In a Foriegn Land for a Domestic Plan

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One of the challenges of Christianity is we live in society in which things that are acceptable to God are unacceptable in society and things that are acceptable to society are not conducive for the life of a Christian. It’s similar to visiting the house of a friend, somethings that are okay in my home may not be okay in the home of my neighbor or the childhood friends of my children.
Life is filled with with what W.E.B. Du Bois coins as Double Consciousness. He states It is a peculiar sensation, this is double ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two un-reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder"
I believe navigating life as a black man this is truly understood. Navigating the lack of safety in predominately white spaces meanwhile finding acceptance and voice and choice in black spaces. As it pertains to the walk of a Christian it has to be proclaimed that one can possess identity in blackness and still be Christian. We fight battles of identity daily, from the memes and videos that float around the internet and the rhetoric that has been spewed because of church hurt, lack of teaching and ignorance.
What we read in this text is not just a directive inspired by God for Peter to write, Peter experienced this personally. Acts 10:28 “Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”
Embracing the identity as a Christian requires a lot of grace, mercy and inclusion. Ministry may require you to be in spaces where you may have to minister to people that do not look like you, sound like you or even ascribe to the same belief system. Nonetheless never underestimate your ability to be an example. If I truly have faith, and truly believe that love covers a multitude the arena of ministry does not matter as long as God puts me in position to be an example.

A Story of an Immigrant

I have the fortunate opportunity to work in public health, and one of the things that public health deals with is immigrants coming to America in hopes for a better opportunity. Last week I was able to go through a simulation to see how difficult it is for a immigrant to get basic needs met in the land of opportunity. It’s imperative as Christians we understand the anguish of living in a world that will never be our home. It should prompt us to understand even more how the enemy is doing everything in his power to make this world so uncomfortable for the Christian that we succumb to the ways of the evil one.

Don’t Misjudge Your Strength

It has been said that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but in this case understand that distance makes you grow stronger. The word abstain in this text is not just about refraining from doing something. The ability to say no is not always enough. Sometimes you have to put some distance between yourself and desire at hand. Having the desire does not make you a weak person, what makes you a weak person is misjudging your strength to the point that you believe that you can be in the presence of lust that is designed to kill you yet come out unscathed. That word abstain simply means to be at some distance away from.
The problem is we put distance between us and wrong things. When we should be putting distance between us and toxic people, detrimental coping skills, and foolish thinking we think we are stronger than we are, and end up putting distance between ourselves and God. Be careful how much space you put in between you and God because when you come to your senses it might take you longer to get back than you anticipated.
Luke 15:20 ““And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”
Family this is warfare, every strategy from the enemy within the confines of war is to destroy the opposition. It’s time we start matching energy. Abstain with the same enthusiasm that Satan is using to entice.
Understand that this was never meant to be easy, war is never easy! The issue is we start with abstaining when abstinence of any kind has to be grown to.
This is the reason why meditating on the word of God is so important, we fail to abstain because we haven’t put any emphasis in growing. A soldier has to at least go through basic training before they enlist in battle. One you begin to grow you to a place where you can build, but I can only build once I have a solid foundation.
Ephesians 2:19-22 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
When I know what I’ve built I’m prepared for sacrifice, the reason why I struggle with my why is because I haven’t spend anytime understanding the foundation of why I should be here in the first place.

The Streets Is Watching

People may not always say anything but they are always watching!
As strangers whose citizenship is in heaven, the streets are watching. They’re watching to see you fail or to be empowered by your ability to stay true to the call of God.
Truth be told it really isn’t even about if you are going to mess up or not, it’s truly about what you are going to surrender to once you mess up. Are you going to wallow in your mess up and choose failure or are you going to be resilient enough to say I refuse to give in to the power of Satan when God can help me bounce back from every issue!
As a foreigner our conduct should be honorable in the midst of those who do not know Jesus. Honorable character or pertaining to a positive moral quality, with the implication of being favorably valued.
Philippians 2:15 “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”

Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

I’ll be uncomfortable on earth if it means God gets the glory, because when God is glorified so is His creation!
The worst thing we can do is get cozy in a place we do not belong, when we live an honorable life it refutes the prejudices that people already have about Christians. When I live my life right and win people over with my conduct, not only do I please God but I also make space for the celebration of grace to begin with those who were on a path to destruction. Living my life in a holy way can save the life of others!
Jesus lived a life of being uncomfortable in effort to change the world. Growing up in Nazareth wasn’t comfortable, some of us don’t live on the best sides of town, but geographical location doesn’t depict impact.
Washing the feet of a man that would betray you was most likely uncomfortable but it shows me that I can serve people even when their motives don’t match my mission.
I imagine being spit on, ridiculed, falsely accused and beaten was uncomfortable but praise God that by His sacrifice if I live right I have a comfortable place of eternity that I can call home forever.
I imagine having nails in my hands and feet, being hung on a cross was no where near comfortable but to bring comfort to the world by this sacrifice of grace and mercy changed the world forever more.
I can be uncomfortable on earth if it means heaven is my home.
I can be uncomfortable on my job if it means that God still provides and I’m able to be the example that people need.
Service isn’t always comfortable but it’s necessary! My why might be the most uncomfortable part of my life, but praise God that my being uncomfortable comes with a comfortable blessing!
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