Focus

John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” (NASB)

During these tense days, I am very tempted to spend an abundance of time focusing on the Black/White racial issues in the USA. Yesterday, during my personal Bible reading, I was reminded, of our Savior’s words to Peter in John 18:11.

Peter, a fisherman by trade and not a swordsman, sliced off the ear of one who was involved with the arrest of Jesus. Jesus corrected Peter, “Put the sword in the sheath.” In other words, Jesus was telling Peter that now was not the time for physical confrontation, for there was and is a greater and more necessary mission.

So it is today, in my life and ministry. While race issues dominate the USA, there remains a much more critical mission—Gospel ministry.

My stewardship, which is also true for Christians in general, is to make the gospel known (Jesus death in the place of sinners). This message is more important than the contemporary struggles of a Christ denying world (The Psalm writer prophesies, “Why do the nations rage?”).

The answer to all social ills is not ultimately better public policy. Rather, it is individual repentance of sin against God, and the receiving of Jesus Christ as Savior.

On the one hand, the problems of this world, including racism, will not be removed until Jesus comes to establish His Kingdom. On the other hand, our personal alienation from God, which causes all of our personal guilt and loneliness, can be healed. We simply need to trust in the Savior who died in our place for our sin, so we can have eternal life with Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish put have eternal life.”

Sharing this needs to be my focus.

Will you believe in the Son?

Bill

Being Thankful

For the third day in a row, Deb and I walked up to Jose’s Ridge. Today, we made it in 45 minutes. At the end of our upward trek, we sat at each others back, supporting each other, and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation. While doing so, we listen to a song, God of Creation. It was  a wonderful time, and it made us ask the question, Should we dare enjoy ourselves while so much of the world is under such duress?

We decided that we should be thankful for the moment, learn about the God who made such beauty, and prepare for a future of sacrificial service to our God and for our neighbors (the population of the world).

Eccl. 3:1   There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven —2  A time to give birth and a time to die;  A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3  A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4  A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. 5  A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;  A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 6  A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7  A time to tear part and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 8  A time to love and a time to hate;  A time for war and a time for peace. (NASB)