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It seems that the most notable debate in the church today is not about salvation or sanctification but masks. One side says we must always obey the government. The other side says the other side is no better than the German church in World War II, and we should resist mask mandates.
I wish that the church approached the issues of salvation and sanctification with the same fervor. Can you imagine the effect on our neighborhoods if we focused our passionate feelings about masks toward the unsaved and those not growing in their Christ-likeness?
At our last translation meeting for the NIV, one of the translators shared that he had developed a serious illness, and this devotion came out of that circumstance. He entitled it, “God of the Middle,” or, “God of the Mu” (mu being the middle letter of the Greek alphabet, along with nu). I asked if I could share it with you, and he agreed.
Does the Golden Rule control how we speak with other people? Whether the topic is religious or policitial, can we have a meaningful discussion about significant issues with people who believe differently than we do? Do we listen to them as we want them to listen to us? Or has the Cancel Culture made its way into our lives and that of our churches?
“I will both lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety” (Ps 4:8).
“Do not put the LORD your God to the test” (Deut 6:16).
There is a fine line between testing and trusting God, and during this time of pandemic the distinction is critical.
I've been thinking about hell. The fire department burned down an abandoned house on our property last week. It was fun to watch. They used it for training; they lit a fire in one corner and a group of volunteers marched into the darkness of the smoke with the hose and masks and heavy oxygen tanks. Then they started another fire in another corner, and another group of volunteers put out that fire. It gave me a good sense of appreciation for what firemen do. This went on for 7 hours. While the fire was fun to watch, it was the coals that blasted the heat. The longer it burned, the further I had to retreat. I've never experienced that amount of heat, and that made me think of hell.