For children born in a world of hate, have hope —
They’ll learn to love in a godly home where hearts
Are tender, eyes aren’t haughty, ears are quick
To hear the word of God — Have highest hopes!

For churches holding forth the truth, have hope —
In spite of walls and damning doctrines, light
Can penetrate the darkness, the glory of God
Can bring a sinner to turn — Have highest hopes!

For saints who serve in hard travails, have hope —
To suffer with Christ is honor, his hand upon you,
His power within will reap a harvest of souls —
We see not how he works — Have highest hopes!

READ: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Pet 2.9.

THINK: Identity determines mission. Who we are defines what we do. The proclamation is the work of the whole church, focusing on God’s works. Our work is to proclaim, announce to all, disseminate (DGNT) the message about God’s salvation and the manifestations of his power (CLNTG). His goodness is seen in the character of his calling. Continue reading

Glory to God for allowing men and women of all stripes into his kingdom, for accepting the worst and the best on equal footing because of the Cross, for calling the whole world into covenant relationship with him! Praise God for inclusiveness! Exalt him for welcoming the world! Give him thanks that he washes, purifies, justifies, and saves each one, based upon faith and repentance from sin! Holy! Holy! Holy! is the Lord!

The same happens in the church as well as in American politics.

Such disregard for truth and facts is no accident, but the fruit of postmodernism. So-called “after modern” thought was a trendy late-20th-century way to reduce facts to stories.

“Progressives believed that because traditional protocols, language and standards were usually created by stuffy old establishment types, the rules no longer necessarily should apply. Instead, particular narratives and euphemisms that promoted perceived social justice became truthful. Bothersome facts were discarded.

Ancient ruins in Ephesus
Ancient ruins in Ephesus

Commenting on Acts 19.8, William Baird wrote, “In Acts the kingdom of God seems similar to the church (cf. 8:12), but the idea of God’s rule to be consummated in the future is not lacking (cf. 14:22)” IOVC. Indeed it does seems similar, since the church is the present earthly manifestation of the kingdom. Continue reading