NO NEUTRALITY, TAKE A STAND | Thursday 3rd week of Lent | Day 20

There are Christians today who for fear of being persecuted and for reasons of increasing interaction hide their identities to become some sort of "anonymous Christians"- neither having the capacity to defend what they believe in nor condemn what is evil. But on the level of discipleship and followership Jesus creates two groups only: those gathering with him or scattering with the devil! Where do you belong? In my previous post I asked: 'What is Your contribution to the Death of Christianity'. Many did not understand that question and responded wrongly. This reflection will help you discern your 'contribution' and where you belong. If you wish to know read slowly...

Cf Luke 11:14-23

Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed. But some of them said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?...‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.’
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
 At the scene of this exorcism there are three categories or groups of persons:
1. HATERS: are those whose task daily is to discredit everything Jesus does with counter arguments and examples. Their mission is to distract and drive attention away from Jesus. Today these are people who go about looking for loopholes or stories to defame Christians or preachers, etc. They may be christians or not. Their religious affiliation doesn't matter. They are everywhere: in churches, schools, offices, market place, etc. Does this describe you? If not see the next group.
2. SIGNS AND WONDERS FOLLOWERS: are those who follow and believe Jesus because of his miracles and not his teachings based on truth. Those in this category, if not carefully examined may be confused with a true believer, but they are not same. The identifying quality of those in this group is that their followership is utilitarian- they 'follow and believe' as long as the mission is fruitful and solves their problems. As such, the litmus test for authenticity of Jesus's ministry is miracles, signs and wonders- everything must be verifiable concretely otherwise they won't believe. 
Sadly many fall under this group. I know you want to dodge this truth, yes you are already denying it. Those moments going to you start questioning your faith, you stopped going to church, you see no reasons doing spiritual exercises or living in righteousness, those moments you retire in despair or excuse yourself saying "I didn't kill Jesus" so that you can indulge in some sin, or feel free from spiritual obligations because your expectations are not met or prayers have not been answered. What do you think you were doing? You were asking for more signs to believe and be re-energised! These are also everywhere; if they are Christians they are rightly called "signs and wonders Christians". Does this describe you? If no, see the next group.
3. TRUE BELIEVERS: are those who believe Jesus not because of his miracles but his teachings. As they hear him more, they increase in faith, wisdom, favour and power; and become his true witnesses. In their lives scriptures is fulfilled daily. They increase in faith as they hear Jesus because faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). They increase in wisdom because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov 9:10). They increase in favour because God blesses the righteous, surrounding them with favour as with a shield (Psalm 5:12). They increase in power because the Word they hear is full of power (Psalm 29:2); the Word is Spirit and life (Jn 6:63), and when the Spirit fills anyone, they are filled with power and become true witnesses (Acts 1:8).
These are the true Christians for they have all it takes to stand for Jesus in thick and thin because they have been armed with the Word of God to combat any battle be it spiritual, physical, intellectual or moral battles. Are you in this group? If you don't clearly see yourself here, you may be in the first two groups or you are still growing in this group. 

TASK: Take a POSITION now! There's no fourth group and THERE'S NO NEUTRALITY. It's either you are gathering with Jesus or scattering with the devil. God bless you.

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