About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
past year and this start to the new year have had demonstration of the
realities of fallen man in a decaying creation. All creation is in
bondage. All mankind must work to overcome corruption and decay. Unless
it is the work mandated by Jesus it contributes to the corruption and
decay. What will a new year show us?
Lord Jesus commands total allegiance. Allegiance to anyone or anything
else falsifies true faith. We are to submit to governing authorities,
not align our allegiance with them. The kingdom of God is not a
we are challenged by a pandemic or a scamdemic, it will pass.
we are out of business, or raking in obscene profits, it will pass.
actions and reactions of people to the events and circumstances have
revealed who they are. What have we learned, and what can we change?
could say much about Christian religion in North America from what
reaches my eyes and ears here in Ontario, Canada. It is in stark
contrast to true faith in Jesus. You may not understand that or agree
with it. I hope that in reading this you might take some of what I say
to heart. Examine scripture. Examine your thinking.
not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect
will of God. ” (Romans 12:2 CSB)
is important what we do with our minds. Opinions indicate what we are
thinking about, and also how we are thinking. There are many critics,
but few critical thinkers. We need to be thinking but so often we jump
to premature conclusions, or do not think in a pure and truthful
is part of a process of change. We want to change properly, in the right
direction. Let us not impede it by unholy rhetoric. Let us have
reasonable discussion, and be careful about our conclusions.
brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever
is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is
anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.” (Philippians
might say what we think, but Jesus has the last word.
what will unfold toward the end of the present age and what will be
ushered in, then, are beyond our full understanding at this time.
Certainly the glory of the new heaven and earth, later, and our eternal
existence with Jesus are incomprehensible.
we must be knowledgeable of our current mission and the tools we have to
accomplish it in the present age.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world
does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the
contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish
arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge
of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)
who call themselves Christians do not recognize proud things in
themselves and in others. They pretend, or may even believe, that they
are in the know. Some even proudly proclaim their opinions with vain,
worldly pretension that they know everything better than anyone else who
is not also in the know.
you are a true Christian who has also done that, begin to think
does this mean for the year ahead?
have we learned about ourselves in the past year that we can look
forward to having changed in our lives?
are we thinking about everything? Do our opinions matter? What do they
inform us about ourselves?
have varied thought lives. What we think about and how we do our
thinking, are important.
you have been challenged or discouraged or endangered, frustrated or
disillusioned or disgraced, God is on your side if you are His.
are either in Adam or in Christ. What we think about that does not
change the truth of where we stand. We are either dead in sin or alive
in the Spirit. Our thought life does not change our standing but does
play a role in how we walk that out in our lives.
certainly should not be focused on thinking about evil things. There is
unrighteousness in the world. We should not be surprised. We do not need
to be constantly focused on all the wrongdoing.
is not the power of positive thinking to change things. This is us
thinking correctly in order to align ourselves with God's plan, whether
that plan is to change things or keep them the same; or to make things
“better” or to make things “worse.”
should not be impatient in our thinking. Too often we want to reach
conclusions when they are not yet warranted. We might infer something
from what we presently know, but that is not proof of it. Further
information can change potential conclusions.
many of us have ever changed our minds about something? Have we changed
an opinion? Having an opinion, having our minds made up about something,
does not make it true. It only changes our interaction with reality. If
we are ruled by our opinions we do not walk in the light and we risk
perpetuating untruth and bondage.
circumstances of the past year have shone a light on our priorities.
Have we been so caught up in informing others of our “correct”
opinions that we fail to listen to others and that we also create
unhealthy, polarizing division? Do we fail to be peacemakers?
Let us have reasonable discussion, and be careful about our
encouraged. Do not despair. There is no condemnation for those who are
in Christ. If you have been fixated on some particular victory or defeat
in the affairs of men, and especially if you have been entrenched in a
particular opinion for or against it, then you may humble yourself and
confess, so our Lord may redirect you. Be careful not only to look at
things you thought or said that turned out to be wrong, but examine why
you thought that way. If things have turned out as you expected, you
still do not know everything.
focus of many has been on the health, social, employment, freedom and
political issues in their lives. The related concerns about factual
information versus conspiracy and fake news have dominated the thinking
of some. There are valid questions in considering any aspect of human
endeavor and the challenges faced. Too many people are unwilling to
subject their personal conclusions to the questions of others. And it is
also easy to say, “I told you so,” when someone else is shown to be
wrong. But let us face the fact that we have not reached the end of
history yet. There is room for all of us to face correction. There are
bigger issues than surviving the pandemic, than the rebuilding of a
nation, than losing our freedom to powerful and controlling people and
organizations, or than having food for our families.
trust is in Jesus, not in men. Do we align ourselves with men? We pray
for our leaders, but our trust is not in them. God raises up kings and
kingdoms and brings them down. How many of us pretend to know His
schedule for His unfolding plan? How many of us are Godly prophets
revealing exactly what is going on?
who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How, then, can they
call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in
the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without
someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are
sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring
good news!'” (Romans 10:13-15 NIV)
and governments do not save us. They do not empower us to bring good
news. Nether gut flora and fauna nor vaccine will deliver us from
deception. Neither relief benefits nor lock-downs can touch our eternal
“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where
Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things
above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with
Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also
will appear with him in glory. Therefore, put to death what belongs to
your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and
greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon
the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were
living in them. But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath,
malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one
another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have
put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the
image of your Creator.” (Colossians 3:1-10 CSB)
is a hope within us, if indeed we are His, and because of that we ought
to examine ourselves – our motivation, our thinking and our speech and
acts. All that we are will be made plain.
the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any
double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and
spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and
intentions of the heart. No creature is hidden from him, but all things
are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an
account.” (Hebrews 4:12,13)
can change, with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, their own
thinking and actions. They cannot change the reality of this present
age. They can simply be the representatives of the Lord Jesus, the
Christ, and present the gospel as an opportunity for men to be saved
individually from the darkness and corruption of this world. Walk in the
Spirit, be knowledgeable and trained in the scripture.
“Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16 CSB)
we have preferences concerning the way the world is run? Do we know
better than Jesus what is going on? How do we respond and react to the
events in this world? True Christians have a choice about what to
believe and what to do. Be careful.
choose to believe things that they hear without any firsthand knowledge.
There are countless issues in the lives of men. There are arguments for
and against any opinion about those issues. So many people choose to
believe things that they know nothing about personally. Many choose to
believe that there can be no reasonable argument if it does not support
their own conclusions.
opinion and reason do not change the truth. There are many critics but
few critical thinkers. Be careful in expressing personal opinion, even
if others agree with it, on issues that are beyond your personal realm
of firsthand knowledge. All human opinion and reason is vain unless
subjected to the word of truth. It can be polarizing and divisive,
confusing and enslaving.
is hope. It is in the true light. Everything in the darkness will be
uncovered. The current circumstances in this fallen world are exposing
the way people think and behave. We have an opportunity to examine
ourselves and repent of any involvement in this world, that is, any
involvement that is not out of firsthand knowledge of Jesus and His
is a valid conclusion at any time and in any circumstance: the kingdom
of God is … righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.