[This appeared first at LifeChurchNC.com]
October 14, 2016
When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them… For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
On Thursday evening, over 30 from our Life Church attended a 2-hour simulcast called Q-Commons – an event specifically focused on educating Christians on how they can bring hope and leadership to their communities in a critical moment for America. As the next election nears, with heated debates and propaganda being dialed up, the divide in our nation seems to become more and more apparent. In light of the racial tensions our nation continues to face, especially in recent months, it seems quite obvious that the very foundations of our nation are being shaken and destroyed.
Pastor Ravi Zacharias opened last night’s event with these words from Psalm 11: When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? In other words, what are the people of God called to do?, or perhaps more specifically, what can the people of God do in the midst of some of the most turbulent, disheartening and divisive times in the recent history of the nation around us?
There are at least three things we, as God’s people, should consider:
- Run toward the messes, not away from them. If we’ve learned anything in recent months, especially in our current teaching series on Sundays (A Beautiful Mess) where we are journeying through the book of 1 Corinthians, it’s that God’s people are not called to run from the messes but toward them. When the world around us gets messy, instead of taking an escapist-mentality, we find ways to enter the mess with the truth, hope and love of the Gospel. Though we are not of the world, there is no questioning that we have been and are consistently being called into it. (John 17:13-18) In doing so, we are demonstrating the very heart of our gracious heavenly Father who comes running after us, right in the middle of our messes, to bring peace and order to the chaos of our lives.
- Remember that the Lord is still on his throne. As the psalmist reminds us, The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. This is not only a critical truth we need to constantly remind our own hearts with concerning the messes we personally face in life, this is also a foundational truth we must hang onto for our nation. Ultimately, God is Sovereign, and despite the outcomes, His purposes will be accomplished. This we can be sure of. However, simply because God is Sovereign and is still on his throne does not mean we abdicate our responsibility to be a people who are ushering in heaven to earth. It is by the grace of God that He chooses to accomplish His purposes through His people. Jesus promised that He would be the one who builds His Church, which means, He will either build it through us or He will build it around us. The same is true with God’s Kingdom. It is already advancing, and it will either be advanced through us or despite us. I don’t know about you, but I want to be part of it being advanced through me, not around me. Which leads to the third thing we should consider.
- Keep working for justice and mercy. The psalmist concludes in Psalm 11: For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Our hope is not in politicians or governments; our hope is in the only true and stable Foundation – Jesus. Anything build on any other foundation will simply not hold up, which is why we should not be surprised when the foundations around us fail or are being destroyed. However…and this is a BIG however…we do not stand back with arms crossed to watch it cave in on itself. Instead, we rush in to continue to work for the peace and prosperity of the city and the nation we have been placed, praying for it’s leaders and pouring out our lives for justice and mercy of its citizens. Ultimately our work is to see that the lives of the broken around us are being rebuilt on the Foundation of Christ, just as ours have been.
On November 6th, the Sunday before the election, we will be stepping away from our series in 1 Corinthians to specifically focus on what it means to be dual-citizens of both heaven and earth as we continue the work of justice in our world. On that day, we will be spending extended time in prayer together.
As we look ahead, I encourage you to see where we’re going over the next couple of weeks in our series, A Beautiful Mess. Please see the special note below concerning content fo the messages in the coming weeks, especially if you are a parent of child/student under the age of 13.
There are several exciting opportunities coming up this weekend as we continue our work of ushering heaven into earth, starting with the Walk for Life (Saturday, 9am-12pm @ Community Park), supporting our friends at the Pregnancy Support Center of Rowan County. And on Sunday night at 6pm, let’s pack the house at Isenberg Elementary for our monthly Unity Gathering. Details on both are below.
See you this weekend,
Grace & Peace –