About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Stirring The Pot    


Our western world has been influenced by Biblical thought, despite some of what we have considered Biblical influence was a misinterpretation of Scripture, and in some cases, an outright abuse of Scripture.  Whatever the case, this influence has been a blessing because it has provided the cultural atmosphere for us to freely express our devotion to Jesus.  On the other hand, it has been a curse because it has made living our faith easy, and easy tends to make us devotionally lax.  It's just human nature to slack off.  Devotion can be fleeting, but it doesn't have to be. 


During the first three hundred years of Christian history there were ten state-sponsored times of Christian persecution.  During those years some Christians caved into the persecution and forsook their faith while others maintained their devotion, even unto death.  In the midst of all the stressful turmoil, the Christian movement grew at a rate not seen since.      


From my reading of Revelation 2 and 3 and my study of church history, I learn this.  Metaphorically speaking, Jesus does stir the pot of a devotionally lax church, something He might well be doing in today's western-world church.  The temperature is rising.  We're reaching the boiling point as stress from all corners of life is bubbling up within the church.  Whether it's financial upheavals, rumours of world war, pandemics, climate related disasters, government mandates, escalating violence, supply chain disruption, or doctor shortages, it's challenging us all.  Some are caving into the stress and falling away.  Others are rising to the challenge and are being the productive Christians they are called to be. 


In the midst of another stressful time, the apostle Paul encouraged the Christians in Corinth to examine themselves to see if they were actually in the faith as they claimed.  2 Corinthians 13:5 reads:


"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"


It might be time for us to examine ourselves to see if we are living the trusting relationship with Jesus that we claim to possess.  In the process, we must move Jesus to the top of our list of life's priorities.  Remember, we are commanded to seek His Kingdom above everything else in life (Matthew 6:33).  In today's present stresses, we can't afford to leave Jesus half way down the list of priorities.  He and His will must be priority number one in a world that is more stressed out and chaotic than we have seen in recent times.  It's sad to say, but our present cultural chaos has penetrated parts of the church, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.  Could stress suggest that Jesus is stirring our ecclesiastical pot, and if He is, how are we, or you,  responding?

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