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Monday, November 28, 2016

How then should we live?

Not much time today so just a few thoughts on Luke 12.  Because the whole chapter seems to be Jesus’ treatise on how to live our lives as Christians.  As part of the Church of God.

1. Do not deal in hypocrisy, showing for those below, saving nothing for the Truth above.  More on that in a second…
2. Do not fear bodily death, but fear eternal damnation and separation from God.
3. Do not fear what to speak, but speak truth at all times.  Trust the testimony of Jesus to which you owe all.
4. Do not prepare for this life as if it were permanent or all.  Prepare for the eternal life to come for it is all.  Now is the time to invest in the future.  Retirement is only the bottom of the first inning.  The first mile in a marathon.  The second throw in the first frame… insert favorite sport metaphor here…for even retirement should be spent preparing for real life.
5. Do not be anxious about the material.  But concentrate on the spiritual.  Give toward and work toward this kingdom come.  Cuz as we’ve been saying, temporary/permanent.  Permanent wins.
6. Stay diligent.  Stay faithful.  Delay is coming but it is ..temporary.
7. Do not be tricked or lulled into complacency because of the length of time of the delay.  Stay vigilant.  
8. Be faithful to your calling.  These last three feel repetitive because they are.  Jesus must think they are important or something.  Like he said, “wait here, i’ll be right back,” and then stepped out for two thousand years or so…
9. Expect opposition.  Not out there, yeah, that’ll come too but right inside your own family.  Absolute truth tends to be absolute.  “I am The Way.  NO Man comes to the Father EXCEPT by ME” doesn’t leave much wiggle room for counter offers or compromise.  
10. But as much as it concerns you, live in peace with all.  For you have a Judge and He has a Day.  And a day is coming even before The Day.  We all meet our Day.  Some of us will see The Day but all of us will have a Day in court before this Judge.  So yeah, best to keep your defense handy, as Pete says.

And i can’t help but think the wrap to all of this is the first thing he said.  Don’t be hypocrites.  You say you believe in God, then believe God.  You say there’s a better kingdom coming, a permanent one, a truer one?  Then shouldn’t everything we do, everything we say, everything we hope for and in, everything we earn be for this?  It’s the basis of Paul’s rebuke of Peter when he stopped eating with gentiles.  You say we’re all saved by the same grace, then why do you favor one over the other?  We say there’s a King?  Shouldn’t we live for his kingdom?  We say we will live forever?  Then why do we fear so much of what happens here?  Why do we fear death?  We say a Day is coming, our King is returning, a new heaven and new earth will dawn?  Then why do we live as if this is all there is?  Why do you wallow in self-pity and despair and cynicism as if there is no hope?

No wonder they don’t believe us.

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