Tuesday, October 23, 2012

~ "If you build it..."

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (Heb 13:2) 
I love it when God opens my eyes to something! It's a feeling like nothing I've ever experienced.

This verse goes to the heart of our Christian responsibility. Our job is to spread the Good News, informing others of the one, true God and all he has so mercifully given us. Someone has to introduce them - after all, someone introduced us to Jesus, so therefore, we have a responsibility to do the same for others. We don't get to pick and choose who those "strangers" are, or do we?

We have an opportunity to present ourselves as good and faithful servants to the world (or our little corner of it). We have an obligation to at least attempt to inform those less fortunate that God loves them and wants them to be part of his family through the shed blood of Jesus. We are blessed to have a loving, compassionate, merciful and patient God. Yes, his justice will come to those who deny him; however, instead of wasting our time condemning their "false gods", maybe we should be telling them about ours! Even more so, maybe we should be showing them! After all, condemnation is not our job either!

There will always be evil upon the earth (until Christ comes and reclaims it). As long as Satan has ammunition to play with, there will circumstances that distract us from the way of the cross. I realized as I read the Matthew Henry's commentary on this chapter, and I am guilty of neglecting my duty as a Christian by the outrage in my heart over the construction of a building! I have allowed Satan to worm his way into my attitude through a few bricks.

God has a plan. He is a God of justice and mercy. None of us know what he has in store for us, or for anyone for that matter. We are commanded to pray for one another, not just Christians, not just our friends and not just the ones we feel like praying for. We are to pray of everyone, in every walk of life, in every area of belief. It just may be that our prayer is the one that "sets the captives free" (so to speak).

Christ came to bring salvation to everyone: Jews, Gentiles, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, and even Atheists! We don't get to choose who gets saved and who doesn't. All we get to do is bring the message to others. God will take care of the rest. When I sit and take a hard look at why I'm opposed to this building, it has nothing to do with the god they will worship or the individual people that will worship there. It's about what their "religion" has become known for. It's not about the violence and death brought about by their teachings. For me, it's very, very personal. It's about the death of one man, one Christian man, who left behind a family that still grieves his death.

The cut beneath the bandaid will only heal if you don't pick at the scab. Leave it alone and it will get smaller until it is gone, pick at it and it gets bigger and bigger - eventually healing, but leaving an ugly scar. Their god is one of anger and hate, of terror and murder. Give into it and they win. Pray for them and we all win! Be willing to entertain the stranger, you may find that he likes your God much more than his own!