The Christian and the World

How should the Christian interact with the world? How will the world respond? I can tell you this, don’t expect a celebration and a parade through town. Either loved, hated, or ambivalent, this is what we’ll see.

Jesus, in sending out the twelve disciples in Matthew 10:17-33, had these instructions for them.

The Christian and the Authorities

Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Do not be naive, and use every opportunity to preach the Gospel. Peter, John, the rest of the Apostles, and Paul are great examples in Acts 4, 5, 24, and 26.

The Holy Spirit will give us the words in high-pressure times. The rest of the time we have to think and choose our words as instructed in Colossians 4:6, ‘Let your conversation always be pleasant and cheerful, flavorful, and enhanced so that you can always know how to answer someone.’

That means preparation.

The Christian and Family

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Even family will turn against each other, which is more common in honor/shame cultures all over the world. At the least, they won’t understand their relative’s new life. I run into this one. These days I would rather be home studying and writing or at church serving in a multiple of ministries.

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

Perseverance is a by-product of your faith, Don’t renounce Christ.

Jesus doesn’t demand we die for our faith–though it’s a very real possibility–but to run away and preach another day. We’re not above or better than Jesus; it is enough to be the same as him in dealing with people and life. He’s our perfect example.

The Christian and Truth

So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One (It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31) who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Right will win in the end and the truth will be known. Remember, Jesus is the judge we all face in the end; either as one of his or having rejected him.

Don’t hide what Jesus tells you, has done on the cross, or what he’s done in your life.

The Christian and Death

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

If you kill a Christian, they don’t die, they change locations. Either they’re with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:6-8) or Jesus is with them (Matthew 28:20).

Have you noticed how many sparrows you see flitting around? Yet God is involved in their lives. He is much more involved in mine and your lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and we’re valuable to him. John 3:16 and the 139th Psalm tells us how valuable.

The Christian’s Mission

Whoever acknowledges me before others (But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.Romans 10:8-10), I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

It is that cut and dried. Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, your Lord, before other people, and Jesus tells God that you’re one of his. Then you follow him the rest of your days, free from condemnation (Romans 8:1) and no longer an enemy of God.

Have you experienced any of these verses in action?

The Vision and Mission of Ronin’s Journey

What’s the point of this blog? Why bother? It’s because I see a need, a world that’s harassed and helpless. I want you to not only to apply what you learn here, I want you to know why. In a nutshell, I want to develop thoughtful purposeful Christians.

How?

By cultivating a life of the mind that’s connected to the heart, to create depth, a thoughtful Christianity. Then working outward in an application with a purpose. That’s the point of the two series, Simplified Systematic Theology and Learning Under Jesus.

There is a surface belief in the world, but it’s shallow. There’s little to no application. Why? Because it’s not real to people, they haven’t thought it through. The ones that have, live it or reject it.

Some History

That’s how this blog has been trending since 2014. Before that, it was politics and social commentary five

In the early days

 

days a week. Then a traumatic accident took my godson. Ronin’s Journey became a soul-searching grief journey in mid-2013. Little over a year later, I met Jesus in a way that was deeper than my cultural Christianity.

I began writing what it was like to actually follow him. Matthew 6:33 was the tagline and is still my life verse; “Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, all these things will be added to you.” Then I began refining the blog, and still am to this day. First by moving to private hosting this time last year. It’s not cheap, but I have more control, and no one can take it from me.

Why Bother?

At this point, we are surrounded by cultural Christians in an environment that is increasingly hostile to our worldview. They grew up in church, but never totally committed to Christ.

Does your foundation have the depth to withstand and answer the world’s questions? If not, prepare yourself; if so, prepare others. Take what you know and share it, live it as a testimony. It’s getting dark but that’s when the light shines the brightest.

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It…

Here are my goals for me, and for you if you so choose:

  • Grow in knowledge and service to Christ. How? By following him and thinking through the ramifications, deeply. Ask questions like, “What if I don’t do ____?” “Why should I do _____?” “What’s this mean?” “What if I do             ?”
    I’m confident that time and time again, it’s the best choice. Not always easy, but the best.

Here’s my challenge for you.

Every place that you are at, Jesus is there in you, Christian. Do what he would, in your place, at work, home, public, private, etc. Not sure how?

When I first took the plunge, Pastor Jaime told me to start by reading two things, the book of Romans in the Bible and Immediate Obedience: The Adventure of Tuning Into God. I started another blog, inactive but still there, to chronicle it. First Samuel 12:24. Click the title and it will take you to the first post ever, where I began a 90-Day challenge.

I can’t do this alone. I’ve gotten this far with a lot of grace, curiosity, and self-study, yet I’m reaching almost a thousand people online. You can do it too, you can do better, live a life that’s a worthy testimony and reach who you can your way.

A Miraculous Catch; Learning From Jesus

Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.

We looped back towards Capernaum, following the shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, a.k.a the Sea of Galilee. A huge crowd gathered and was pressing around Jesus, listening to him teach.

Jesus noticed a familiar face, Simon, who was washing his nets beside his boat with Andrew. Without a word, he climbed into Simon’s boat. Then he asked him to put out a short distance so that the crowd had room and could hear him.

Then he sat down and taught from the boat, the cove’s acoustics allowing his voice to carry far. When he finished, he turned to Simon Peter’s crew and the few of us, saying, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

They took us out into the lake and let down the dragnet. Peter and Andrew began to pull it in.

“I can hardly move it!”
“Is it stuck on something?”

We began to help as the net came to the surface. It was full of fish and began snapping. Wildly, Peter waved and called for his partners, James and John, to bring the other boat. They would have to fix the net before they could fish again, and it could be expensive.

Between the two boats, we got it in. Both were filled with fish. Andrew said they had never had a catch like that before.

Simon’s response was different.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

Looking back, I think Simon began to realize who he was standing in front of before the rest of us did. He knew he didn’t deserve that catch. I mean, Jesus called him, and he left us with Andrew in tow. As did his partners, James and John.

Surely Jesus was going to chew him out for it.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.

We got to shore, they left the boats, effectively giving up the fishing business, and followed Jesus. As fishermen, they were a bit better off than other workers. There was money in it.

But they gave it up…to follow Jesus when he called.