Concerning our perceived effectiveness, the church has done a fair job of saving people from Hell, but a poor job of saving people from their brokenness. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples, not just converts. I am afraid in our enthusiasm to make only converts we have left a heap of lost souls in the wake of false confessions and hurry-up-sinner-prayers.
I was somewhat amused by the various reactions to Kanye West’s conversion. There were skeptics from the religious world and the secular world. The woke are in the dark when someone else has seen the light. They are as confused concerning someone’s turn-around as they are to the meaning and purpose of life.
Moses had his first encounter with God at the burning bush in the desert while keeping his father-in-law’s sheep. He saw a fire in a bush, but the bush was not consumed so he went in for a closer look. The Angel of the Lord (Pre-incarnate Christ) called out to Moses and told him to remove his sandals because he was on holy ground.
The Lord commanded Moses to return to Egypt and lead His people out. Moses questioned God about His name and this was the reply, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14 NKJV).
There have been thousands of books written about being successful, rich, happy, fulfilled, and the list seems to never end. Everyone seems to be looking for that formula of life that will bring the blessings of peace and joy.
Jesus began a sermon with some verses we call the Beatitudes (Blessings). It is not a formula but a lifestyle likened unto Jesus. For the follower of Jesus, these are not optional nuggets of wisdom but the principles for our lives as we journey with Jesus.
A Clean Heart and a Steadfast Spirit
King David had a moral crisis when he lusted after and committed adultery with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. He complicated and multiplied his sin by deceit and murder after it was revealed to him that she was pregnant with his child. The husband of Bathsheba, Uriah, was a trusted soldier of David’s who was numbered in the elite thirty-seven of 2 Samuel chapter 23. Uriah was ordered from the front lines for the sole purpose of obscuring his wife’s pregnancy as a product of adultery. When Uriah refused to keep company with his wife while his men were roughing it on the battlefield, David took the sin to an even lower level of murder. He wrote orders for Uriah to be put in the most dangerous position of battle guaranteeing his death. This strong faithful soldier faithfully carried his own sealed, death sentence to the commander of the army. Yes, he died in battle and David brought Bathsheba into his palace as his wife.