogether, then parade their shame for all to see in celebratory prominence; loyal watchers soaking in every episode and never blinking an eye.
What do we do with Jesus?
Countless families have forsaken what is right for what seems right, and children throughout the generations have paid the price.
Even so, there's a personal dilemma: What will I do with Jesus? I'll have to admit that it is much easier to accept the status quo and be a boat sitter rather than a boat rocker. To acknowledge the name brings a heavy price.
In many nations, the very fact that you follow Christ may cost you your life. Why is that? Why does tolerance only run one way?
In this nation, to really follow Jesus, you must be real...authentic. Changes have to be made to your lifestyle, your heart, your language, your choice of associates, perhaps your dress and even your hobbies. Yet too often, the average "Christian" is in name only, leaving little change to be seen by the world.
"Too hard," you may say, but which is more difficult: following Jesus, or dying for mankind on a cross, then raising to life on the third day?
Jesus said, "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33
A tall order...or is it? What if every "Christian" on this planet stood up for Jesus, instead of backing into a corner and hiding their faith? What if we counted the cost and embraced the challenge?
What if husbands and wives put God first in their lives? Do you think marriages could be saved? What if common, every day folks stood up and said "Enough!" to the movie industry, refusing to watch immoral filth? Would Hollywood change their tune?
What would happen if our government based every decision on the Word of God? Do you think things might look a little different in our nation today?
So what are you going to do with Jesus? There's a choice to be made, and the ball is in your court. What's it going to be?
The question has been raised and now Christ is waiting for our answer. Years ago I had to ask myself the same question. I had to carefully ponder the consequences and the cost. Changes had to be made...BIG changes. Yet, I found that the benefits far outweigh the temporary trials. My eternity rests secure in His mighty hands.
With that said, I am blessed to say, "As for me and my house...we will serve the Lord." So what will you do with Jesus?