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Three Thoughts as We Wind Down 2016

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Winding down on another year and there is so much to reflect and comment on. However for this time I would like to address three things.

Firstly, I must say I am amazed how many professed believers continue to celebrate Halloween and facilitate and encourage their children to do so also. I would remind us that we are called to be separate from the world and there is no provision in our walk to accommodate embracing celebrations rooted in pagan mystic cultures, no matter how popular or innocent fun it’s proclaimed to be. When we open ourselves to the occult whether it be halloween, zodiac, numerology or any seemingly inconsequential practices, it cannot be good. Know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough and it’s indeed the little foxes that ruin the whole vineyard. Rather that learning the ways of the world lets stand for Christ and be effective witnesses of his leading the world out of darkness into his marvelous light. Its very difficult to make an appeal for Christ if there is no difference between you and the world. Be in the world but not of the world, make sure we are holding true to our calling.

Secondly, I’ve been reflecting on not only how important it is to give God of our resources and all he has blessed us with but to include ourselves in that giving. When we are presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to God we should remember to give him the first of our time in prayer, as well as reading, studying and meditating upon his word. We should be gladly giving of our time in fellowship, hospitality and out reach. All of these sacrifices are just as important as the sacrifices of giving of your monetary first fruits.

Thirdly, this election season has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous and God’s people should keep their wits about them and keep their focus on who will implement policies and that will bring about justice and helping the least of these. We must look past the rhetoric and propaganda of the political machine, do our due diligence, investigate allegations and accusations if you are concerned the might have merit. We live in an information age and we have resources at our disposal to make informed decisions and we have no excuse for not doing so. Read, discuss and stay informed.

God Bless

Posted by Alex Smith with 3 Comments

Instruments of Liberation

INSTRUMENTS OF LIBERATION (PART 1)

Can you hear the cry for Justice?

Our streets are stained with the blood of the innocent, the cries of the oppressed are faint to the ears of those who care more about prosperity, power, and the protecting the american way than the freedom of brown and black people.  This socio-economic and political climate we are in troubles my soul! A land where social, political, and economic oppression runs rampant in the dawn of day and by night the public lynching and victimization of the racially oppressed….

My God, can we hear the cry for Justice from our brothers and sisters?

Of recent, while spending time in scripture reading, praying, and meditating,  the witness of Moses became a central focus of emphasis kind of ruminating in my heart.  Specifically, as the author of the book of Hebrews records the choice Moses made in Hebrews 11:24-26

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

Moses chose to leave the seat of authority, comfort and prestige to take up the plight of the oppressed, the lowly, the slave.  For the Lord, Moses chose not just the position of understanding the slave but becoming one of the slaves.  Moses chose to suffer the cost of slavery to glorify God by connecting with God’s suffering people.

As Christians, the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us to rely on our faith to uphold the cost of rejection, imprisonment, the price of freedom in light of God’s greater reward before us.  The witness of Moses reminds us that faith in God empowers us (all) to act on behalf of the innocent and oppressed.

Listening to the teachings from Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, keynote speaker at the Covenant Justice Conference 2016 lit a fire in my bones.  Hearing Rev. Rivera introduce Captivity theology, as being an instrument of liberation through four models of ministering in the midst of captivity was impactful and insightful.  Of the four models, one stood out to me: Confrontation, because it was developed out of the biblical account of Moses confronting the fallen system of egyptian captivity.  

Like Moses in this passage, we have a choice to make.

If you can hear the cry for justice, how will you respond?

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