by Toni Birdsong
It may come as a shock to some Christians to discover that Jesus wasn’t (and isn’t) a registered Republican or even an Independent. He didn’t check the Caucasian box on the census. He wasn’t patriotic, didn’t crusade for baby seals, picket against poverty, or pin a colored ribbon to his chest. In fact, as perfect as he was, Jesus probably didn’t recycle (gasp!).
It isn’t that he didn’t care about these things. He just cared about heaven more.
Since redemption of sin is the only way to get there, redemption of sin is what He preached. Jesus came to rehabilitate and ready us for heaven. His allegiance, His crusade, and His colors were tethered to His hometown. If anyone looking on doubted that, the cross soon clarified His affiliations.
The enemy is a gambler. He’s betting against you today and every other person aligned with the cross. He’s betting you forget; get sidetracked. Like Peter, you’ve cleaned up your act, and pledged your allegiance. But the devil sees you as stupid, weak, and wishy-washy. He’s gunning for you. He’s expecting you to misplace your affections before lunchtime. He’s wagered with his minions that you will pass by the crown jewels and buy a knockoff from the guy on the corner. He wants you to get wrapped up and worked up—about everything but Jesus.
Does following Jesus mean you abandon all other passions? Absolutely not. Just abide in Him—first. Lift His message—higher. Let the message of the cross be what you stand up for and the only message you bow down to. Exchange your prejudices and points-of-view for His.
There’s a lot of chatter in the world, especially online. But when you follow Christ you are marked by and for the message of the Gospel. Your message is to exalt the Lord and proclaim the good news of salvation through Him. Your words, actions, and passions bid others to turn from their sins and come to Christ as Lord and Savior.
Do you have to scream it? No. Just live it.
As we show up online—or anywhere—Calvary is the flag we lift highest; the first passion that prevails. All other flags, including even the “good stuff” like grace, goodness, service, our politics and principals—all position themselves beneath the cross. Hopefully, we too, like the Apostle Paul might someday say: . . . for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
What are the things (beliefs, affiliations) that identify you to others online? Do those passions ever edge out the gospel?