I am part of a mid-size church nestled between one of the wealthiest areas of Dallas, Texas and the city’s poorest neighborhood. We are an eclectic picture of the Body of Christ. Rich sit beside the poor, African refugees beside African-Americans, seminary graduates beside the homeless, seekers beside long-time Christ followers. Grace is freely offered, truth is freely spoken and no name is higher than the name of Jesus.
This morning as I got ready for church, I prayed for a real thirst quenching. I came away drenched. Like a soaked sponge.
The Church is stirred up today, worried about what the future holds. God’s people are seeing the definition of marriage challenged, watching ISIS kill those who declare the name of Jesus, alert to the racism and hatred flooding fill the news and people are concerned about what will happen to religious organizations in the United States.
With all of that, I’d like to quote a small portion of the sermon I heard today:
Jesus will provide.
He can open the eyes of the blind and open the ears of the deaf but we’ve got to stop being dumb.
We really do. I’m not naïve. Just believing in Jesus isn’t going to solve any of these problems we face.
They may take away our tax-free status and stop giving people deductions for their charitable giving. The government may threaten us with fines or even imprisonment for speaking out against these things. What are we going to do?
I know what I’m going to do.
I’m going to keep preaching.
If they fine me ,then I’ll go broke.
If they send me to jail, then I’ll preach there.
And if they kill me then I will join that blessed band who “suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — 38 of whom the world was not worthy — wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” These people “acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15…they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:36-38; 13-16)
One day, several years ago, I lifted my opened hands and said, “I surrender all.”
It was the most freeing thing I have ever done.
I trusted Him then. I trust Him now. I can trust Him with my future.
You can listen to or watch Gary Brandenburg’s entire sermon at Fellowship Bible Church Dallas here: Blind, Deaf and a Little Bit Dumb