Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Difficult Times

But realize this,
that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 Timothy 3:1

This morning, Americans were greeted with the image of a cardboard cutout of a U.S. soldier being used as target practice by North Korean troops.This was accompanied by the announcement of Kim Jong Un that North Korea plans to restart the development of nuclear weapons.

This follows news of increasing military tensions on the Korean peninsula. Behind the dispute of the smaller nations of North and South Korea loom the shadow of the behemoth forces of the United States and China.

Currently, there are about 38 conflicts being fought around the world, with about eight of them considered to be major wars. An estimated 378,000 people died in armed conflicts each year between 1985 and 1994.

But war is not the only front in the battle to save innocent lives. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. alone. Approximately 42 million abortions are performed every year worldwide. Recent news has spotlighted the gruesome practices of late-term abortions and infanticide.

Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who was starved to death despite the wishes of her family.

Approximately two million people, about ten percent of the American population, are incarcerated for crimes. More than sixteen nations worldwide have been flagged by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF. Cities, states, and nations are falling into default as financial collapse catches up with loose budgets.

For men will be lovers of self, 
lovers of money,
disobedient to parents,
malicious gossips,
without self-control,
haters of good,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.
2 Timothy 3:2-3 

Why am I talking about this today? I'm not trying to depress you; you can get enough of that every day just by watching the news.

Today is the day for action. Jesus Christ called His followers "the salt of the earth."

You are the salt of the earth;
but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, 
except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Matthew 5:13

Salt is vital for our body's needs. It's a preservative. It has antibacterial characteristics. It makes food taste good. It creates thirst. 

Salt that has lost these properties is worthless.

My question today is, are we being the salt Jesus has commanded us to be? What should our response be to the day's challenges? Do we keep our heads down, take care of our own business, and look the other way? 

Or do we step forward to be that purifying, preserving, vital force God desires? Do our lives make others thirsty for God?

Or are we only fit to be set aside to be trampled underfoot as the world marches to destruction?

Today I'm praying about what God has called me to be. What passion has He put on your heart? What are you doing this day to walk in that calling?

To read an inspiring article by Terri Schiavo's brother, click this link.
 Remembering My Sister Terri Schiavo

There is so much more. Somewhere there is a need that is just waiting for your unique talents and gifts. Put aside your own trials and heartaches for a day and ask God what you can be doing to reach out to a hurting world.

 Difficult times call for people of courage to stand up.

It's time.


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