Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Offering the World a Difference!

Meditation for the week of April 25, 2010

Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Violence and lies are part of the culture of this world.  The Lord was different and those who call themselves Christians should be different as well.

When Eve disobeyed God, man took on the nature of sin.  I don’t fully understand how that happened,  but I see the results of that nature in every day life and in the Bible stories.  Cain, the first person born into this world, became a murderer of his own brother Abel.  Their problem had to do with a religious disagreement about how God ought to be worshiped.  What Cain thought he was going to gain by killing his brother is a mystery to me.  He wasn’t going to be richer, God wasn’t going to be happy with him for doing it, and his parents certainly weren’t going to be happy.  His killing Abel seems irrational to me, but maybe that is the case with most killers except the ones who kill by accident.  Those killings we call manslaughter. 

By the time we get to Noah, violence had increased to the point where God decided to destroy the human race and to start over with the one righteous man left on earth.  But it didn’t make much difference.  Since John says hate is murder (1 John 3:15), we have reached a point today that is as bad if not worse than in Noah’s day.  Hate is the motive that God can see, murder is the result of that motive that man can see.   The Bible is clear that a man must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.  Since the kingdom is a place where man loves God and loves his neighbor as himself, it is no wonder that God uses a concept as radical as a new birth to explain the change that needs to occur in people.  We say we love when our actions and our rhetoric and our jokes say otherwise.  Hate is seen in the terrorism that abounds in the world.  Hate is a part of the ingrained prejudices based on race that many people have.  The political rhetoric indicates that Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats.  Hate is seen in some of the cruel jokes being told about the current President including a prayer, no less, asking the Lord to cause his death.

Lies are the way the world works today.  Most people know that if you tell people a lie forcefully enough and often enough, people will believe it.  People believed wall street investment bankers when they sold them securities backed by mortgages that would likely never be repaid.  Many businessmen think it is perfectly all right to leave bills unpaid that they have promised to pay.  Many people make contracts that they intend to renegotiate if the going gets tough.  The idea that our word is our bond seems to be a thing of the past.  There are certain businesses and professions where lying is so prevalent that we stereotype those people as liars.  Horse traders, used car salesmen, and politicians are all in that category.  Thank God, Christians have the opportunity to really shine by breaking the stereotypes when they work in those businesses and professions.

As Christians do we offer the world an alternative?  Does the world see people who are willing to suffer wrong in order to avoid violence?  Do they see people who want to live in peace and who are peacemakers?   Are we the ones passing the cruel jokes around?  Are we teaching our children that violence is necessary to protect ourselves from the government and from bullies?  Do we believe the Lord when he says that those who live by the sword die by the sword (Matthew 26:52)?  Do they see people who try to keep their promises and who pay their just bills?

The Lord is One who loved and who never lied.  If He hadn’t loved there would be no sacrifice for our sins. If He had lied, there would be no way to be sure we are saved because we wouldn’t have dependable promises that assure us of eternal life.  We who claim to be “born again” and who claim to be living a new life in Christ, surely we should love and not lie.  Otherwise, Christianity would be offering no solutions.  It would be making no difference. 

Consideration, kindness and truth go a long way toward making believers out of unbelievers.

Bruce Collins

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