I believe that we, as the body of Christ, are being called to go deeper in our faith, to stretch beyond our level of comfort. I have heard this word, “lukewarm” several times lately. This is a warning for us to not settle for just being consumers on Sunday mornings sitting in church and receiving the Word but to truly walk out our faith every day! It is a call to go all in for Jesus! We are not called to fit in to the world’s order of things. We are called to be set-apart, to look different and act different. We are a peculiar people. Peculiar from the Greek word periousios, which means, “chosen, especial.” It means a treasure, a costly possession because our Savior, Jesus Christ gave His life for us. We are precious to God!
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14
We must be zealous to do the work God has prepared for us to do. These are urgent times that require all the Lord’s people to walk in unity of faith to accomplish His plans and purposes. We cannot afford to be timid or complacent. Our faith must be stretched beyond the limits of our comfort. We must ask the Lord to guide us and strengthen our faith, to break strongholds of fear, anxiety, complacency, people pleasing and doubt. We cannot do any of it in our own strength but we serve El Shaddai, God Almighty, the All Sufficient One, Creator of the universe, and nothing is too hard for Him. He has sent us, equipped and empowered us to do His work. He will not leave us to do it on our own. He is always with us. When we walk in obedience and go where He sends us, we can go in the confidence of His power at work within us.
Our Lord is an ever-present Father, Who gives us His living and active Word to guide us and encourage us, to teach and correct us. He is much more concerned with developing our character and conforming us to the image of Christ than our living in comfort.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Our purpose on this earth is to reflect the character of God, to be salt and light in a world full of darkness and decay. We are called to love the Lord above all else and to love others, even if they do not love us back. As followers of Christ, we live by example and love others well. It does not mean we condone sin. It means we speak the truth in love. We are beacons of hope, joy and peace. We do not allow our emotions to direct our actions. We allow the Spirit to lead us as we serve willingly, faithfully, obediently and cheerfully.
We do not get to sit in our Christian bubble and avoid interacting with the rest of the world around us. We are called to effect change by embracing the marginalized as Jesus did. He was criticized by the religious leaders for spending time with sinners.
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:15-17
Jesus served and loved well. He demonstrated His love by welcoming those others rejected. We cannot effect change in our bubble of comfort. We must interact with the lost and tell them about Jesus, how He saved us and He can save them, as well.
But suppose you do suffer for doing what is right. Even then you will be blessed. Scripture says, “Don’t fear what others say they will do to hurt you. Don’t be afraid.”But make sure that in your hearts you honor Christ as Lord. Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope you have. Be ready to give the reason for it. But do it gently and with respect. 2 Peter 3:14-15
Father, we love You. We praise Your Holy Name! We thank You for this life you have given us. Help us to honor You in it, in all that we say and do. Help us to get out of our comfort zones. Increase our faith and help us to share it boldly with others. Help us not to shrink back but draw on your power and strength to sustain us. Help us not to grow weary but to persevere in faith, knowing the harvest is plentiful and the reward is great. Help us to serve others well and speak the truth in love. Set a fire in our souls that cannot be quenched that we may walk fiercely and fearlessly to accomplish all that You have prepared for us to do! We desire to please You and You alone. Give us wisdom and discernment to walk by the Spirit and not by our flesh. Thwart every plan of the enemy to hold us back, to distract or deter us. Give us an urgency to spread the gospel of hope near and far. We ask these things in Jesus’ Mighty, Matchless Name, Amen!
Written By Lanette Black
Lanette is an IWM writer and intercessor