"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

It seems like every week there’s a new cause that sets our passion ablaze… for a moment… and then the flame dies down… until another cause surfaces. We want to make a difference, we want passion and purpose. We want change. But our attention lasts about as long as a match light. And there will soon be another cause after this one burns out

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“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel…”

We want all lives to matter
We want an end to abortion
We want marriage as we define it
We want violence in our cities to end
We want our schools to be safe havens
We want to destroy ISIS
We want peace and safety.

“For it is the power of God…”

We want to say and hear, “Merry Christmas”
We want Christmas symbols on our coffee cups
We want mangers in our town squares
We want the Ten Commandments in our courtrooms
We want to pray in school and on athletic fields
We want “In God We Trust” on our money
We want “One nation under God” in our pledge

“That brings salvation to everyone who believes…””

We call people names
We quote the Bible
We cite the law
We huff and puff
We spew hateful words
We boycott coffee shops
We share polarizing memes
We are angry

“For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed…”

 We fight tooth and nail to get people to think and behave the way we think and behave.

“a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,”

 We want a spiritual renewal in our culture. We want change. But at what cost? What is more important to us as Christians: convincing people to agree with us, or sharing the love of Jesus with people who are lost?

 “just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16, 17 NIV)

There will never be culture change if we are more intent on trying to convert people to our opinion than we are about interceding for their soul.

We boldly post our religious opinions on our social media accounts. We use the Bible to argue with people who disagree with us. We collect opinions like ammunition and fire at will.

Is this how we show love? Is this how we win souls for the Lord? Or are we just about winning another vote for our candidate? Another opinion to our side?

What is our true motive and purpose? Do we have a heart for the lost? Are we concerned about their eternal destiny? Do we care enough to share the Gospel?

What message are we spreading? Hate? Anger? Intolerance? Unbending and unyielding self-righteousness?

In a couple of days we will all post status updates about how thankful we are. In December, we’ll post Matthew 1:22-23 and Luke 2:11-14. In April we’ll all rejoice with “He is risen!” “He is risen, indeed!

But what about the rest of the year? And an election year at that?

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” (James 3:10-12NIV)

Social media conversations can be difficult for Christians. We have opinions that are rooted in our faith, and often we feel that our faith is under attack, but is it really? Can a coffee cup, or a “Happy Holidays” attack our faith?

Faith is believing God and acting on what he says. Faith is a settled confidence in that for which we hope. Faith is worshipping the God who created the universe that was formed at God’s command (Hebrews 11:1-3).

post177graphic2Could it be that what we are defending is not our faith but our traditions? And, could it be that it is our pride, our need to be right, that prompts us to fight? And if we are busy fighting, how deeply do we care about the need of our perceived enemy to be born again?

What if we fanned into flame a passion in our hearts for lost souls? What if we spent as much time exposing the love of Christ as we do imposing our religious opinion?

Are you aware of anyone who has come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has been born again, as a direct result of your social media commentary? Jesus didn’t tell us to go and make converts to our opinions and traditions, He told us to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Before you comment, post, or share on your social media accounts (especially this holiday season and the upcoming election year), will you ask yourself if your goal is to change someone’s mind or behavior, or to share the love of Jesus?

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV)

What message do your words send? What message do you want them to send? From what fire does your passion emanate?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments on: "Fanning the Flame" (7)

  1. […] Source: Fanning the Flame […]

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  2. Anonymous said:

    We always need to walk the talk. only.

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  3. Sarah said:

    Thank you for a great reminder, but the greatest of these is love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Buffy Ensing said:

    As always Marcia, great message. I recently had a conversation with someone regarding religion and truly walking the walk. They then went on to say their congregation held a Mass Prayer for a friend’s children leaving the Catholic church and going to a different church. I was surprised and asked but they still believe right? They just go to a different, non-denominational church, right? I was so confused. They were so convicted in following Christ based on their rituals and ceremonies that they lost sight of truly following Christ for who he is and his message. “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

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    • Buffy, we must keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith. We must love the Lord with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul.

      Unfortunately, some people are confused and think that church membership, or sacraments, or baptism ‘saves’. But those, or any other works, don’t bring salvation.

      Only faith in Jesus saves. And that faith must include acknowledging the facts of the Gospel (that Jesus, the eternal Son of God stepped out of heaven, lived a fully human life (without forfeiting any divinity) lived a righteous life (without sin,) died on the cross, was resurrected on the third day, and is exalted on high. He is the Only begotten of the Father. He is the only way to the Father. Once the facts are accepted intellectually, they must be appropriated into the heart/soul. And finally, there must be a submission/commitment to Jesus as the Lord of your life. There is no substitute.

      ❤️Marcia

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