4 months ago
Uncertainty and fear seem to be growing with exasperation in these turbulent days. Is there anything you can do to calm your internal doubts and anxiety? What should your mindset be in these difficult and trying times? Join us as we find purpose and peace-of-mind through Biblical examples.
When the word prophetic is mentioned there is typically one of two responses: excitement or apprehension. The majority of the followers of Christ believe in the continuation of the prophetic gift and that the prophetic voice needs to be heard. However, there is concern with the operation of the prophetic voice and people are skeptical because of the abuse of the gift. The followers of Christ who adhere to the cessation view believe that the prophetic gift ceased with the Apostolic Age of the church and is no longer authentic or viable. I am convinced that the church needs its prophetic voice to be heard and understood in these divisive and disruptive days. God’s placement of the prophetic voice of the church has always been and continues to be critical to both the church and to culture. Prophecy is used as proof of the inspiration, inerrancy and authority of God's Word. Prophecy should produce hope in the life of the follower of Christ which, in turn, promotes purity and perseverance. Prophecy tells you the goal of human history. Prophecy tells you where God is going in history. It informs you of God's purposes and exhorts you to conform your life to God's goals. Allow prophecy to stir your soul to worship, obey and persevere. Permit the person of Jesus Christ and your reunion with Him to be your goal and your consuming desire. You need to control the “Headspace–Your Mindset in Troubled Times.” As a follower of Christ you are to have a prophetic mindset and voice. You need a “But God” moment when the swimming in your head intersects with the “peace of God that passes all understanding.” This dark and lost world needs to encounter followers of Christ who have a clear and calm prophetic mindset and voice in these days of destruction.
Last week we looked at the Prophetic Voice of the church. The prophetic voice and mindset of the church is to bring hope to the follower of Christ through edification, exhortation and comfort. These three characteristics are essential in the function and the value of the prophetic word. Today I want to address the Pastoral Mindset and Voice of the church which is designed to bring spiritual guidance and care to the body of Christ. We live in an age where far too many people feel unloved and uncared for. Their actions, triggered by their emotional needs are being displayed in multiple ways and some are destructive. They lack the spiritual guidance and care that they desperately need to live a joyous and fulfilled life. As a follower of Christ, you are a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ. Your actions, mindset and voice should reflect God’s desire toward those who are hurting, and in need of spiritual guidance. People need a divine encounter with the spirit of God through interaction with followers of Christ. Jesus commissioned every follower to “Go into all the world and preach the “Good News” of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurting world” (Matt 28:19-20). The Pastoral Mindset and Voice of the body of Christ is the only prescription that will truly change a person’s mental and spiritual health. People so desperately need spiritual guidance and care. You need to be the follower of Christ that will extend spiritual guidance and care to those who will receive it. A great opportunity has been given to the follower of Jesus Christ in these uncertain times. We must seize the privilege to help others.
The word prudent means to show care and thought for the future. We hear a lot of opinions on how to approach the future in regard to many pressing issues. The varying viewpoints on such important concerns are causing a great schism in our country and around the world. The arguments of climate change, types of energy sources, economic issues and the capitalism vs. socialism fight is causing great division. The virus epidemic and the restrictions that have been placed on society has produced great consternation. The question of transgenderism and what entitles a person to be something other than as they were born? How many gender types can there possibly be? Why are males allowed to compete in athletics as females? We are concerned as to what is being taught and what is not being taught in our educational system. The massive growth of government and their encroachment on the freedoms and rights of its citizens is alarming. Do you or do you not trust the government and the main stream media? Do you submit or rebel? Are we in the last days before Christ’s return? Is there a rapture of the church or only the second coming of Christ? How is the follower of Christ to respond to these very important issues? What does the Sacred Scriptures teach about your prudent opinions and how you should express them? Your head space must contain the mind and voice of Jesus Christ. This is extremely critical and absolutely essential in these unusual times. You must have the “mind of Christ” to speak the purpose of God. The critical pandemic in this world, is humankind's lack of desire for the things of God and a willingness to be obedient to them. The followers of Jesus Christ must participate in this dialogue and provide the spiritual care and guidance as we race toward the future with a spiritual prudent mind.
With all of the turmoil and madness presently taking place in our world, today on this Valentines’s Day is a good opportunity to step back and focus on the power of love. There is no greater natural power that humankind possesses than love. Love is the greatest quality of the human life. Love has motivated and inspired people to do many splendid things. There is no question that the world needs the power of love more than ever. If people truly loved each other, wars, crime, abuse, injustice, poverty, deprivation, immorality and so many unnecessary evils could be eliminated. Love can truly revolutionize society. It is the most excellent way for humankind to live. I pray that humankind will do a much better job of exemplifying true love through God’s love to one another. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you must lead the way of showing the more excellent way of God’s love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7, 8).
The book of Proverbs addresses the issue of wisdom and provides guidance on how to navigate through life with purpose and meaning. To operate in wisdom necessitates that you have patience. Patience allows you to deal with the difficulty of living life, without being angry or upset. When you are impatient, it produces hardship and conflict. When you do not properly control your emotions and become impatient, you will respond with unnecessary outbursts that will create additional adversity that is self-imposed. Moreover, impatience can create pain and separation from others that you really need in your life. More divisiveness is the last thing our world needs. Our complex and troubled world desires to encounter people who have a patient mind and voice. Exercising patience and self-control will allow you to move forward in wisdom and confidence to be a blessing to yourself and to others. “With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone” (Proverbs 25:15 ESV). People need the spiritual guidance and care that should emanate from the follower of Christ. This is a great opportunity for the individual follower of Jesus Christ and the Church universal to be a radiant light. To be seen as a city of lights that is set on a high hill and its influence cannot be hidden. Society needs the illumination of patient minds and voices in these perplexing times. Slow down, don’t be in such a hurry and demonstrate patience. “Let your light shine before others in such a way that they may see your good works, (patience) and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
What do you do in times of great uncertainty? People are asking “are we near the end?” “Where are we in Bible prophecy?” “Has the judgment of the Lord found us?” “Is Jesus soon to return?” We are experiencing world wide natural calamities on a large scale; hurricanes, tsunami, fires, floods, and droughts. Additionally, people are filled with fear and anxiety because of so many man-made disasters and possible world war. Events like 9/11, the conflict Israel has with Hamas and Hezbollah, nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea, war in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria have changed the political structure in some parts of the world. Conversely, these events have caused many commentators to say, “We are seeing the beginnings of World War III.” How do you respond and prepare? You pray. The Bible is replete with the admonishment to pray. Prayer is not always easy, because it demands structure and focus. However, according to the apostle James, the benefits and the reward of the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avail much (James 5:16).
Sacred Scripture teaches us to repent of our sins and ask God to forgive us and we are to forgive those who have sinned against us. Jesus immortalized this command in the Lord’s Prayer––“And forgive us our debts/sin, as we forgive our debtors/those who have sinned against us” (Matt 6:12). There are times in everyone’s life that they should feel convicted and be remorseful for what they did or did not do and how they did or did not act. How you act conveys what you really believe. Your words are just noise. Getting someone to admit that they are wrong in their attitude or conduct is very difficult to accomplish in this peculiar time in which we live. The first step in true penitence begins with confessing your sin and failure to Jesus Christ the Lord. By asking God to forgive you because you have failed Him and asking the forgiveness of those you have hurt or offended, is essential in the process of growing and maturing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Penitence will help you to have the vibrant spiritual health which is indispensable for every follower of Christ. To be spiritually healthy you must: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people” (Rom 12:8). You are called by God to be joyous, to fulfill your mission, and to live life with excellence through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this series, I have highlighted current issues that fill culture’s headspace. Additionally, I have addressed spiritual topics that the follower of Christ must understand and apply to their life; others should see these characteristics emanating from the believer. Today I am going to posit our final subject that must fill your being and radiate from your life to others; “The Greatness of God.” “The Greatness of God” is beyond the intellectual capacity of humankind to fully comprehend. Any attempt to define His greatness will fall far short of His splendor and majesty. How then is it possible to measure and put into words the One who knew every human being before the earth was created, the One who sees every sparrow that falls from the sky, the One who knows your every thought, and the number of hairs on your head. Although it is impossible to fathom the true “Greatness of God,” He has revealed Himself through His creation, the Sacred Scriptures, and the life, ministry, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. Through these revelations, the great and mighty God wants everyone to live a life of meaning, hope and joy. Moreover, He wants to live with His followers for all of eternity. It is my prayer that you discover “God’s Greatness” in your life.