Left to ourselves, when confronted with a challenge we either fight or flee. This is our natural tendency. We can see this played out all around us. Seemingly every news source, website, blog, or chain-email turns loose a tsunami of images and reports of fighting on our streets, in our government, and even sadly in our families. The challenge may be political, economic, racial, religious, or relational. It seems as if everyone is offended by something. For the most part the reporting is designed to get us into the fight. Do you doubt that? Just notice how often these images and reports leave you incensed at one group or another.

On the other hand, some see all this and just want to have nothing to do with it. They flee. Giving up on the incessant turmoil people swear off social media, swear off certain websites, delete those emails with provocative, even incendiary subject lines. Sometimes, those in cities flee to the suburbs, people in suburbs flee to rural areas. People in rural areas wonder where they can flee to.

Jesus however invites us to neither fear nor flee. He wants us and has equipped us to engage the turmoil with truth and love. When He ascended to heaven Jesus equipped every member of His church with the gifts necessary to display truth and love. The purpose of these gifts is to equip, encourage, and sustain us, his church if you are a believer, in extending His offer of grace and peace rooted in truth and love to a world we would otherwise fight or flee from.

In today’s installment of my series about the End Times in Chronological Order we will look at that time when Jesus lets us know how we did in using the gifts He has given us.

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