I'm a Contender
Genesis 32:28 (EMB) Then he said - Not Jacob, shall thy name be called any more, but Israel, - For thou hast contended with God and with men and hast prevailed.
Contending for the gifts of the Holy Spirit is not a common occurrence among the churches of our nation. Christmas & Easter are the biggest days of the year for churches - many new visitors and family members will attend these church service even if they aren't into all that "church stuff." Many churches share the gospel and many individuals dedicate their life to Christ. Many are even baptized on these days. Yet, I feel something is amiss…
Among many conversations with other Christians I hear questions like this: "How many services did you guys have for Christmas?" or "Do you have a big play or production for this year?" Then we hear conversations like this: "We had 'x' amount of people!" and "Those light displays were so awesome!" Let me clarify - all of these things are wonderful! We should have things done in excellence for we serve an excellent God - He is The Creator. I love creativity and the gifts that God has instilled in His people. LOVE IT! But here is what I feel is amiss… what happened to these conversations: "How many people got saved!?" or "Did anyone get touched by God at church?" how about "Was anyone healed!?" even "Man, the presence of God filled the room and lives were changed! Drug addicts flooded the altar, marriages were restored, children were seeing visions!" Come on now - THIS is what I am a contender for! Can you imagine the disciples planning an Easter service in this century - I laugh thinking about it - they wouldn't have to set up amazing displays - they would really just need a lot of large speakers because they would be telling the story of Easter from a first-hand point of view to multitudes. Could you imagine the emotion? Prayer and time with God would be the only way they prepare to tell the story. I'm sure just 1 social media post would get the world's attention.
I say all of these things just to bring out a point - we cannot get wrapped up in all the glitz, glamor, lights, programs, etc. As we proclaim "Jesus is the reason for the season!" I simply ask - is He really at the center of your Christmas or Easter? Is He the center of your daily life? Are you contending for Jesus to take center stage at your church? In your neighborhood? I am so blessed to see so many businesses actually closed for Christmas and Easter! Even non-Christian businesses shut down. This is a win! Now if we would ALL share the gospel with those around us and invite them to our churches, offer prayer, and allow the Holy Spirit to work on them I know we will see a great revival in our land! We must remember that we are NOT the Holy Spirit but we ARE to lead the way by being the hands and feet of Jesus. May you worship Him always and stand up for the gospel.
Romans 1:16 (TLB) For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way.