Thursday, March 28, 2013
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Jesus is alive, Friend!!!!
I heard an interesting discussion last night on a news program. The moderator was lamenting the demise of our culture. He cited the rise of secularism and the overt hostility of the media to things Christian. He opined about the assault on Christmas and the Easter Bunny. He pointed out that Islam was ascendant and seemingly unstoppable. He even prophesied that Christians here would soon be openly persecuted as the masses cheer. The death of the “Christian philosophy” is imminent because the Church will not stand up and fight back. We must aggressively defend our “traditions.” His guest, a prominent Baptist pastor, agreed with much of his assessment, but at the end of their discussion he interjected this comment: “I still believe that we can overcome all this through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.” What a relief – a pastor who still knows the core issue. Jesus is alive! The moderator responded, as do many Christians today, “Well, I just don’t know about that, Pastor, I just don’t know.” How sad!
Well, I do know: Jesus is alive and well! Christianity is neither our tradition nor our philosophy. It is who we are and whose we are. We are in intimate connection with a living Savior, and at the risk of being offensive, He has already triumphed over Islam and secular progressivism and atheism and whatever else. Their proponents conspired to kill Him, but the grave couldn’t hold Him. The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. We have victory over the spiritual wickedness in this world because the Greater One in me is greater than the defeated one in them. The question is not, “Can we save our culture?” It is “Will we fulfill our commission?” Our culture is transient and changes daily. Our unchanging truth is that Jesus is alive from the grave. He ascended bodily into heaven to wait for us to get the job done here. Our simple message gets lost in the argument over meaningless cultural artifacts. Jesus is alive, and I can prove it. He gives me power to do business in His Name as I confront the forces of spiritual darkness around me. The people who manifest that darkness are precious souls for whom Christ died, and they are the reason I am still here. Yes, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is sufficient to overcome anything the “culture” has to offer, one transformed life at a time.
Somebody Said: Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. Pope John Paul II
Scripture Reading It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! (Romans 8:11-14 MSG)
Easter is a great time to remind ourselves that we are not members of a religious club or a philosophical school of thought or a political party. We are the Body of the living Christ, indwelt by the same Spirit that raised Him from the dead. We are here on a mission from God and He has given us more than enough to get it done. Jesus is alive, gitty-up!