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The City

Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

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I cannot tell you how many times I have read this passage over the years.  I have listened to sermons, Bible studies, Sunday School lessons about Abraham bargaining with God. And my perception of this passage has always been that God is just.  He will not treat the wicked and the righteous alike. He will spare the lives of the righteous.

But I read it new this time.  I read that God would spare the wicked for the sake of the righteous. God said He would not destroy the city on behalf of the righteous.  The wicked benefit on their behalf.

We know this is congruent with God’s character. God told Abraham He would bless the world through him. The world that rejected God would be blessed by the nation that followed God. Of course, the world would be blessed ultimately through the righteousness of Christ. And, while we were still sinners, rejecting God, avoiding God, Christ died for us.

Yet, I have never thought of transferring this passage to my life today. Have I considered, have you considered, that your faithfulness might save the city? Have I considered that walking in righteousness with God may benefit the one who rejects Him? Might God hold back His judgment for our sake and give the unrighteous a little more time?

It gives me a desire to walk more diligently in faith. It gives me strength to know my desire to walk in holiness is not simply for my benefit or my relationship with Christ. Rather, my faith can bless the unbeliever. My faith, my righteousness that came through Christ, is a blessing to others long before they ever believe.

Stay faithful and keep fighting the good fight of faith! You are giving someone another chance to believe.

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Show Me the Money

And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” Matthew 11

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Show me the money!

People make big claims.  And, when they do, we want them to “show us the money”.  Give us proof.  How can we believe you unless you show us something tangible?

It is the same argument that is often used when people are opposed to the Christian faith.  If Jesus were real…if God were real…He would prove it.  He would show Himself to us.  He would perform a miracle to let us know He was there and we are to follow Him.

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He performed miracles every where He went.  Some places more miracles than others.  In Caperaum, He performed many miracles too.  One of Jesus’ most memorable miracles there was the healing of a paralytic man whose friends lowered him through the roof.

Yet, in this passage Jesus rebukes the people of Capernaum.  He says that even though He performed all of these miracles, they did not believe in Him.  The people of Capernaum witnessed such great miracles that even the wicked people of Sodom would have repented if they had seen them.  But the people of Capernaum refused to believe even though they saw it with their own eyes.

What about us?  What about you?  What about our friends who still don’t believe?  It may be that even if they saw a miracle they would still resist Christ.

Some of us are waiting for a miracle.  But there is no guarantee that a miracle will produce faith.  Instead, we step out of faith and believe.  It is then we often experience the miracle.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith!

Dream Big!

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. ~ Daniel 2:28

Christians have stopped dreaming.  In the days of the Book of Acts, the Apostles and other disciples believed that God desired to pour out His Spirit and power on the world.  They believed the Kingdom of God was at hand.  There have been times throughout the last 2000 years when Christians have been renewed and revived with this same truth.  But we have begun to wane.  Mostly we have limited our faith to the next life.

Yet, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He still desires to pour out His Spirit and power.  And He still wants to work His will through His people.  We have stopped dreaming that Christians have been given the power and the assignment to do great things here.  God desires to raise up His own children to find cures for cancer, a vaccine for AIDS, solve unclean drinking water problems, and find eco-friendly energy sources.  He wants to empower His children to heal marriages, feed the poor, clothe the naked, and fight injustice.

Why has our generation stopped dreaming?  We have stopped praying prayers that require faith and a miracle of God.  We have stopped believing that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available now!  We are not even sure if the miracles of the Bible happened anymore.  And we wonder why Book of Acts miracles only take place in 3rd world countries.  It is because we have stopped dreaming big, praying hard, and thinking long.

Join us this Sunday as we begin to trust God for some big, crazy dreaming!

 

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