I hope you all are doing well as we enter yet another week. Though tiredness was making some psalms sound particularly appealing this evening, I’m sticking to this “upset the world” theme that has been building since last Tuesday. I pray it will strike a chord in your hearts and encourage you to upset the worlds of those around you. Sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone; others, it means relying completely on the Lord’s strength when yours is depleted and empty. Wherever you are, the call to all of us is the same — be like Christ. And if it is any motivation for our lives, even Jesus — God incarnate — spent serious time in prayer. If it was essential to His life on earth, how much more should it be to ours?
“‘These men [Paul, Silas, and others] who have upset the world have come here also;…saying that there is another king, Jesus.'” (Acts 17:6-7)
How awesome would it be for us to gain the reputation of upsetting the *world* in our proclamation of Christ? For real. I mean, I know we all have trouble even “spilling” Jesus on those around us (quoting Denny), but these people caused a tidal wave of Jesus — across the entire Roman empire by merely walking around and sailing on wreck-prone ships! How can we upset the world around us with Jesus?
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)
“Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles [the world], so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers [as they did Paul and Silas], they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God[!]…We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren…Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth…Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 3:1,14,18; 4:11)
A friend spoke some words of truth into my life this weekend as she told the story of a party she went to and this one particular guy who was socially awkward at best or maybe even a little mentally impaired. She had previously shunned the guy as all of her friends did that night, but this time she saw him through the eyes of Christ and gave the guy the attention he was starving for, listening to his off-the-wall stories even as her friends turned their backs and/or talked over him. Who are the people in your life that Jesus is calling you to see and love through His eyes? I know it struck a chord with me…
“O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:17-18)