March 23, 2011

A Time of Great Opportunity

II Timothy 3:1-2 [AMP] says, “BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.” 

As I watch the news, it seems as if these scriptures are coming to pass right before our eyes.  In the Middle-East we see great uprisings in the Arab world.  The people are rising up against the dictators who have kept them in bondage.  They are looking for leaders that will bring peace, prosperity, and a better life to them.  These are good things, but we must pray that the right leaders are chosen.  If extreme leaders of a radical religion rise to power, we will all suffer for it.

We are also seeing hard and stressful days here in our own country.  Verse two seems to express our problem.  This country, and I am sorry to say, including much of the Church, has become self-centered, greedy, arrogant and abusive.  We have become an entitlement society.  We have adopted the attitude that we are owed and deserve whatever we need or want.  The great generation that fought off every kind of evil in a time of war, knew and understood that it takes sacrifice and work to achieve greatness and nothing in this world is free.

In the news we see protests going on because cuts are being made.  Everybody is for sacrifice as long as it is the other person doing the sacrifice.  Elected officials who are supposed to represent people and stand for what they believe have fled to other states to keep democracy from working.  Why?  Because they don’t want what the majority is going to do.  This is wrong and this is selfish.  We don’t always get what we want, but that’s no reason to pout and take your bat and ball and go home.

So what must we do?  Ezekiel 22:30 [AMP] says, “And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it...” 

As Believers, we must not let the spirit of this world gain control over our lives and the Church.  We must be willing to live a life of sacrifice and holiness.  We do this by not being caught up in this craziness that is going on around us.  We must now, more than ever, stay focused on our walk with Jesus and give ourselves to prayer for our nation and world.

This can be a time of great stress for the Church, or a time of great opportunity.  As people look for the right answers and true leadership, let each one of us let our light shine bright for Jesus and be ready to lead people out of chaos into the peace of God.  Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:14. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

If Believers will take their place and follow the Lord, that which the devil has meant for bad can and will be turned to our good. Amen!