“You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]. At that time, many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold.Matthew 24:6-13
Cold Love Vs. Soft Hearts
In Matthew 24:6, God warns us of the signs and then encourages us not to fear when we see the signs. We have only to flip on the news or social media to see that “the love of many has grown cold.” The pandemic, the violence, the hate can be too much for our soft hearts. If you are like me, you might employ tactics like rocking up, shutting down, or numbing out. The funny thing (literally) is that allowing myself to laugh and have fun during hard times is an act of rebellion. Laughing in the face of peril is refusing to let hard times define how I feel. Sometimes all I need to do is watch Drybar Comedy to help me get out of a funk. However, we know that it takes more of a longterm solution to overcome what’s going on in the world right now and to make a difference.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”Romans 12:21 New International Version (NIV)
The Deadly Kingdom
We can’t fix the state of our world through our own power. Its core and strength lie deep within the spiritual. It’s only in that realm; we can make lasting change. God is the one who made us each different. He created us to be individuals. Look at the variety of color, form, and growth within nature. He celebrates our differences even more than the variety of flowers in a field. In our fallen world, humans can mistake these differences for negatives. We attack others, they return the volley, and before we know it, it swells to a cacophony of hate and violence. It’s part of the fall of man from love. This earthly system is a human creation that, with time, morphs into an evil entity. Romans 12:21 tells us how to overcome evil. Our own goodness is no match for evil once it’s beyond humanity and has taken on its own form.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Ephesians 6:12-13
As nations rise against nations, as our country divides more and crumbles from within, we still want our own way. Evil begets evil, and as we participate, we find ourselves in the middle of an unwinnable battle. We’ve tried the earthy, human methods, and as Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for ya?” We can only look around to see that it’s not working well. What would happen if a group of people rose, put on spiritual armor, and established God’s kingdom of justice and love? What if we could succeed in creating a kingdom patterned after God’s. That’s why we pray “…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”Matthew 6:10-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
There is not a human on the earth that responds productively to hate. I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we cannot stop hate with hate. We can establish God’s kingdom on earth only as far as we establish this revolution of love within ourselves. Lasting change is never forced by a person, imposed by a government, but nations change when the hearts of its people change. As we walk in His light, we can genuinely “fellowship” with each other. I don’t know if it’s too far gone or if it will only get worse, but I know that I’ll go down swinging. I will pray, work to walk in the light, to deal with my shortcomings, to establish his kingdom in me permanently. As long as I have breath and life in my body, this will be my aim. At least I’ll have comfort that I didn’t give up, and I’ll do my part.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:7-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
The very nature of love lies within the concept of undeservedness. We don’t deserve perfect love. How can we? We haven’t loved others perfectly. We can’t give what we don’t have. If we are full of self-loathing and bitterness, we can’t correctly love. We try our best, but only unconditional love can truly change a hateful heart. When we experience God’s undeserved gift of love and mercy, it’s easier to love our brothers and sisters genuinely. (I’m not advocating in any way that someone stays in an abusive relationship, if they are abusing you, you have no power to change them) If we follow His example, we bring Him and His kingdom to the earth. I love this song by Ron Kenoly, we are imperfect, but He can use us. Let it be our prayer tonight as we ask God for a revolution of love within us, within the hearts of those hurting around us and in our country.
But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
“Use Me” by Ron Kenoly
“…learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless,Isaiah 1:17
plead the widow’s cause.”