Follow The Instructions!

In my youth, when one of the family would get frustrated trying to assemble a toy or make some device work, it was certain that someone would say with a smug look, “Follow the instructions!” And of course that solved the problem.

This is written to those Christians who are willing to follow God’s instructions no matter what the cost in this life. Because any way except God’s will take you further and further even from where you think you want to go.

America has changed radically in just a few days. Been changed, in fact, by radicals. So what, if any difference should that make for American Christians?

Pastor Jack Hibbs, in “What We Know For Sure Part 1”, said “I think [the Constitution] bled out. We’re just now recognizing that.” I.e., it no longer has authority. Frightening. What should American Christians do?

The Declaration of Independence declares that all men are “… endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed … whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …”

There you have it! As loyal Christian Americans, we should rise up and revolt. Of course, that’s not from the Bible, but isn’t America a Christian nation? Or it was … uh, what? I thought I heard someone say something …

If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight …”

Well yes of course, King Jesus, but Your people were being tyrannized by Rome, ah, like we’re beginning to be … but we were free! We want our freedom back!

What, Lord? Your people had been free too, yes of course, but they lost their freedom by repeated, massive sinning just … like … we … no, no, I mean … wait … We were an example to the world of freedom! We don’t want the world to lose hope! We … Sir?

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

Yes, Lord, I remember that You said that, but …

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1st John 2:16-17)

Ah, Lord, I know that this John was Your half-brother on earth, but could we talk, just You and I? Without interruptions please? I mean, John’s time is over. This is my life and the lives of my fellow Christian Americans we’re talking about – ”

What?! Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1st Corinthians 6:19-20)

Why is the apostle Paul butting in on this conversation, Lord? This is between …

I speak to you Gentiles because I am an apostle to the Gentiles!” (Romans 11:13)

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?” (2nd Corinthians 11:23-39)

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2nd Corinthians 5:20)

OK. I give up. They’re still inspired by the Holy Spirit. I guess I’d better listen to them too. >grumble mumble< OK, all you writers of God’s Word, what else do you have to say? Something positive, perhaps?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, considering God’s many mercies to you, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Who next? Peter? You apostles are ganging up on me – OUCH! Sorry, Lord sorry sorry please, go ahead, Peter…

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1st Peter 2:13-17)

But Peter, they scare me. They’ve threatened to –

Do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1st Peter 3:14-17)

I’m sorry, Lord, Peter, Paul. I apologize for my attitude. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen.

They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:12-19)

Ha. Now Luke. And I suppose it’s unanimous. Alright, I’ll do my best to live as an ambassador of my Savior. It doesn’t look like fun, but there is that off-planet retirement plan … and King Jesus, I can never thank You enough for my salvation, and for the way You have tolerated my sins and failures for years. But I can take Your message of forgiveness of sins and citizenship in Heaven to … everyone. Even those who threaten and despise and hurt me … I’ll try, Lord. I believe. Help Thou my weakness. Amen.

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