Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

by John Fischer and Robbie Goldman

I opened a newsletter this morning from my good friend Robbie Goldman who heads up Dry Bones, a ministry to homeless teenagers in downtown Denver, and found a sobering conclusion to our discussions this week about Christians leading with the hellfire and brimstone message. The lead story is all about Robbie and his staff’s shock and awe over the behavior of Christian protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Denver earlier this summer where signs like “Ask me why YOU deserve HELL,” and “WARNING: Baby Killing Women, Party Animals, Rebellious Women, So Called Christians, Liberals, Jesus Mockers, Porno Freaks, Muslims, Drunks, Homosexuals, Sex Addicts, Mormons… GOD WILL JUDGE YOU!” greeted them along with insults hurled from the holders of those signs, as in “Can you even read?” and “What planet are you from?”

We watched the spectacle with a growing sense of despair and sadness,” he wrote. “I was sick to my stomach. The scene was one of the single most heartbreaking experiences of my life.”

Examples like this may be extreme cases of misrepresenting Christ, but harboring even the slightest attitude of judgment or hatred is only a matter of being a few degrees away from this. It’s headed in the same direction. To the degree that we let any of these feelings take hold, we might as well be a sign-holding screamer of insulting epithets.

I walked away with my co-workers; some of us were crying. Others like me simply walked in silent shock. Above all the emotions – sadness, anger, shame – I felt something else that had a stronger pull. I was motivated and rejuvenated. More than ever I was convinced of my job, and your job, to love. We must re-define Christianity to a watching world.

What if we became a group of people known for the way we love homosexuals? What if we became a group of people known for coming alongside those struggling with addictions? What if we became a group of people known for the way we embrace people of other religions and backgrounds? What if we became a group of people known for the way we love women who have had, or are thinking about having abortions? What if instead of calling these women murderers, we told them how much they and their children are worth? What if we decided right now, today, to adopt would-be-aborted babies? We tell young women not to have abortions, but are we willing to give them another option?”

Robbie concluded with, “I am convinced that when we love like Jesus, we are slowly but surely helping to prepare someone’s heart for God to do His work. Love well, brothers and sisters. Re-define Christ for the people in your life with love and see what happens.”

And I can’t help but think that whoever carried that sign about the Baby Killers and Porno Freaks is in for a big surprise when he is eventually welcomed into heaven by all the people his sign condemned. There will be tears.

[For more on this subject, see: “The Separation of Church and Hate: Finding the Way to Real Cultural Change” and more of my related articles for Breakpoint.org at http://www.breakpoint.org

[For more on Dry Bones, see www.drybonesdenver.org.]

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Thoughts by All thoughts by John Fischer Thoughts by Men

By Dr. Bill Bright

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then, finally, the end will comeMatthew 24:14

I applaud every effort to warn Christians and nonbelievers to be ready for our Lord’s return, as Scripture clearly teaches that He will come again and has delayed His return in order that more people might have a chance to hear the gospel. To this end, we must give priority to taking the gospel to all men everywhere throughout the world.

However, we dare not wrongly interpret the Scriptures, as so many in previous generations have done, resulting in a lack of concern for the souls of men and a failure to correct the evils of society.

God expects us as His children to be His representatives here on earth. We are to love with His love, sharing the message of salvation with all who will listen and helping to meet the needs of widows, orphans and prisoners in His name.

True believers in previous generations have always been at the forefront of moral and social reforms as well as being active in evangelism. Child labor laws, women’s suffrage and abolition of slavery, for example, grew out of a mighty spiritual awakening that swept England through the ministry of John Wesley, George Whitefield and their colleagues.

We in our generation must be no less concerned about injustice wherever we find it. The most important way to solve our social ills, however, is to change the hearts of men by introducing them to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our priority commitment as Christians must be to disciple and evangelize in obedience to our Lord’s command.

Then we should instruct new believers that “loving our neighbors as ourselves” includes helping them where they hurt. But remember, the Lord cares more about the soul than He does about the body. The body will soon perish but the soul will live forever.

Bible Reading: Matthew 24:7-13

Today’s Action Point: I will keep my priorities straight – first sharing the good news of salvation to as many as possible, but at the same time demonstrating love and compassion to widows, orphans, prisoners and all who are in need, in obedience to our Lord’s command.

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Bill Bright Thoughts by Men