Seeking Justice in a Post-Christian America

Today’s reading is Luke 18.

We are being told again and again that we live in a post-Christian America. Christians no longer have the social equity we once had. Our influence seems stripped. Even though no Christian in America has been imprisoned, beaten, or executed for our Christian faith, some among us are up in arms about political attacks on Christianity, social attacks, cultural attacks, even attacks made by entertainment outlets. We hear about ways to fight the battle including going to the voting booth, boycotting businesses, taking to social media with outcries of rage. What was Jesus’s suggestion to people who were in a very similar situation? “He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” That parable was about a widow who pestered an unrighteous judge. Through her continual pestering, the judge was moved to administer justice in her case. Then Jesus explains, if an unrighteous judge would be moved by the continual pleading of the widow, how much more will our righteous God who loves us be moved by the pleading of His children. Jesus speaks of justice for God’s elect who cry out to Him day and night. This calls to mind the crying out of the ancient Israelites in Egyptian bondage. God heard them and remembered His covenant. I’m not saying it is wrong to vote or that you can’t choose where you will take your business. Teaching on social media is good, though the outcries of rage probably need to stop. The question we need to ask is how many among us are crying out to God day and night? He won’t act because we have mobilized a campaign that elects a godly president. He won’t act because we have taken to the airwaves with messages in line with His Word. He won’t act because we’ve boycotted sinners out of business. He will act when we “pester” Him in prayer, crying out day and night.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 18.

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Why Did Jesus Come?

Today’s reading is 1 Timothy 1.

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

Jesus did not come to save society. Jesus did not come to save the planet. Jesus did not come to save the whales. Jesus did not come to save America (or any other country). Jesus didn’t come to save marriages. Jesus didn’t come to save the socially oppressed. Jesus came to save sinners. We can trust that statement. We need to fully accept that statement. Paul himself is a great example of it. So am I. You can be too. If you are a sinner and want a Savior, leave a comment below so we can get in touch with you. I would love to introduce you to the Savior.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Timothy 2.

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The Scandal of Judgment

Today’s reading is Matthew 21.

Wow! Is today’s master of the house the same one we read about Friday? Friday’s master was generous and gracious, giving one-hour workers a full day’s pay. Today’s master is a straight up killer. I mean, I get it; the tenants deserved it. But how is this the same master? We learned on Friday that grace is scandalous. The interesting thing is everyone who heard Jesus’s new story of judgment knew exactly what the master in the story would do, and it made sense to them. The problem is it was scandalous to think the hearers of the parable were in the exact same situation as the subjects in the parable. And that is what makes judgment a scandal, isn’t it? Grace is scandalous because none of us deserves it, but we all think we do. When we see someone else get it, we think it is a scandal. Judgment is scandalous because we all deserve it, but none of us thinks we do. When we are told we are going to receive it, we think it is a scandal. Judgment is coming; it shouldn’t be that scandalous to us. That is why we need God’s grace; it shouldn’t be that scandalous either. Yet, here we are. Pick your scandal.

Today’s reading is Matthew 21.

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Let the Day of the Lord Govern Today

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 5.

Deliver such a one to Satan? Are you kidding me? That will not look good on us. He might claim we are abusing him. He might sue us. Our neighbors might think we are mean. Society might judge us as harsh and unloving. Yet, between now and the day of the Lord, he might just repent because of this action and on the day of the Lord his spirit will be saved instead of condemned. Not to mention, if the church doesn’t take this action between now and the day of the Lord, he will almost definitely lead others to sin and destruction. No doubt, delivering an impenitent sinner to Satan is painful and fraught with temporal, cultural, societal dangers today. But the Day of the Lord is coming. We need to let the Day of the Lord govern today. And, to be sure, Paul’s application in this chapter is only one of a myriad of arenas in which we need to let the Day of the Lord govern today. I get it, we are living in today, but today will be over in just a few hours. The Day of the Lord will linger forever once it comes. Don’t live for today; live for the Day of the Lord.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 6.

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Judgment

Today’s reading is Revelation 8.

In the fifth of seven seals of Revelation 6, we witnessed the prayers of the martyred saints beneath the altar. They were told to wait. Before the blowing of the seven trumpets, we see the prayers of the saints going up as smoke of incense from the altar. Now they wait no longer. In today’s reading, we see the judgments of the Lord on those who oppose Him. Victory comes to God’s kingdom, judgment on every other kingdom. Again, Revelation will tell us this story again and again. Though from our perspective in time there may be a long road to victory, God doesn’t want us to lose sight of the fact that Jesus always wins and Jesus’s opponents will always be judged. Don’t give up. Hang on. Jesus always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 9.

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Don’t Be Shocked

Today’s reading is Mark 13.

I know there is a lot of debate regarding the specific application of Mark 13. Is it all about the destruction of Jerusalem? All about the end of the world? A little of both? We don’t have space to tackle those debates. But one thing I do notice is how shocking some of this is to many of our tacit beliefs about being disciples. Don’t be shocked when you are a faithful disciple and people hate you. Don’t be shocked when you are a faithful disciple and your children grow up against you. Don’t be shocked when you are a faithful disciple and life is hard. I’m not saying you should plan on these things. Just don’t be shocked like these things never happen to faithful disciples. They do. What should you do in the face of them? Continue being a faithful disciple.

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 14.

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