This morning while preparing to celebrate my birthday with friends, I read an article on how many American cars are out there and the title “Are American Cars Going Extinct?”. The criteria is American manufacturer and 85 % of the parts from America. The answer was three. (For you who want to know, it was the Ford F-150, Dodge Viper and the Corvette Stingray.) Now I read that with a little nostalgia, a little frustration and lot of thought on the reasons why.
But as I finished the article I thought about the church, the people. And two thoughts came forth.
One, is many years ago, we published statements that said “if you were put on trial for your Christianity, would there be enough evidence to convict you”” Now I understand the heart and I understand the meaning, but what is the evidence? Is not the evidence to be born again, to have received the life of Christ? And is not the appearance of Christianity to be known by your love? Can there be a 99% Christian? (Or 75%, 50% or less?)
Just a thought…
Secondly, as I read the article I was touched with the fact that what we have in America is being sought out daily. Seven of the ten winners in the American vehicle category, are imports who utilize and meet the conditions of American products. There is also the threat of destruction to our way of life. On similar levels of thought the same is true for Christianity. People are arriving in our life of Christianity at an unprecedented rate. Similarly the devil and individuals are out to crush it.
As an American, I know that people want what I have. But, I know that is true for my belief in Christ and the outpouring of Him through me and others.
They will know you are Christians by your love. (They may not know your truck is American…)They will want what you have.
One final thought. I buy, from a particular company because it has “stayed” American to the best of it’s ability. I recognize the value and place of the others but I like things “American”. I like jobs in my country and it is one of the reasons I buy local when I can. But Christianity has no such boundaries when it comes to nations. It is boundary-less, going where the spirit and the people go.
I look at the list of manufacturers and I get a little sentimental about American metal. There are some in the church who question who ought to be here. When I first came through the doors I know I was watched like that. “Why are you here?” Hey, they did it to Saul who became Paul. Jesus went outside the bounds for Paul. I imagine it was a struggle for the 12. (My kids have said similar things in their youth.”Why are they here?”)
The gates of Christianity are wide open. Huge opportunities are here for us. You must look to see the value before you look to shut the door. There is a bigger picture here, in our lives and in America. Do not miss the opportunity because of fear.
Today, celebrate your freedom and your heritage as His. And give it away.