Sunday, February 13, 2011
"Lord, it's hard to turn the other cheek, Hard to bless when others curse you. Oh Lord, it's hard to be a man of peace Lord, it's hard, oh it's hard, You know it's hard to be like Jesus."
Rich Mullins, "Hard"
This blog, my Orphan Ministry Blog, my Facebook Page, my writings about personal opinion for school, are all centered around a message: God's Message. the gospels. My favorite Bible Figure ever (aside from Jesus) is definitely Paul. Paul, originally Saul as we all know, was a Pharisee. You know, like those men that accused Jesus and had him crucified? Yeah. Saul was one of them, a Jew believing he was doing the right thing. He even held the cloaks of the men who stoned the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen. And yet God had a plan for him. To be prominent for another reason. God struck Saul off the back of his horse and called him out personally for what he had done. And then Saul did his first radical thing for God:
He decided to quit the Christian Persecution march he was on and begin learning from the Apostles.
Paul, as he now named himself (for it was a gentile name, the group of people he would mainly evangelize to) didn't get any more popularity for joining the Christians. he was ridiculed and hated for it. when he started his missions, He kept his head level, and met opposition with joy, because as he said, "It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me." Even in suffering, he lived in happiness because he knew he was living his calling. He even had the courage to die for Christ's teachings.
So why is he one of my favorite biblical figures? He was one of the first real "Jesus Freaks," right up there with John the Baptist. He heard what Jesus said, realized how amazing it was, and followed it in his own life completely, letting it lead him across the known world of the time, and leaving an influence and a legacy still felt today. He lived life Hard.
Now I don't mean he woke up at five in the morning (even though he probably did), drank a glass of water for breakfast and then did 192 push-ups, and then jogged 8 miles. He was fighting the cultural waves coming against him and he did it with joy.
Here we are today. Culture, aside from being different in its interests and values, really hasn't changed much. Christianity is still the thing that "disturbs the peace, makes the controversy" in the eyes of the secular world. Believing in something that has teachings against some of humanity's natural (or sometimes negative) desires doesn't compute with some. But our example can change that and reach many, as my last post about "True Guys" (or heroes) talks about. But as worth it, and satisfying as it will be for eternity, at times, in the here and now, it can just seem...
Is it always fun not seeing the latest movie everybody sees? Is it always fun not listening to all the popular music? No. There are times when it really stinks and you get made fun of for it. But God didn't promise us the easy road, or the fun road, or the short road. It's a long, straight, narrow road that will challenge us at times. And while it is hard, I wouldn't have it any other way. Because I know that in the end, Christ's words (In Matt. 5:10) say " Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,"and while I am a sinner in need of a savior, "I can do all things, in Christ who gives me strength (Phillipians 4:13)."