Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22 English Standard Version
The Summer of 1972 I was 13-years-old, and in between falling in love with girls, I managed to fall in love with Jesus. It was the height of the west coast Jesus movement and the week-long church camp I attended that August was infused with joyful gospel music and the promise of an exciting life following the Lord. In the Fall several members of our church youth group formed a lunchtime Bible study and we experienced misguided pushback when the school told us we couldn’t hold our prayer meeting on school property. Looking back, I think this only served as encouragement for me. After all, didn’t this reaction from the adults in our life prove we young people were doing something daring and rebellious? Whether we fit the classic mold of rebels or not, God used those early experiences to bring many of us to what would become a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s way. I may not have felt like a revolutionary, but, as my faded blue jeans jacket with “Jesus Is The Way” on it indicated, I wanted everyone to know where I stood. In the years since, my devotion to God has waxed and waned, but true to His Word, the Lord always sought me out, drawing me back to Jesus, where I belong.
Today is truly a concerning time for those committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In some countries, societal pressures and trends have led to the watering down of God’s message, while others have taken a more direct approach by simply outlawing the gathering of Christians altogether, even threatening with death Christ followers who persist. However, attempts to marginalize, politicalize, or weaponize the Church have always ultimately been overcome by the simplicity of Jesus’ message. The power of the Bible lies in its mind-blowing resistance to change and misinterpretation, its ability to bring redemption to fallen man, no matter the forces arrayed against it.
They didn’t know, God,
when they drove you to the cross,
that the message they considered
as so much dross
would change the world.
They might have read, Lord,
their own prophets had preached,
but they lost their ears to hear
and shortened their reach
instead of taking hold
of the only lifeline that mattered.
But as the years continue,
Lord, we’re forced to ask,
how long our world has
before it’s taken to task?
We know you are patient
but now call for us to decide
to be gathered up
as your flock and bride.
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 New Living Translation
© Joel Tipple 5/18/2019