Posts Tagged With: Unity

Will Brunei vote for Jesus with their feet?

Brunei-PalaceGateDecember 1, 2012

Recently in Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah mandated the closing of all businesses on Fridays during prayers and urged young people not to intermingle the sexes, but to seek God. While it is a noble calling to seek God, doing so while under compulsion is usually met with a degree of dissatisfaction: people object. This is why there is teenage rebellion by some. Brunei is no different. The leader is trying to compel the citizens to follow the Creator and trying to rectify the waywardness of his earlier years by stricter compliance now, but he has forgotten that a life lived in the presence of God is better than trying to take refuge in the Law. Getting people to know God via the Law, did not work under Israelite kings, and it has not worked in any nation since. It just keeps people out of trouble, and the Law is good.

People have reportedly been voting with their feet and staying away from the Mosque on during Jumaa prayers. Some have said that Bruneians vote with their feet, though they are very respectful and would not fathom protesting their leader. I would not recommend such an action since the Bible clearly says, “Do not curse God or the king.” But how wonderful it would be if the saints would, during this holiday season, vote with their feet and carry the good news of Christ’s birth to the people around them. This would make their feet truly beautiful!!

As I was meditating on this last evening, I had a glimpse of the Crown Prince voting with his feet and establishing the future direction of his nation by walking from the palace to a Christian chapel. If I may be so bold as to say it plainly, the Sultan’s family has the opportunity to follow the example of Zerubbabel and build up the house of God, which is the church of living God, the pillar and foundation of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). For the Sultan to truly find mercy, he must reconcile with the body of Christ. Now, I say that as a foreigner who does not have to live under the Sultan’s rule, but as one who knows the Word of God. God has entrusted the keys to the Kingdom to those who are victorious like David and Peter.

This narrative, reminds me a little of the account of Henry IV who walked to reconcile with the pope and wait in the snow for mercy & forgiveness. –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_of_Canossa – Now I AM NOT ADVOCATING THAT THE CHURCH HUMILIATE THE SULTAN, the President or any other dignitary. But the church should indeed exercise her authority and right to pray for the Sultan and for the wisdom and salvation of Jesus to come upon the leaders of Brunei. And the leaders of the nations should humble themselves and serve the poor of the Land, even the Church of Jesus Christ of everyday saints.

Indeed, during this Christmas season, we should remember that this is what the Magi did. They left their place of comfort and went to see the King of kings: Jesus. They offered gifts. Would it not be appropriate for the Sultan, President of the United States of America, or the Prime Minister of Israel or any other nation to humbly bow before the Messiah by making a short pilgrimage to a local church fellowship and ruling with integrity and justice and mercy? This is surely the path of peace God desires.

We have the mystery of godliness, therefore, we must share it broadly (1 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, this year, how will you vote with your feet? Who will you go to to tell about Jesus who walked among us as the Prince of Peace?

In Christ, Merry Messiah-Month,
Mert Hershberger

P.S. Yesterday, I had the privilege of sharing a little of the Good News with a student of priestly bearing from Iran and a sushi waiter from China who was interested in the Name.

Hip-hop, don’t stop: Get the Word to the world.
http://pray-ap.info/

Categories: Evangelism, Good News, Missions, Prayer, Revival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You are a Flake (And That is Good)

I remember distinctly the day I was called a flake.  My niece smiled kindly and happily as she said, “Mert, you’re a flake.”

I didn’t know whether to feel blessed by a child or to feel insulted, yet she seemed so sweet.  I asked her, “What do you mean by flake? That means different things. What kind of flake?” 

She paused and thought long and hard for a four year old. Then she said, ever so sweetly, “A snowflake.”

“Why a snowflake?” I asked.

“Because you’re clean!” she exclaimed.

I was blessed indeed and felt so unworthy of her pronouncement.

As I reflect on the unique mission & calling God has given me and what my niece said, I believe that her pronouncement also reveals something about our common faith. My mind drifts to Psalm 133:

See how good and delightful

For brothers to dwell together as one.

Like the precious oil upon the head

   Descending on the beard;

      The beard of Aaron,–

         Which descended unto his robe:

Like the dew of Hermon which descended

   upon the mountains of Zion,–

For there YHWH commanded the blessing:

   Life for all time.

 Mount Hermon is a place where it snows, and where there is also dew that settles on other hills due to the coolness of the heights and the condensation. Each individually unique bit of precipitation on Mount Hermon joins others to prepare the way for the whole land to be blessed with dew.

Likewise, the Lord gets his due throughout the earth when we as God’s people join together in the heights and compact together to settle in the place God appointed at the time he has set. Our common faith works together as each part plays a unique part of intercession and waiting before the Lord.

Wikipedia has a fine photo of Hermon with snow on it. As you can see, the sight is imposing and impacts a large area around.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Hermon

Ultimately though, we must realize that our source is not the mountain. We must look beyond the mountain to the Lord God Almighty who put the mountain in place, sends the snow, and sends the dew upon the land. Look to Him, and your needs will be supplied and the land will be watered.

In the Gospels, it may have been Mount Hermon where Jesus went up to be transfigured. It would have shown his sovereignty over the place where false gods were regarded as reigning by the pagans. Pagans would have built shrines in the area to honor non-gods. Jesus claimed sovereignty by being transfigured there and being whiter than the snow and giving the disciples an idea of the changes that would take place in their lives as He would accomplish His reign in & through them. Mount Hermon was at the Northern border of the Land of Promise.

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/mthermon.htm

In Christianity, Mount Hermon speaks of the edge of our life where transformation & transfiguration takes place. We reach the edges of the promises. We seek the Lord. We follow Him to the ends of the earth on a mission for the Kingdom. To be with Him wherever we are going. And suddenly we find He is more and greater than we would ever expect. Our faith in the Messiah which we share in common with Moses and the Prophets is brilliant, yet not the work of human genius. Humans cannot make a soul as radiant as Jesus.

We would love to memorialize the presence of the Lord. But God does not want to merely form a memory, He wants to send us on a mission to new places with new graces, rooted in a common faith, each bearing a unique, meltable mission.

You see, when you melt the snow of Mount Hermon, it melts into one pool of water. We enter in one way, and leave transformed. Our unique mission converges on the edges of the land.  At the edge of the presence of God’s people in the world, we find that there is often the most unity among the saints. We work together when we see not our distinctiveness, but how our little drop of love can be joined in the clouds of glory to exalt the Lord of Glory!

You see, love is the greatest, most enduring thing.  The mountains will be leveled. One day, people will no longer ski down Hermon’s slopes.  But the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.

Categories: Good News, Humility | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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