Friday, June 26, 2015

Knowing and Making Known (John 17:24-26)

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:24–26, ESV)

Today is a difficult day in this country for Christians. Where historically we’ve been able to stand as one with most others in the nation on a fairly stable moral ground, this last generation has seen that ground erode and lead to great division and contention. Where once there was a moral right and wrong, now the wrong is considered right and codified or adjudicated into law, and those who stand for the true right are chastised and even prosecuted for those stands. The world calls those with a biblical stance on these issues of life narrow minded and hateful—even phobic, and those who take those stands are once again challenged how to respond.

Without the truth of the word of God there would be no verifiable standard or directive regarding right and wrong. And without the word of God there would be no record of who our God is, His love for us, His provision for salvation, and His help in the Spirit. We would be like most of the world relying on that sense within us of what to do.

But even that sense within us is given us by God, and it is that sense that man has chosen to disregard and suppress giving preference to his own selfish desires. Jesus prayed to the Father that we truly would know Him in a world that does not know Him. Jesus came to make the Father known, and in knowing Christ we know that God is real and that He is with us just as the Son in in the Father and the Father is in the Son.

Things are going to get much worse in this country for Christians. Abortion was a horrible evil approved by the highest court in this land. But in the midst of its horror it was for many a silent one that when engaged in was not waived under our noses. But this acceptance and devaluing of life is just a part of the whole picture of saying that the world does not believe in God nor does it hold as valuable that which He created. Simply put, life is not precious to man. We see this in the vast numbers of pre-born children sacrificed to personal preference and the supposed right over one’s own body.

And today the union created by God for man and woman was by the voice of five unelected men cast aside in this country. What is to follow can only be imagined, though in States who have are already legalized same sex marriage it has already begun to show its path. Religious freedom is being squelched in the name of the “greater good of society.” Lawsuits have already been lost because people of faith have made choices according to their faith as laid out in the infallible Word of God. And this is not being helped by those who in the name of faith pick and choose what they will accept and reject in the word of God.

Churches are being challenged in giving guidance to their members on how to wisely stand strong in the face of the potential consequences for doing so. Beyond that Christian schools, hospitals, and charities will be prime targets of attack, likely and eventually followed by churches themselves. The questions of discipling someone in a same sex “marriage” who comes to faith add a whole new challenge to Christian leadership.

Looking at all of these things it would be were easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to turn. But God is bigger than any circumstance we can face. He is more powerful than any court, and His Word is true when man and his government prove their own inability to develop truth apart from God. Though things are likely to get more difficult, the Bible reminds us that we are not to fear this world because it has been overcome by God.

The United States Supreme Court got it wrong, but prior to the Court being given this issue politicians, corporations, influential groups and many, many Americans had already denied the truth and their own conscience, proving just how true Jesus’ words are that the world does not know God or listen to His voice.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His word is true and it does not change. God loves us and all of us who believe have an incredible opportunity to show the love and peace of God as we walk in both truth and grace knowing Him and continuing to make Him known.

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