Frightened People

“The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” —Oswald Chambers

Many people want us to fear what they fear—GMO’s, contrails, immigrants, politicians, global warming, mass extinctions, fluoridated water, FEMA camps, rogue planets, the timing of Jesus’ return—the usual stuff.

Are you afraid?

The Bible assures God’s kids that they’re the most secure people in all time and eternity—even when the sky falls. When we invest in the knowledge of threats—real or imagined—life on earth becomes fleeting and dangerous. Fearing God or fearing all the rest? Both are just symptoms of where we’ve placed our security.

Blessings.

—j

Beyond the Reach of Darkness

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

There are some things ‘Mordor’ can’t touch—all darkness is fleeting. From everlasting to everlasting the star will shine in all its beauty. And us with Him.

His love endures forever.

Now that’s hope.

—j

Eating Fireworks

“THERE EXIST BEINGS WHO…spend more money, waste more time, take more trouble, than would be required for ten good actions, and that gratuitously, for their own pleasure, without receiving any other payment for their curiosity than curiosity…Why? For no reason. A pure passion for seeing, knowing and penetrating into things. A pure itch for talking. And often these secrets once known, these mysteries made public, these enigmas illuminated by the light of day bring on catastrophes, duels, failures, the ruin of families and broken lives, to the great joy of those who have “found out everything,” without any interest in the matter, and by pure instinct. A sad thing. Certain persons are malicious solely through a necessity for talking. Their conversation, the chat of the drawing-room, gossip of the anteroom, is like those chimneys which consume wood rapidly; they need a great amount of combustibles; and their combustibles are furnished by their neighbors.” —Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

The world feasts on fireworks served daily by those who love to watch the world burn—a blue-plate special of flaming bad news and gossip full of all kinds of artificial ingredients.

When will it end?

Jesus is coming.

What can I do?

Bring a heaping course of truth to the table—it’s full of all the Good stuff—hope, life, salvation, Jesus. Show it, tell it, live believably.

Though many have lost their taste for truth, it’s still the main course—and we’re still the waiters.

—j

A Thing about The End of the World

Jesus is coming back—His followers know it and most are thrilled at the immanent possibility. My friend Don Stewart, however, reminds us to be careful about one important detail…

“Do not make the mistake of replacing the Gospel with talk of the end times events—our main message isn’t the second coming of Christ, but the first.”

Preach it.

—j

The Coming Invasion

It’s not the end of the world—yet. But with all that’s gone wrong on earth, how is it we’re still here? C.S. Lewis wondered that too…

“Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it because He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force—we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right—but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else-something it never entered your head to conceive-comes crashing in—something so beautiful to some of us—and so terrible to others—that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise—something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing—it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”

The side we choose is everything, forever. Choose wisely. Choose today.

Blessings,
—j

Counter-Culture at Its Best

It used to be that Hippies and Beatniks (remember them?) were America’s counter-culture…

“As Christians [in America], our challenge is to go back as close as we can to the Gospel and truly be the church. Increasingly, we’re likely to be a counter-culture. As that happens, we will be the last great defenders of reason, truth and human dignity, with the task of defending [the Faith] not just theoretically…but practically, as the early church did… Our privilege will be to repeat that story in our time.” —Os Guinness (World Magazine interview, June 29, 2013)

Our passports say “Kingdom of Heaven”.
Our culture is Jesus.
We are light in the darkness at noon.

Far out, man.

—j

The Unelected

Democracy makes people rulers, ideologies are their battlefields and votes are their swords—until a real King happens along…

“As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city—that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas we acknowledge a King men did not crown and cannot dethrone, as we are citizens of a city of God they did not build and cannot destroy. Thus the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, living in a society as depraved and dissolute as ours. Their games, like our television, specialized in spectacles of violence and eroticism. Paul exhorted them to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in God’s work,” to concern themselves with the things that are unseen. “For the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal.” It was in the breakdown of Rome that Christendom was born. Now in the breakdown of Christendom there are the same requirements and the same possibilities to eschew the fantasy of a disintegrating world and seek the reality of what is not seen and eternal, the reality of Christ.” —Malcolm Muggeridge

The King is coming.

—j