For Rifqa and Paula 2

November 22, 2009

I’ve been thinking allot about Rifqa Bary’s conversion to Christianity.  It’s to the point where I’ve nicknamed her “Paula” after the great apostle who had his own very dramatic conversion.

It doesn’t matter what this young lady does once she’s free from her parents.  Even if she drops out of sight forever her life and testimony will have a great impact.  Rifqa is a challenge to every on the fence lukewarm Christian everywhere, especially those in our youth groups all across the USA.

It’s time to go all in people.  What if you had to lay on the line as this young lady has?  Would you be willing to pay the price like Rifqa has?  (That goes double for the youth group in my church and triple for everyone in Campus Life where I found the Lord)

Her on fire faith has already inspired thousands to remember her and all those like her around the world whose faith is tested every day.

God bless you Rifqa, we’re praying for you!

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“What would Jesus do,” became almost a cliche a few years back.  But it taught a valuable lesson for many young people. In any questionable situation think, “WWJD?” What would Jesus do?

Given our current state of affairs in our country I often wonder, what would Jesus do?  What would Jesus say to our president?  What would he say about all the corruption in our state and local governments?

The problem is we really have no idea what Jesus would really do.  Of course many have presumed that naturally, the Lord would be upon their side.  But to automatically presume your thoughts would be The will of God runs smack up against the third commandment.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.”-Ex. 20 : 7a NKJV

If we look at scripture too often we forget how important context and circumstance are.  In other words, what was going on at the time?  What lead up to that point?  Who was Jesus speaking to at the time, and in what context did he say it?

A good example is the parable of the Prodigal Son.  We allways focus on the dumb son who backslides and is welcomed back by his father.  However, the parable is really about the brother with the attitude (religious folks) who won’t forgive his wayward brother.

Likewise we’d love it if we could just do a temple clearing and whip everyone into shape.  Whether it’s something in our church or something on the political scene.

But the danger is forgetting the real authority Jesus was exercising when He cleared the temple.  Not to mention how bad things had become when He drove everyone out.

It would be interesting to ask a law enforcement officer just how many of today’s laws Jesus broke.  There’s, disturbing the peace, assault, trespassing, criminal mischief, and vandalism, just to name a few.

Some love the way Jesus always gets in the face of all the religious leaders of His day.  They want to confront our political leaders like that.

But they don’t have the same legal rights that Jesus had.  After all He was, (And is) The King of The Jews.

However we have this interesting exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees in Luke 13 about Herod.

31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!”- Luke 13 :31-33 NIV

“Go tell that fox,?”  Was this a jab at the Roman leader over that district? And why call him, a fox? I suspect there’s more going on than meets the eye.

Perhaps we need to see how other New Testament heroes dealt with secular leaders.  John the Baptist called out Herod because he had his brother Philip’s wife.  But this was more a moral issue than politics.

The apostle Paul often connected with secular leaders.  But that was always in relation to The Gospel or when he was on trial.

So what would Jesus do in our situation?  This question helps keep me from getting too caught up with all the Obama Deranged Syndrome that’s going around.

Perhaps the best answer is found in Acts chapter 12.  This is where King Herod “The Fox” meets his end.

“Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.

21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a mere mortal.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.”  Acts 12:19b-24 NIV

Perhaps the best way to deal with leaders we don’t like is to wait on God and have Him take them out.  Not that I’m putting a curse on anyone.  Even Kim Jong Il of North Korea can turn from his wicked ways before he dies.

And there are other ways to remove people from power besides death.  Which is what I will pray for everyone I disagree with.  I’d pray that God would have mercy on them and change their hearts or remove them from power peacefully.

In my humble opinion (With a nod to the third commandment) THAT is what Jesus would really do.

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