I recently had a chance to talk with an Iranian student who was going back to the middle east to share the Gospel with refugees who have been displaced by war. He said these people don’t respond to a Gospel message that focuses almost exclusively on redeeming them from the sinful acts they have committed. Their whole world has been torn apart and, in addition to being forgiven, they need to know God loves them unconditionally and is able to meet all their needs and to clothe them in His security and peace even in these trying circumstances.
Truth is, the Gospel has always addressed this deeper dimension. The suffering these people face is not just the domain of social services. The knowledge of good and evil we inherited from Adam is much more than our ability to choose between right and wrong. It is the wellspring, not only of our transgressions, but also of our feelings of inadequacy and insecurity — our inner feelings of nakedness. Today, the Lord is shaking the foundations of our security in many parts of the world, urging us to seek Him for our peace and wholeness through the cross of Jesus Christ.
This shaking and upheaval will only get more severe as we approach the coming of our Lord. If we cling to the safety of our jobs, bank accounts, neighborhood amenities, health plans and social status, we will likely feel naked and vulnerable if those trappings are stripped away as they have been for the refugees in the near east and parts of Africa.
There is always the temptation to pray God will restore the things that have been taken away from us so we can feel OK again. But God knows what we need and asks us to seek first His Kingdom and to be clothed in His righteousness and peace available through the cross of Jesus Christ.
The greed in this world is ever-increasing as people in positions of authority seek to clothe themselves in more wealth and power by taking it from everyone else. But the Bible says even if we gain the whole world, we will not satisfy our desire to be safe and secure, and in the process, we will risk losing touch with who we really are.
The source of this greed is an inward sense of inadequacy. If only we had just a little more we would be happier and more fulfilled. But instead of taking, God loved us so much that He GAVE His most precious possession — His Son — and will continue to give out of the abundance of His resources to meet all of our needs through Jesus Christ.
He alone can clothe us in His righteousness, His peace, and His security as we follow Him as the Lord of our lives.
May the Lord richly bless you, :o) Bill