[CF Devotionals] 2005-12-03 - Pre-Katrina and Post-Katrina

Greetings and Blessings to you my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus my friend.

Today I would like to tell you a little bit about some terms that have become part of my life recently, and how they parallel you and myself as born again Christians.

Since the Gulf Coast was devastated by hurricanes and flooding, specifically by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and surrounding areas, we have begun to use the phrases pre-Katrina and post-Katrina This is usually in reference to the way something was before Katrina, and how it is now after Katrina. And peoples hopes are that everything would return to a pre-Katrina or normal state of being.

We want things back to normal. Well, the truth is that we can't go back to what was normal. You see what we have now is normal. For example, if you go to the 24 Hour Super Walmart, you will find that it's only open from 7am until 7pm. I thought the lines in Walmart were long pre-Katrina but now post-Katrina you will find lines that backup by about five or six baskets into the clothing department. Also, Walmart only had about half of their lanes operating pre-Katrina, however, all of their lanes are in use now. It happened one Sunday that they closed the store at 5pm, because there were so many people in the store in the checkout lines, that they realized that if they didn't close at 5pm, then they would be there till 10pm checking everyone out.

Post-Katrina, is nothing like pre-Katrina. What use to be normal is not normal any more. Long lines, heavy auto traffic, fewer gas stations open. Fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Rally's, and Popeye's are for the most part "Drive Thru Only." They haven't opened the inside of the stores for dining in. We have been like this since the end of September. It's become normal to us. It's what we should expect. Yet at the same time, we have this desire that everything would return to the way it use to be, that is what is now abnormal.

In a sense, Katrina is like Salvation. Katrina brought about a change in our lives. Salvation does the same thing, our old ways become foreign. When we talk to people we will tell them, "Before I was saved I was lost in depravity of my sin. Jesus set me free from the penalty and power of my sin."

Salvation as we know it is deliverance by God from the penalty and power of sin. The greatest demonstration of God's salvation in the Old Testament was the Exodus from Egypt.

According to Exodus 14:13, Moses told the people to stand firm and see God's deliverance.

13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

According to Exodus 14:30, God delivered Israel from the hands of the Egyptians.

30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.

But Old Testament history showed that deliverance from physical bondage was not enough. Ultimately, messianic deliverance to restore the religious purity and integrity of God's people.

In the New Testament the idea of salvation is somewhat different, with less emphasis on the national and political dimensions that were so prominent in Jewish History. Personal Salvation comes to the forefront, with a new emphasis on personal wholeness, including freedom from disease and from demon possession, along with spiritual redemption from sin. The broad use of salvation terminology is seen not only in the variety of general circumstances in which it is used, but also in the specific aspects of spiritual salvation are indicated.

According to Proverbs, 18:10, Old Testament believers knew that they could find safety in the strong tower of the name of the Lord.

According to Acts 3:6, 16; 4:10 and 4:12 The book of Acts attributes saving power specifically to the name of Jesus Christ, both for physical healing and for spiritual redemption. Beginning with the initial point of conversion, salvation terminology is applied to a full range of blessings, including forgiveness, justification, redemption, sanctification, and glorification. The salvation of God affects the entire person in all dimensions of life.

According to John 13:34, Jesus commands us to love one another, and He says in verse 35 "that all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

According Paul to Galatians 5:13-15 says that we are free, but tells us not to use our freedom to sin, but instead to serve one another in love least you destroy each other..

13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature[a]; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

According to Galatians 5:16-21, Pall calls us to live by the Spirit then he goes on to explain with detail what we we're like "pre-Salvation" in our sinful depravity.

Life by the Spirit

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Finally in Galatians 5:22-26, Paul describes what we should look like "post-Salvation" in Christ.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Okay, I admit it, there is a big difference between Katrina and salvation, but you can see that they contrast a change from what once was to today.

Talk to you soon. Have a great day!

In Christ,

[email rob] rob@cfdevotionals.org

I want my life to be for the glory of God