Monday, October 20, 2014

The Advantage of Studying History

The advantage of studying history is that you see things in their proper perspective. So much ravage and hate, crime and distress has happened in every age and every country. We cry out that our rights in our land have been violated (and sometimes they are), but there were times and places people had no rights at all. Whole countries--wiped off the map.

From the earliest days of Cain and Abel, we see it - the manifestation of our sinful nature. From the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, Mayans, Philistines, Aztecs, to the Persians and then to Rome - it is a long slow march of destruction by man against man (and woman against woman). It is hard to comprehend the level of hate and venom we can fling at our fellow humans. It should take our breath away that one human can so despise another that they wish them dead. So very many act upon it.

But as a Christian, there is another way. We should not act as those in the world.

Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire."

I know how often I have thought, "You fool!" to those I love. How much more to those I don't agree with? I repent of it!

Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." What is abundant in your heart? What is abundant in mine?

James (3:6) calls me on the carpet:

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

My tongue flows out of the abundance of my heart. What is deeply hidden inside pours forth in what I say, what I write, what I do, and how I feel. How deeply I need the grace of Christ. As a parent, as a wife, as a friend, as a child of God.

It is all of Christ. It is impossible for me.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We are HIS workmanship. We are created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS that God prepared specifically for us so that we should walk in them. We are not here to replicate the death and destruction of hearts, minds, and souls as our ancient forefathers did.

We are His instruments. We are His beloved children. We were dead and now we are alive in Christ Jesus. In nothing else. Not in our works, not in our worship, not in our ability, not in our gifts. We are dead without our Savior.

We are alive in Christ! He is at work in those He saves. He redeems the lost and changes hearts. 

He is rich in His mercy. Rich in love. Rich in forgiveness of all our trespasses and sin.

Let me not be as the Assyrians, the Romans, or the evil in our midst today. Let me be the light of Christ to a dark dark world buried in their sin. Let Christ be the light to them through me. Let me be an instrument for your glory.

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