Friday, January 28, 2022

From the pulpit: What are you living for? | Columnists

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A lot of Christian groups are known for what they are against. They are against a rival political party. They are against certain behaviors that God says are wrong. They are against the sexual immorality and substance abuse that is rampant in our community. They are against gender and racial equity and unity, even though the Bible teaches this is God’s will. More and more, these groups come across as angry, bitter, and judgmental because all they are doing is being against this, that, or the other.

Yet, many times, Christian groups are not known what they stand for. Faithfulness. Serving others. Being peacemakers. Doing justice. Loving mercy. Walking humbly with God. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness.

Friends, let us allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives with love for the good, true and beautiful way of Jesus. Let us live our faith proactively and full of grace and love. Let us not just stand against ideologies and people. Let us stand with and for God’s goodness. Let us stand with and for others in Jesus’ name. Let us live in a way that our light shines in a dark world. Amen.

What are you living for?“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”—Matthew 12: 43-45We live in a world rife with conflict and division. We live in a world where ideological concerns create an environment where dialogue, discussion and mutual edification have been replaced by labeling and antagonism. Often this aspect of our culture has made its way into our churches. This should not be so. It is worldly and a poor witness.Don’t get me wrong. There is wrong to stand against in this world. All one needs to do is look at the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 for some clear examples. However, if we are not learning to stand for something, all our standing against other things is just a waste.In the passage referenced above, Jesus uses the language of homeless impure spirits to make a point. You can place your faith in Christ. You can rid yourselves of all sorts of evil in your life. You can identify what is wrong in your soul, your community and your society. However, if you do not fill yourself up with something good, true, powerful and beautiful, your life will simply be filled with a more insidious evil taking residence in your life.A lot of Christian groups are known for what they are against. They are against a rival political party. They are against certain behaviors that God says are wrong. They are against the sexual immorality and substance abuse that is rampant in our community. They are against gender and racial equity and unity, even though the Bible teaches this is God’s will. More and more, these groups come across as angry, bitter, and judgmental because all they are doing is being against this, that, or the other.Yet, many times, Christian groups are not known what they stand for. Faithfulness. Serving others. Being peacemakers. Doing justice. Loving mercy. Walking humbly with God. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness.Friends, let us allow the Holy Spirit to fill our lives with love for the good, true and beautiful way of Jesus. Let us live our faith proactively and full of grace and love. Let us not just stand against ideologies and people. Let us stand with and for God’s goodness. Let us stand with and for others in Jesus’ name. Let us live in a way that our light shines in a dark world. Amen.The Rev. Clint WalkerFirst Baptist ChurchNorth Platte



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