- Department of Justice scolds Obama administration over reported groping-harassment-office sex
- Young boy and girl among 4 killed in act of savagery in upstate New York
- Suspect in deaths of wife, two kids, sang Christmas song with son before killings
That the world is a dark and morally depraved place is a “given” among most evangelical Christians. How we respond to that darkness is a different matter altogether. As dark as our world might be, it cannot be any worse than what the 1st century Christian faced many years ago. In that day, there were no civil rights or constitutional amendments of free speech. The rich and powerful ruled and the poor and weak suffered. Christians were often defined by the latter, not the former (1 Corinthians 1:26). Yet into that moral chaos, God brought a message so powerful that eventually, it would change the course of nations.
The message God brought our world 2000 years ago is called the gospel and centers around the person of Jesus Christ. The gospel literally means “good news” but news is not good unless it preceded by news that is bad. What makes the gospel such good news is that it enters into a society, a culture, a world…… a heart, a family, a body surrounded with bad news. The brokenness and corruption of our world is actually part of God’s plan to display the light and life of His Son, Jesus.
As Christians facing a new year, we could easily adopt mentalities that curse the darkness of our surroundings. But that is not what Jesus has called us to do. We don’t have to passively sit back and watch the world “go to hell in a handbasket”, as the proverbial saying goes. You individually and we collectively can make a difference! Jesus has transformed us in order to reflect His transforming power for others. Regardless of your theological convictions toward the “last days”, every Christian can make a positive impact upon their world.
Recently, through our Christmas Eve service, Pastor Jeff reminded us that each of us have been called to bear witness of Christ’s gospel. Using the analogy of Christmas presents under a tree, Jeff illustrated that our lives are the packages in which Christ comes wrapped. God’s gift of abundant life in Christ is therefore meant to be unwrapped through us. We are not the gift, Jesus is, but He comes wrapped through us. He also used the analogy of a campfire light guiding a lost hunter to safety. Being a gift for others to unwrap and a light guiding the lost to safety is both a privilege and an awesome responsibility.
In order to effectively shine the light of Christ in 2018, could I encourage you to make one simple thing a priority in your new year? Could I encourage you to set aside 29 minutes and 59 seconds in communion with God each day? Because we cannot give away what we do not have, we must take the time to fellowship with Jesus to be true reflections of His life in a world enslaved to corruption. Would you join many others at MV and me in 2018, as we bear witness of Christ’s good news by simply taking the time (29:59) to fellowship with Him? Instead of cursing the darkness, let’s overcome it.