Monday, October 3, 2016

Devotion 10.4.16

What do you do if you move to an area that doesn't support your team?  Let's say you move to a town, we'll call it "Lubbock," and learn that "Lubbock" considers itself a suburb of Dallas (if you want to discuss this further, I'd be more than happy to and will pick the time and place of our're buying).  We'll then say that "Lubbock" roots for two teams:  the Rangers and the Cowboys (even sends its hometown team, the Red Raiders, to Dallas for a "home game").  Do you pitch your home team gear and begin rooting for the teams in this town called "Lubbock" or do you remain steadfast?

No, I kept the Astros gear and sit in my lonely little chair in a lonely little spot in a bar to watch games periodically, mumbling to myself and acting defiantly.  There are others in this town called "Lubbock" who root for the Astros you know. (The St. Louis Cardinal franchise, for those of you who know me, is a separate discussion that involves my father-in-law.)  In other words, you remain faithful to the cause.

In another scenario, what do you do if you are a Christian and you get dropped into a crowd or move to an area where you are scarce in number?  Luther wrote about this and Pastor Baidaoui shared his quote in Bible Study the other day:  "If a Christian was in a place where there are no Christians he needs no other call than to be a Christian, called and anointed by God from within.  Here it is duty to preach and to teach the gospel to erring heathens or non-Christians because of the duty of brother love, even though no man called him to do so."  In other words, you go about living your call in Christ Jesus, maybe even with more of a burden than when in a host of witnesses.

Baidaoui talked about three kinds of churches:  good, better, and apostolic.  Clearly, by his definition, the apostolic church is the one that strives to achieve Christ's commission in our lives by creating disciples who are empowered to make more disciples.  It's not a permission giving process, but rather a position of seeing the need and filling it because the disciple knows it's his or her commission.

As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:  "So don't be embarrassed to speak up for our Master (Christ) or for me, his prisoner.  Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us.  We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work.  We had nothing to do with it.  It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it.  But we know it now." (The Message)

We cannot shirk from our duty, and in truth, it is our purpose and passion.  This is our prayer and our constant devotion - to be disciples for Christ and to be part of the body of Christ in witness to the non-believer.

Hope Men's Ministry

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