“…these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)”
The world seems topsy-turvy these days. We used to think of ourselves as a Christian nation. Indeed, the predominant philosophy of life was from a Christian world-view. One could expect certain courtesies and behaviors we no longer enjoy.
Yet the book of Acts informs us, people thought Christians were those who turned the world upside down.
Christ calls his disciples to a topsy-turvy world. “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom”, he said, “learn to be the servant of all.” “If you want to save your life, you must lose it.” “If you want to receive, you must give. Forgive and you shall be forgiven. Unless a grain of wheat fall to the earth and die it remains but a single seed.”
Jesus himself laid aside his rights as deity and took upon himself the form of a servant. And being found in fashion as a man, was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in the earth and things under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Paul understood this principle of reciprocals when he said he would rather glory in his weaknesses because when he was weak God’s strength was obvious in his life.
Our world urges us to get all we can, to spend even our children’s inheritances. We are to get our own cup filled before we attempt to fill someone else’s.
Yet God, in the way only He can, demands the first part. Bring the tithes unto me, He says in Malachi and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out on you a blessing which you cannot hold.
When God sent Elijah to the widow in Zarapheth, he commanded Elijah to tell the widow to make him (in God’s stead and as God’s prophet) a cake out of what she had thought would only make enough food for herself and her son to eat and die, but when she made him a cake, there was enough meal and oil left over to last three years to feed the prophet, the widow and her son the rest of the time.
When there were 5,000 men who had come to hear Jesus speak and they were hungry, a boy with five loaves and two fish shared his provision with Jesus, who after thanking God for it and blessing it to feed those men and the women and children who were with them managing to take up twelve baskets of scraps.
Our topsy-turvy world only makes sense in the light of God’s word and appreciation of His provision. Putting God first, allows Him to bless us and those around us. In so doing, His kingdom can truly come and His will be done.
Father, we yield ourselves to You as Your servants; maintain our saltiness and shine through us, piercing the darkness. As we battle the enemy of our souls, may he become confused by the noise and may what appears to be defeat ensure victory through You, that the scripture may be true in our lifetimes as well, “those who have turned the world upside down” are to come here also. Amen.
Pastor Cathy Bayert
First Baptist Church