I have noticed a trend that could be alarming. The level of our concern would be based on the individual’s motive. What I have seen is a number of professing followers of Jesus fleeing certain geographic regions because of negative cultural changes. My concern is that people are fleeing to something that they think will be better. What I very seldom hear is that the Lord is leading me to move…
My concern is over individuals making decisions driven by fear. We happen to live in an area where things seems to be move from bad to worse. The controlling value system has abandoned those Judeo-Christian beliefs that have served our great country so well for over 200 years. But times are changing and many are fleeing to places where they believe some semblance of this way of life still exists. My concern is not that people are moving, or attempting to make their lives better for them and their family. My concern is that they may be running from where God wants them to be.
The last verse from our passage this past week in the message “My Duty as a Believer” reminds us that we serve a greater purpose that our own comfort. The Apostle Paul writes in defense of his ministry, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”(2 Corinthians 4:6) What he is saying is that God saved us from our sin for a purpose. We see this in the phrase “has shone in our hearts.” All genuine believers have had an encounter with Jesus that has changed their life. It was on the road to Damascas for the Apostle Paul. It was in the back row of a Baptist Church in Columbus Ohio for me. The same is true for each person that knows Jesus. Our eyes are open to what God has done to restore His relationship with us.
It is in the previous verse that Paul reminds us that his ministry (and our lives by application) should be about sharing Jesus with others. “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.” (2 Corinthians 4:5a) The urgency of these two verses reminds us that the Lord has worked in our lives so that we could be the source of light in the lives of those that do not yet know Jesus.
I have shared recently that it is a wonderful time to be alive. This statement is not based on the unfolding circumstances of culture. It is based on understanding that this is my generation to serve Jesus! The same is true for you. If this is true, where do you think Jesus would want us to be? Would he want us to be in a holy huddle of those like us? Or would he prefer that we take the light of a transformed life to the dark places of the world?
Paul reminds us of one reason why he was here (and us too by application), “to open their eyes [those that do not know Jesus], so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” Acts 26:18 ESV
Let’s be careful not to miss why we are here!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson