August 14, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on May 31, 2015.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“The Misguided Crusades”

Matthew 7:21-23

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” 

The Crusades were one of the most tragic events committed in the name of Christ, mainly because many of its participants didn’t really know Christ.  In response to the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre by Caliph Al-Hakim (985-1021) and increasing interference of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, the crusaders came to  reclaim it, oblivious to the fact that “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world” (2 Cor. 10:4).  As a result, many were slaughtered, including Muslims, Jews, and Christians among the Arabs, as well as those belonging to the Eastern Orthodox Church.   Although centuries have passed since the last Crusade, its after-effects, such as fractured relations between Muslims and Christians, are still present to this day.

While little violence in the name of Christ occurs today, there are still many who use the name of Christ for evil purposes. They may cry “Lord, Lord” (v. 21), but in reality they are not doing the will of our heavenly Father (v. 21) nor are known by Christ because they do not have His authority (v. 23). One good example is prosperity theology. I remember as a freshman in college going to an event held by a very famous prosperity preacher, trying my best to have an open mind. I was a new Christian, but even I felt something was off when the preacher implored everyone to sow a $1000 seed, promising that God would later bless them with greater wealth and health.

As Christians today, we may not be involved in deceptive practices, but how can we be sure that we have Christ’s authority as we do things in His name? Matthew 28:18-20 is a good start. In verse 18, Jesus establishes that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Therefore, followers of Christ are to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Trinity, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. 

Thus, are we involved with God’s movement of discipleship? Are we engaged in evangelism? Shepherding believers? Teaching to our small groups? All of these and more are part of God’s will for us to make Him known and to be a blessing to others (Gen. 12:1-3). And as we engage in this Kingdom work, we know through Jesus’ promise that His authority will be with us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for bringing me from darkness into light. I pray that during my life, You would enable me to do our Father’s will through Your authority and the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for not only giving me the privilege of being saved, but also the privilege of being used by You in Your saving work to others. Help me to know You more and more each day. In Your Name I pray, Amen

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 8