Come On, Man

Come on, Man!

Sometimes, and I say this tongue in cheek, the Bible really gets in the way of life.  I just passed a WAWA and the price of gasoline was $4.75.  Our politicians are busy doing the same song and dance about what to do about guns.  We will hear their song and dance for a couple of weeks and then they will do nothing.  Another pastor has resigned due to moral failure.  And don’t get me started about needing another pair of shoes and the price of those puppies.  If it weren’t for grumbling and complaining I wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it! (again see tongue in cheek). And then God speaks, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.  Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”  Phil 2:14-18
The part that hit me between the eyes was the part about living in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.  Here, Paul is giving advice to people who are living in a crooked and twisted culture. That sounds about right for where I live.  Massive protests to keep the right to kill babies, a cancel culture that hates on those who don’t believe that men can become pregnant, politicians who cannot define a woman, and teens that decide to shoot small children. Crooked and twisted.  And what advice does Paul give believers?  To do all things without grumbling and complaining so that our blameless and innocent lives shine the great light of the gospel into people’s lives.  He digs the dagger in deeper when he teaches us that if we can do that then our lives will not be run in vain.  Grumbling and complaining, like everyone else, negates our impact for Christ on our culture. Come on, man, that hurts.
He doesn’t stop there.  He invites his brothers and sisters to not only stop grumbling and complaining but to be people who are glad and rejoice.  Paul has chosen to rejoice, even if he stays in jail or is killed because of his service to them through Christ.  I wonder of Paul understands how much easier it is to grumble and complain? While we may feel like we are doing something by complaining, we really are only adding to the problem.  Whereas, rejoicing and being glad shines such a bright light that it gives us opportunities to share the gospel.  It is not that we rejoice in higher gas prices but that we find the truth of the gospel in our lives far outweighs the issues of this world.  We rejoice that even though we are in this world, we are not of this world.  We rejoice in the truth that we extravagantly loved and pursued by our heavenly Father.  We rejoice in the assured hope that even though it appears that evil is winning, God has all ready secured the victory through Jesus.  Rejoicing and being glad is one of the most effective spiritual weapons that God has given us to combat the evil that seeks to destroy.  Wield that weapon today with great force.

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