Sunday, August 17, 2014

I'll bet our grandparents.....

I was listening to the news the other day, an activity I try to keep to a minimum in order to limit the number of things I find outrageous each day, and I began to contemplate hazy memories from childhood.

My grandfather and grandmother never addressed me directly about the news items of the day when I was a child.  Whether they thought it too much for a child to comprehend or they didn't want to frighten me or they just considered discussing the news an "adult" activity and it never occurred to them to include children.  But I do remember hearing bits and snatches of their conversations; I do remember a sense of their feelings about the news they read. I remember they were disgusted, disgruntled but that there was an air of "this is how it is and we can't really do anything about it".  Many years later, I would share the message of the Gospel with them, so they could have hope for the future. 

Meanwhile, as I listened to the news of the shooting and subsequent behavior of the citizens from Ferguson, MO and heard about the recovery of the two Amish girls taken from a roadside vegetable stand in New York and sketchy news of the continuing conflicts in Iraq and the uneasy and already broken by Hamas cease fire in Israel - I felt such a sense of urgency for the return of Christ.  Even in the midst of my distress over the state of this world which appears to be moving steadily and swiftly ever downward in a spiral of darkness, evil and immorality, my heart reached upward in HOPE.

Hope that others would hear and believe the saving words of LIFE in the message of the Gospel.

Hope that LIGHT would of course overcome the darkness.

Hope that some would turn to Christ and be saved.

Hope that I myself would not become depressed, as Robin Williams did and gave up on life entirely; but would be inspired to speak LOUDER, share more BOLDLY, proclaim with ever greater FAITH the good news that Christ came to bring a more abundant LIFE to those who put their trust and faith and hope in HIM.

As we recognize the "signs of the times" our response must never be to give up, give in and walk away.
Instead, we are to PRESS IN, GIVE MORE, WALK EVER CLOSER IN OBEDIENCE and even MORE BOLDLY proclaim that Christ Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and this world, fallen and sinful as it it, is His creation, that He loves and gave His life to save.

What's happening in this world, right now, these headlines, these events, are not surprises to God, the Creator, Master and Deliverer of this world He put in place.  He knew it was all coming.

Matthew 24: 3-14
 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 
 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
Our hope is not found IN this world, nor in this world suddenly changing and becoming "good" and pleasant to live in.  Our hope is in our ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus with God the Father.
As this world delivers bad news upon bad news, don't be downcast, but look UP, for there is our HOPE!

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