Commit Yourself to A Faithful Creator
Recently I read a publication of a voter’s guide reviewing Oklahoma’s “State Questions.” I should make clear before continuing any further: this is not in any way an opinion on whether you should have voted “yes” or “no” on any of the state questions but simply an observation that stimmed from the voter’s guide. One of the state questions was in regard to allocating state funds for ANY religious objects promoting a religion (Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol property).
It’s no secret that in today’s American culture, Christianity is not the popular form of living. Pause for a moment and think about that statement. Following Christ is not popular. More to the point, it is no longer popular. Take a look back into the good ol’ days and what do you see? Thirty, even 45 years ago, being a Christian was culturally popular. A massive amount of the populace claimed publically that their household were indeed a Christian family.
In the “good ol’ days” being a Christian opened up many opportunities, both socially and economically. Want to be part of the “in-crowd”? Talk about the pastor or church on Sunday. It was requested from many social clubs to list which church you attended on their application/interview. If the local highbrow cigar lounge or country club were adding new members, you had better note your availability on Sunday as: afternoon or evening only, if you wanted to join. Political and non-profit organizations would more commonly schedule their events on Friday night. Never on Saturday for fear of attendees leaving early because of church in the morning.
1 Peter 4:12-19 says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? ’So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
Christianity is no longer the popular way of life, praise God! Don’t be, therefore, surprised when you are tested. Rejoice at the approaching-joyful glory of God! When His monuments etched with scripture are torn down and no longer allowed to be “set in stone” for all to see. When the government is no longer “pro-Christianity” as our forefathers were, commit yourselves to your faithful Creator! But most of all, I refer you back to verse 16 – “…do not be ashamed, but praise God…”
Brothers and sisters, if there was one thing that might be considered the polar opposite of the Gospel, it is shame. Nonverbally, or even verbally cowering away from what our Father has done, crushes the testimony of God’s grace in your redeemed life. Peter tells us in that passage that there is a joy in suffering for Christ. That you are blessed, not shamed. I pray you continue to hunger for Him.