Sunday, June 30, 2013

Devotional #1 Lambs & Wolves

Track 1 Devotional: Lambs and Wolves

     You push through the tall grass and back onto the dirt path, heart pounding in your chest. Stabbing pain clenches your side and the burning in your legs is agony, but you don't dare to stop running. Behind you, the cold silence of the night is broken by a howl, and then another. Suddenly the howls seem to be rising from all around. The wolves have you surrounded. Exhausted you stumble and fall to the pebbly ground scraping flesh from your knees and outstretched hands. As you rise slowly to your feet, the choir of howling rises in intensity. You see the eyes of the wolves glowing like embers in the darkened belly of the forest. The largest of the beasts steps into the pale moonlight, its lips drawn up over its yellowed fangs in a snarl. The thick black fur of its back bristles as it anticipates pouncing upon its prey. Other wolves advance from all sides sniffing the air, smelling blood. The big wolf is staring right into your eyes. With a low growl it lunges.

Luke 10:3 - "Go your ways: Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves."

     To many people this verse may sound like nonsense, but to those who are saved by the blood of Jesus, this symbolizes what Christians come up against when they go into the world to spread the Gospel. The Wolves of this scripture represent a world that does not want to hear the Word of God. It does not want to know a savior by the name of Jesus Christ. Throughout history the world has sought to wipe out every trace of Christianity. The Romans fed Christians to lions. Even today Christians all over the earth are being imprisoned or even executed for standing on the truth of God's Word. The lesson in this particular scripture is that Jesus never promised his followers that they would experience anything other than absolute opposition in the world they had been sent to reach. He explained to them that he was sending them as innocent and powerless lambs into a world that hungered for their blood. In John 15:18 Christ explains : "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." The wolves are cunning, they are cruel, but why do they hate Christians? Why do they hate Jesus Christ? The answer is that there is another wolf that leads the pack. Satan comes to kill, steal, and to destroy; just as a wolf would do to an innocent lamb. His goal is to devour as many souls as he can before his time runs out. His best chance of doing that is to so fiercely attack the church that christians cower in fear. Satan isn't worried about Christians as long as he can keep us corralled inside our churches, afraid to step out into the world. He has the modern Christian so afraid of phrases like "political correctness" that we dare not enter the dark woods.
     The lambs of Luke 10:3 of course represent Christians. As followers of Christ we are not the most popular people in today's society. Due to our beliefs, we are hated by a lot of people. Most of them have never heard the name of Jesus or heard His Word, but refuse to let it minister to their hearts. They push aside the idea of scripture as no more than "imaginary nonsense" or a "crutch for weak and naive minds". It is these, along with countless others, who we Christians have been sent into the world to seek and to save(Luke 19:10). It is for those lost souls that we brave the darkness of this world. It is for them that we face the wolves.
     The idea for this song was born when Toni Lawrimore visited Hemingway First Baptist Church to share photos and testimony from her mission work in Delhi, India. There she worked directly with women and children pulled from lives of slavery and forced prostitution. She pulled the curtain back revealing just a glimpse of the horror of human trafficking and the fact that much of that crime can be traced back to our very own country even our home state of South Carolina. Her focus verse was Luke 10:3. She challenged us to be unafraid to step out into the dark corners of the world where the wolves are howling and grasp the hands of those who desperately need saving. The lost will not be reached by the wearing of suits and ties or by cute catchphrases on church signs. Our great commission awaits us outside the safe walls of the church, far from the protective shadow of its steeple. 
     As stated the world hates us. The wolves in the Supreme Court and in the media are howling against us. They aim to destroy us, but we have something they don't have. We have something more powerful than their false doctrines or all their arguments against us. We have an almighty God that has blessed His children and has saved millions upon millions of souls. We serve a  MERCIFUL, LOVING, GRACEFUL God that died for us. Yes, He sent as lambs in the midst of wolves, but He did not send us alone. Matthew 28:20b "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
- Brody Pope and Joshua Adams


1) In what ways have you faced opposition in spreading the Gospel or simply living a God-focused life?

2) When faced with opposition how should a Christian respond?

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