Ralph is currently in Ukraine – ministering prophetically and laying apostolic foundations. This daily blog was written by him before he left and is being posted by his personal assistant. As computer hook-ups allow he will add in “Ukraine Blogs” telling us what the Lord is doing during his mission trip. Also, as time and computer hook-ups allow, he will be personally reponding to any entries you make as he always does when in his study and not travelling trans-locally. He returns on he 22nd of November, 2008.
When we look at our world today we see radical “religious” people dying for their cause. We see people strapping bombs on their bodies and moving among their enemies and blowing themselves up resulting in the death of many. We also see the Christians in safer nations living in peace and being critical of those who are doing such terrible things because of their religious convictions. Christians being politically correct so as not to draw attention to themselves and not to upset others.
Jesus did not want His followers just to live in peace with everyone. In fact, the opposite is true for the gospel is an abrasive message that confronts sin and evil head-on. Jesus said:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ (Matthew 10:34-36)
The true Gospel, when it is preached with power, always results in either revival or riot. That was Paul’s experience. Archbishop William Temple once said: “Everywhere the apostle Paul went there was either a revival or a riot. Everywhere I go they pour tea.”
Did we ever consider that Jesus sent His own followers on suicide missions? He knew His disciples would be killed as they attempted to take the Gospel throughout the world. This realization did not prevent Jesus from commanding His followers to go forth and die for His Kingdom! He told them:
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. (John 15:19-21)
These days there are too many Christians with conditions attached to their faith. They tell God where and when He can speak to them, what kind of things He can say, and which commands they are willing to obey and which they will ignore.
Such “faith” is no faith at all, and God will judge such self-centered people if they refuse to change. The good news is that you can change. The Bible states clearly what we must do:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
I like what Brother Yun says:
“If we belong to God, we must learn to put our own scedules away. We must bundle up all of our hopes, dreams and future plans and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Even our very bodies, the Scriptures say, should be offered as living sacrifices. Such faith is holy and acceptable in God’s sight.”
This radical commitment and abandonment to God’s will, even by a few, will change the world forever. It always has. It will once again … if we make the quality decision to truly follow Jesus regardless of what it might cost us.