Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 10, 2014

may your colors be clear

News of disadvantaged children crossing into Texas is causing visceral emotional responses. The priorities of loving kids and protecting our borders seem to be in conflict. Israel in conflict with the Palestinians is also a very emotional topic. I could continue listing national (and international) events that cause us all to wonder what is happening in our world. And forget the world for a moment – daily, I see pain, hurt and dysfunction (even in the Christian world) that give me considerable pause. What then can we hold on to that will never, ever change, disappoint or discourage? You guessed it, Jesus Christ … the same yesterday, today and forever.

If you know Christ as your Savior, your hope is tied to the gospel message and the core of your life is its truth. I sometimes feel, in an ever-changing world, we’ve lost the distinctiveness of faith in Christ as the only hope for eternity. To know and love Christ will not always be popular, but it will always honor Him. And when the world is out of balance, He is not!

Forgive me for departing from my normal article style, which is based on our current scripture reading.  But I want to share a very meaningful and inspiring story that may encourage you in an out of balance world.  Please read carefully and prayerfully what an African pastor wrote on the night before he was murdered for an unwillingness to renounce his faith. He wrote the following on a scrap of paper …

I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.” I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I’ve stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals!

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by His presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or burn up till I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops. And when He comes to get His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear.

Source: “Daily in Christ” daily devotional, Neil Anderson, August 21st entry

Let your faith be distinctive enough to make a difference. In an out of balance world, we can give a clear portrait of what it means to follow Christ, and live in His joy. Let the colors of your portrait be clear!

yeam_2014


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