|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “… I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Jesus is irresistible”
I know yesterday’s devotional was a bit tough but I hope it didn’t paint a grim or defeatist picture. While we do live in a broken and troubled world, there is hope and healing found in Jesus.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised that He would build His church and all of hell would not prevent Him from doing so. And sure enough, that has turned out to be true. Here we are two thousand years later, the faith is still alive and well and there are more Christians on this planet today than at any time in history. Christianity has survived every form of opposition the devil has ever brought against it. Despite resistance, persecution, imprisonment, torture, and even death, people have continued to come to faith in Christ across the ages and around the world. Enemies have come, they have huffed and puffed, they have shaken their fists and taken their best shots, but they are dead and gone, Jesus is still on the throne, and the faith continues to spread.
Why? What is it about the Christian faith that has stood the test of time and that people have found so appealing? The Apostle Paul answered that for us in Galatians 5:22-23 when he wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Those are the virtues the Spirit of Jesus develops in a person’s inner life. Also, Jesus Himself said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.” He was talking about inner peace. The fact is that Jesus changes hearts and lives for the better, and that makes Him irresistible to people everywhere.
Today the Christian faith is spreading quickly in places like Africa, South America, and China. Sadly, in other places like Europe and the USA, we’re going in the opposite direction. Churches across Europe are largely empty now, and in the USA, as was noted yesterday, there is rapid decline. We should praise God for the growth elsewhere, but we should grieve the decline in our own land.
However, even here in the USA, today there is a wave of revival sweeping across Christian college campuses right now. As I write this, for weeks college students across our land have been gathered by the thousands in chapels that are overflowing as the Holy Spirit draws unbelievers to faith in Christ, and believers to renewal and rededication. Pray that the movement of the Holy Spirit will now spread beyond those campuses into the communities, and then to the rest of the nation.
The truth is that all is not lost. Not even here in America. There is still hope for our land. Jesus is irresistible. People everywhere need Him and, they will want Him if they come to realize what they’re missing. We, the Christians, those who already know and have Jesus, we’re the ones who need to help others come to know Him too. And that’s where we have been failing. We’re not doing our part and that’s why Christianity is in decline in our nation. We’ll think more about this tomorrow.
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday morning at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are close by, or if you’re geographically distant or a shut-in, then live online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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