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Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 1

Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World Part 1

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“The 21st Century has begun as an era of uncertainty, with a heightened focus on security and public safety.” Gavin Newsom, California Lt. Governor

Never more have these words been more true.  Almost everyday our news headlines are peppered with posts of rapid and significant change.  Foreign nations who were once our enemies are now our friends.  Historically friendly nations are taking paths of opposition.  Small militant groups are gaining power and influence through the harshest of tactics.  The world as we know it is altogether different, every day.

Our very understanding and framework of morality is shifting like sand with modern culture. Even in our own neighborhoods, flags are being changed.  Marriage laws and definitions are changed.  Even the general mood towards our police and military are rapidly changing.  Those who we once viewed as protectors are often times shown as aggressors. 

As we wrestle through these ever changing cultural dynamics, I continue to hear many people trying to answer one simple question: How then should I live in this new world?

"Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide"

Photo Copyright Doug Mills, The New York Times

News reports, blog posts, social media outbursts (all seemingly louder than before) broadcast the myriad of opinions, evaluations and criticisms.  Especially for people of faith, it seems, the outcry of the “new standard or morality” is more apparent than ever.

I, like many of you, have my opinions as a man of faith.  I believe in Jesus the Messiah, I also believe that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways in which we can and, dare I say, should conduct ourselves.  After all, as Christians we do still represent someone else.  

Let us not be too quick to forget that before we are of our family or of this great nation or of our local church, we are indeed of Jesus.  We first and foremost represent Him and His Kingdom.  How would He want our behavior and our responses to culture to be and to sound?  What would He want us to say to the jihadist or the racist or the rebel or the same sex couple?  What would He want to be said to us?

I, like so many others, believe these are both exciting and intimidating times.  The days are full of change and opportunity.  Now, maybe more than ever before, we have a chance of fulfilling our King’s final commission to take His Gospel to the whole world.  How we will carry that Gospel has become a significant question.  I can not say that I agree with many of the answers I’ve recently heard.  Likewise, You may not agree with me.

Over the next several blog posts I will share a few thoughts on these issues.  A few ideas that I find in Scripture and in the lives of those I respect.  I believe we have three primary calls of conduct in an ever-changing world: Diligence, Kindness and Generosity.

Your list may be longer or shorter than mine.  I don’t claim to have an exhaustive list here.  I do believe that most of what needs to be said as Christians in this world can be wrapped up in these three types of actions.  I do believe we can gain greater influence in this world by mastering these three character traits.  I also believe that we can actually reach the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus by living a life full of Diligence, Kindness and Generosity.  After all, the Gospel message itself is marked by these three ideals.

Maybe, together, we will find the answer to the question of appropriate Christian Conduct in an Ever-Changing World.

*Photo Copyright Doug Mills, The New York Times

6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
— 2 Corinthians‬ ‭9‬:‭6-9‬ NLT

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
— Romans 5:1, 2 NIV

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Napoleon Hill

(via goservechange)

Please do not feed the fears

Please do not feed the fears

The Dreamer Part 1

In recent American history few people have made such an impact or left such a mark as Martin Luther King Jr.  As a peaceful man he lead his supporters and subsequently a nation through a major change of heart and deed.  

Today, several decades later, the USA and many parts of the world are still affected positively by the incredible efforts of this man.  

Although the he has been gone from this world for many years, his message still remains.  Martin Luther King Jr. will forever be remembered in four simple words.  For words that clarified his direction.  Four words that created deep division, and then unity.  Four words that gave him great delight.  
“I have a dream …”
 
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and the world will never be the same. 
 
In the Bible, in the book of Genesis we can read about another man who had a dream and changed the world.  
Genesis 37:5a says, “Joseph had a dream…”
Joseph’s dream, as I believe Martin Luther’s dream also, was God-given.  This dream clearly stated a divine message with eternal consequences.  Joseph did not ask for or even deserve this dream.  It was simply a gift.  He was not the oldest of his siblings.   He was arguably not the strongest either.  He was shown favor because of grace.  Grace being undeserved favor. 
 
For you it’s the same.  Somewhere along the path of your life an undeserved and unrequested dream found its way into your sleep.  When you may have least expected it, God showed you a plan; a vision; a purpose; a dream.  You may have not fully understood its meaning or how it could even be possible.  You may have asked, “Why me?”  You may questioned its origin and validity.  Never the less, the dream is there in your heart.  It lives and grows like a healthy tree waiting for it time to bloom.  
 
Simply put: You have a dream; and your world will never be the same.