Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When the going gets tough...

[From July 17, 2012]

"Then many will fall away, they will betray one another and hate one another."
(Matthew 24:10)

When the going gets tough, the tough... fall apart.  Or so it seems according to Jesus in Matthew 24.  he's speaking to his disciples about some troubling & difficult times ahead.  The beloved & revered temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed.  The believers will be attacked, persecuted and even killed. False prophets will try to lead others astray.  It's going to get ugly.

In the midst of all of this turmoil, Jesus also tells them that "many will fall away, they will betray one another and hate one another."  I got the sense as I was reading this today that Jesus was talking about those within the church... those current believers... those who had claimed Jesus as Lord.  When things get really bad, many will fall apart & turn on their fellow Christians.  Betrayal, hate, and desertion.  Ouch.

One way to read this is to think that you've got to watch your back at all times.  Beware of everyone, even those who are supposed to be allies.  But that's a bit pessimistic for me.  Instead, I see this as a call to be a champion of LOVE, GRACE and MERCY!  Especially when times get rough, overflow with love!  When others do things that anger & hurt you, respond with grace, not hate.  Model the love of Jesus in even the worst of times!

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