Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Return.7

"Do not let your heart be overwhelmed
         by the pursuit of earthly pleasure, 
              or the anxieties of life. "
--Jesus
o·ver·whelm
ˌōvərˈ(h)welm/
verb
past tense: overwhelmed; past participle: overwhelmed

  1. -   bury or drown beneath a huge mass.
        "the water flowed through to overwhelm the whole dam and the village beneath"
       synonyms:swampsubmergeengulfburydelugefloodinundate
    "advancing sand dunes could overwhelm the village"
    • defeat completely.
      "his teams overwhelmed their opponents"
      synonyms:defeat (utterly/heavily), trouncerout, beat (hollow), conquervanquish,be victorious over, triumph over, worstovercomeoverthrowcrush;More
    • give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate.
      "they were overwhelmed by farewell messages"

How do we keep our hearts from being swamped, buried,
inundated, trounced, routed, conquered, vanquished, overthrown, crushed by this world; whether the allure of pleasure or the anxieties of life?

The Apostle Paul lived out Jesus' command and discovered the key to conquering the crushing pressures of this world's influences:
"We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

(2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

Two ends of the Anxiety Squeeze:

  • Earthly Pleasure: "If things be our undoing, it matters little whether its things we have or things we don't have." The comfort and security of the American way of life is rapidly disappearing as the USA turns its back on God symbolized most recently by the late night removal of the Ten Commandments from the Oklahoma state capitol and the celebration of a statue dedicated to Satan in Detroit!
  • Anxieties of life: Christians are being targeted for persecution in a manner perhaps rivaling the days of Domitian and emperor worship in Rome.
There is an American Pastor, Saeed Abedini, sitting in an Iranian prison "carrying in his body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus" as his captors continually torture and try him for his testimony to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!  A gunman on a community college in Oregon pointedly asked students whether or not they were followers of Jesus. If they declared their allegiance to Jesus he shot them in the head wherein "the life of Jesus was also revealed in their bodies."


How do we keep from being overwhelmed?  By keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, the kind of faith He wants to find when He returns!  A faith marked by obedience, by letting go of the comforts and security of this world, and by taking a stand when called upon to declare our allegiance to Jesus!

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, 
and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy..." - Jude 1:24