Even If

even if

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Read: Ezekiel 47:1 – 48:35, 1 Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalm 119:49-64, Proverbs 28:12-13

Relate: I admit I have a bias. I have uprooted my life and moved into the Middle East in a very large part because of what is happening in Syria and the refugee crisis Bashar Assad spawned and ISIS exacerbated. My heart, my prayers, and my thoughts are constantly running in that direction and I have to admit that when I see some of the bias, bigotry, and nationalism coming out of the west masquerading as Christianity it simply breaks my heart. When I see one after another supposedly Christian governor or politician cave to the political winds and say, “Not here, not now” I am almost embarrassed to call myself American.

I hear the arguments. To a degree, I empathize with the feeling even though most are misguided, based on partial information or false facts, or just plain wrong. People want to stay safe. People want to stay comfortable, and there is a fear that allowing in a “torrent” of refugees will shatter that security. What if terrorists sneak in among those refugees? It will cost us way too much to support them. They should be taken in by neighboring countries/Muslim countries/somebody else… anybody else. Why are we allowing in Syrian Muslims but not Syrian Christians? Etc. I have dealt with some of these false fears (here) other places and will be dealing with others in the near future.

React: But what if every single one of these fears or concerns were true. They aren’t, but for argument’s sake, what if they were? Are we as Christians called to be good only when it is convenient and safe? Are we supposed to be selective in who we show love to? If we have the ability to do so, but don’t use it can we even call ourselves Christian? (Hint: James and John both say no.)

Physical comfort is not a factor. Finances is not a factor. Politics is not a factor. Even our own security and safety is not a factor. Jesus Himself said, “Do not fear the one who can harm the body…” The only concern we should have is, “What is the right thing to do?” What is the loving thing? If Jesus were here, how would He respond to the needs of the poor and the destitute? The thing is, Jesus is here. He is living in and through us. At least… He is supposed to be.

Respond: 

God, I ask that Your love would be made manifest through Your Church. I pray that You would stir the hearts of those who call You Lord. I pray that You would motivate them… us… to step into a place of obedience even if it requires a level of sacrifice or discomfort beyond what we think we are willing to accept. Help us to embrace a love that would drive out fear. Help us to follow You even if that road we walk ends in a sudden and violent end. Let disobedience be something we fear far more than death. 

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12 thoughts on “Even If

  1. Fear drives us way too much. Being safe, watching from the sidelines and not getting involved, is one of the problems of why this country didn’t help the Jews during WWII. Isolation doesn’t insure safety. It insures we don’t experience the grace of God to use us in ways that honor Him. Well said, my friend.

  2. I have mixed feelings about this issue and I suppose it’s based on fear, but one thing I do know is that God has a plan for all of this to be used for good. I know many of the refugees are Christians and that’s maybe through them, Christianity in its true sense will return to our country. We are a nation starving for revival. God bless what you are doing!

  3. This is not an argument but a piece of the puzzle that might help in your understanding. Most of the problem that the West is experiencing right now is a total lack of information. Many are concerned because our current president has a history of tolerance for those who have pledged to destroy America but has a disdain for helping those who call themselves Christian. President Obama will not call ISIS terrorist but has no problem calling the pro-life terrorist. Most of the problems with the refugee situation IS NOT with the refugees but with our current administration who WILL NOT give the people any information. Instead the president points his finger at America and says, “Shame of you for not trusting me.” Meanwhile he is releasing those from prison who strive to destroy America.

    You made a bold declaration in your last paragraph, ” Physical comfort is not a factor. Finances is not a factor. Politics is not a factor. Even our own security and safety is not a factor. Jesus Himself said, “Do not fear the one who can harm the body…” The only concern we should have is, “What is the right thing to do?” What is the loving thing? If Jesus were here, how would He respond to the needs of the poor and the destitute? The thing is, Jesus is here. He is living in and through us. At least… He is supposed to be.

    I’m not a betting man, but if I were I would bet that you have not opened your front door and yelled out, “Ok, the first two refugees who come by I will take in whether I know they are terrorist or not.” No, you would use Godly wisdom. Should you not afford the people of America the same?

    And, just one last bit of information, quit buying into all that you are hearing from the liberal media. You are doing a great disservice to those whose hearts are for the lost and the hurting. You were called to the middle east. I was called to go into prisons. We each have our callings and our passions.

    • You say in the first paragraph, the president isn’t giving enough information. Then you say in your last, don’t believe the liberal information. Well, which is it? BTW, my media gathering holds no political bias. I pull information from the right, left, America, UK, local, etc. Knowing the source helps me know what type of spin but when multiple sources are spinning the same facts, it is easy to understand just what the facts are and then I can form my own opinion. Limiting the information flow to avoid one side’s spin only allows someone to become a sucker to the other side’s spin.

    • Well said. Of course we should be kind, but it would help to have the facts so we can also be wise. Honesty figures in here somewhere, too. It is interesting to see the current administration’s hesitancy to apply the same standards to all when reacting to events.

  4. Pingback: Even If | A disciple's study

  5. Wow, BJ, you are writing from His heart here. In spite of the way others take your words out of context and attempt to make them political, they are solidly from the Spirit. The truth is, we as Christians are supposed to care for widows, orphans and foreigners no matter our own fears or circumstances. (And I would add Isaiah 8:12-13 to your reading list.)

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