Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dying to Live

And they took Uriah from Egypt and
brought him to King Jehoiakim, who
struck him down with the sword and
dumped his dead body into the burial
place of the common people.
                        Jeremiah 26:23 NIV

     Uriah, son of Shemaiah, prophesied in the name of the LORD—in much the same manner as the prophet Jeremiah. He foretold what would happen to Judah if they did not repent and turn from their rebellious ways. When King Jehoiakim heard about Uriah, he sent his Gestapo team to silence the prophet.

     Uriah heard they were coming and fled to Egypt, but that did not stop the king. He wanted Uriah’s head! The king dispatched an extraction team to Egypt. They snatched Uriah and brought him to Jehoiakim. Then King Jehoiakim himself slaughtered the prophet and “dumped his dead body into the burial place of the common people.”

     Century after century those who dared to follow God’s divine call upon their lives have been mistreated at best and often martyred for their efforts to call mankind back to the One and Only Living God. The cruelty devised to end the life of another is more than my mind wants to dwell on or can comprehend. However, since the threat continues on our watch in this time in history, we must not close our eyes and pretend that it is not happening.

     Part of the threat comes from radical groups who simply want to extinguish anyone who does not hold their same radical beliefs. Part of the threat comes from power struggles from country to country. Part of the threat comes from the political correctness movement sweeping across many areas of the world. The threat continues to come in new and hideous ways. It is real, and it is here now!

     We have reaction options. We can choose to become invisible Christians. We can choose to not “rock the boat.” We can choose to live our lives and let everyone else live theirs. We can choose to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Unfortunately, many have made those choices.

     OR, we can choose to follow the call of Christ to take up our cross and follow Him! That means a “public” profession of our faith in God. That means sharing Jesus with our friends, neighbors and family. That means practicing what we preach (OUCH!).

     As Christians we love to quote our favorite lines: 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
His grace is sufficient.
Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.

     But I have to ask myself, do I really believe those words. Am I willing to put them into action in the face of today’s anti-Christian climate? Am I willing to risk all for Christ?

     My answer has to be yes! After all, what could go wrong? “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21

 ©JP 2013

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