I WILL

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

One of our close friends called my dad earlier this week to share that he had plans to visit a relative near us, and to ask if he could stay with us while he was here. Of course my dad said yes, and we couldn’t wait to see him!

In the midst of the excitement and anticipation to see our friend who we hadn’t seen for quite some time, reality set in. We needed to clean, bake, and prepare for our guest!

We all know that preparing for a guest takes a lot of time and effort, right? For some people, they very much dislike having to put in the work for someone to come. I mean, some of us have the gift of hospitality more than others, haha!

Trust me, I’ve definitely been that person before, but there’s just something different about preparing for someone who would not only do the same for you, but who loves Jesus more than anything and is obedient to whatever Christ calls him to.

This got me thinking about a quote by Francis Chan that I want to share with you today. He said, “Whenever I meet people who resemble a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), having suffered for the Gospel, I’m ready to give them the shirt off my back. I feel an immediate affinity and bond in the Spirit. Their lives resemble the life of Christ. Loving them and serving them is an honor because it feels like I am serving Christ Himself.”

I guess my question for us today is not if we know Jesus is coming back, because we know without a doubt that He is, just like we knew our friend was indeed coming to our house. But rather, do we have an urgency to prepare? An urgency full of anticipation and hope?

Truth is, if you are a genuine and true follower of Jesus, you should already be preparing by being in constant communion with Him, preaching the Word in and out of season, and by making different and radical choices for the sake of the Kingdom.

Sometimes, however, we need a little heart-check to make sure that we aren’t preparing for Him to come as if it is a dreadful chore that we have no desire to do with excellence. I am convinced that it is the most beautiful thing when we can serve our Savior with an unrestrained heart.

Psalm 59:6-10 says, “They return at evening, snarling like dogs and prowling around the city. Look, they spew from their mouths- sharp words from their lips. “For who” they say, “will hear?” But you laugh at them, Lord; you ridicule all the nations. I will keep watch for you, my strength, because God is my stronghold. My faithful God will come to meet me; God will let me look down on my adversaries.”

I think what this generation lacks and so desperately needs are Christians who are bold enough to say “I will” and actually do. The world needs us, y’all! They need us to warn them, and they need us to truly believe that Christ is worth all of our time and effort spent preparing and doing what He has called us to.

Leonard Ravenhill once said, “Christ has not conquered my affections if He has to compete for my attention.”

I encourage you to read that quote again. Even now, ask yourself if Christ has to compete for your attention.

I’m afraid that so many of us are like the people in the verse that we just read. We have somehow convinced ourselves, in the midst of the busyness we create, that God doesn’t hear us. That God doesn’t really care about how we live.

David points out that there are clearly two kinds of people. Those who don’t care about preparing and don’t think that God does either, and those who say “I will” and intentionally choose to wait upon the Lord. They know that God will come to meet them, and they are more than ready for when He does.

The question before us, then, is which one will Jesus find us to be?

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” (Benjamin Franklin)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= How are you going to prepare for Christ today?

= Has He conquered your affections?

= What are you going to do differently?

BETTER THAN THEY’RE USED TO

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Have you ever thought about how terrible a life that unbelievers are living right now? Don’t get me wrong, any day without Jesus is a terrible day, but we are living in a critical time where evil is at an all-time high.  I’m going to be completely up front with y’all and say that I think many Christians only make it worse for a lot of people most days.  

In the American Church, we have less “doers” than we have “big talkers”.

Should unbelievers make a choice to follow Jesus if they want to live a joyful and satisfying life? Yes, absolutely. But how are they ever going to know that they have an opportunity to do so, when so called “Christians” treat them no differently than everybody else they are used to encountering on a daily basis?

A couple years ago, I remember walking into a gas station in a small country town close by, and as my mom and I were checking out, we noticed that one of the young ladies working there was almost in tears as she walked in from helping a customer outside with their pump. As she walked behind the counter, she explained to a fellow co-worker that the pump was broken, and that the customer yelled at her (multiple times) because she was unsure of how to fix it.

At this time, I could hear the individual outside yelling as they pulled around to use a different pump than they typically used on Tuesdays, or whatever day it was. Let’s just say that many profanities occurred, and it was less than a pretty sight. As I turned to look out the window to see all the craziness, I was utterly shocked.

It was someone from my church.

The young lady who had just got done dealing with them, now crying, told the co-worker that she couldn’t understand why everyone is in such a hurry and harsh to people who are just trying to make it in life. To say that I was mortified would be an understatement, but even more than that, I hoped with every fiber of my being that those young ladies working had no clue that this individual claimed to be a Christian.

1 Peter 3:8-12 says, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.”

What I wish for y’all to get from this week’s post is that, as The Few, we are called to love people better than they’re used to. They are constantly getting beat up by the world, just like you and I are, but unlike us, they have no clue what to do with that. They aren’t going to the Lord like we do or should do.

Guys, no wonder the suicide stats, drug use, and divorce rates have gone crazy especially as of late due to the lockdowns and isolation!

So many Christians, young and old, go to their schools, workplaces, grocery stores, churches, and act like everyone else they are around all day.

I love how A.W. Tozer explained why the Church cannot afford to live in such a way. He said, “Modern Christians hope to save the world by being like it, but it will never work. The Church’s power over the world springs out of her unlikeness to it, never from her integration into it.”

So, let me challenge you today, friend. Stop trying to imitate the world! You were never made to be like it, live like it, or act like it. God’s intentions for us are wholly different than what the sinful world wants and convinces us we should want for ourselves.

We’re so focused on us, that we completely forget about Him (God) and them (the people God has made).

I hope The Few will choose to love people so much better than they’re used to and make them wonder why because of how radically different it appears.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”  (Colossians 3:12-14)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= In what ways did you not love people like Jesus this week?

= What are you going to do differently?