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Posts Tagged ‘Christ Follower’

The “wicked”… Who are they?

 

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions for the word wicked: 
1. evil or morally bad in principle or practice; sinful; iniquitous:

wicked people; wicked habits.
2. mischievous or playfully malicious:

These wicked kittens upset everything.
3.distressingly severe, as a storm, wound, or cold:

a wicked winter.
4. unjustifiable; dreadful; beastly:

wicked prices; a wicked exam.
5. having a bad disposition; ill-natured; mean:

a wicked horse.
6. spiteful; malevolent; vicious:

a wicked tongue.
7. extremely troublesome or dangerous:

wicked roads.
8. unpleasant; foul:

a wicked odor.
9. Slang. wonderful; great; masterful; deeply satisfying:

He blows a wicked trumpet.

10. Slang. very; really; totally:

That shirt is wicked cool.
But what does the Bible tell us about wicked people? 
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Psalm 119:53 describes the wicked as those who have forsaken the law of God.  Psalm 119:155 describes them as those who do not seek out God’s decrees.  In Psalm 141, David describes them as those who are evildoers.  Acts 2:23 tells us that Jesus was put to death on the cross as God’s plan and with the help of wicked men.  And in Acts 3:26, we read about Peter preaching that God “raised up His servant” in order to “bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
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To put it simply, the wicked are those who do not obey God, those who choose to ignore Him.  We are being wicked if we choose to not spend time with the Lord, but we have plenty of time for watching television or going shopping or spending time with friends.  We’re being wicked when we choose to stay in bed on Sunday instead of going and worshipping with other believers as the Bible tells us to do in Hebrews 10:25.  Ignoring God sums up the word wicked.
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Ignoring God sums up the word wicked.
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Look up the word wicked in your own concordance and see how God feels about “the wicked.”  If you’ve been ignoring God, seek Him out and ask for forgiveness, ask Him to give you a stronger desire for His presence, and begin today to turn from being one of the wicked.  God wants a relationship with you. He loves you.
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We all know the verse… we’ve heard it so many times.  But…. are we really letting the meaning sink into our hearts and living it out?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34 


Seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness!  This is where we often miss the mark…. we seek everything else first, THEN see if there’s time left over for Jesus. However, the Bible tells us this just won’t do…. not anymore than it would for us. Jesus should come first for us and everything else come in at second. After all, that’s what He gave us when He lived a sinless life for us then was willing to die so we could be forgiven for our sins. He put us and our needs first. 

We are called His bride and surely a bride wouldn’t look at her groom and think… “Yeah, I’ll get to you later… first I need to watch this tv show.”  Or think, “Yeah maybe after I work then I’ll try to see if I feel like spending some time with you.”   No, a bride would never do this to her groom that she loves.  So, why is it that we think it’s okay to do this with Jesus Christ, our Savior?   This is something that is so NOT okay.  Yet it happens all over the world every single day by millions, billions, of people that, if asked, would claim that they are a Christian and love Jesus.  That just should not be so.

Jesus lived a perfect life and died FOR US.  Surely, we can give Him attention and seek Him first in our daily lives.

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It’s heartbreaking to me seeing all the posts and listening to people talk about how they’d die for their faith in Christ, yet…. they choose sin over Jesus every day in the way they talk, treat people, what they watch on tv, read in books, post on Facebook, the jokes they enjoy, and the way they spend their time (“I’m too busy to read my Bible or pray or spread the Gospel… that Candy Crush Saga is so time consuming ya know!”).

As John McArthur wrote – “True repentance and faith in Christ denies the usual depraved longings of the human will.”
Or go straight to our Savior, Jesus Christ Himself, and see what He has to say…

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”  Jesus in Matthew 10:34-39 NASB

Folks… He is pretty clear on what He expects of us.  Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by false teachers and there are plenty of them out there!  Nothing is more important.  Nothing.

I share this because there was a time when I thought (was just positive) that I was in the “good” with Jesus, but I wasn’t taking up a stick for Him, never mind a cross.  I was living in sin, doing what I pleased while saying I loved Him.  I was lying to myself and Satan was loving it.  It’s Satan’s goal to keep us deceived.  Some of Satan’s greatest weapons are preachers and people that sit in churches each week thinking they’re okay and leaving the impression with others that they’re okay.  The Bible clearly states to KNOW FOR YOURSELF. Once you’ve heard the gospel message, you will be held accountable.

Please.  Get this right.

We never know what tomorrow will bring, or if we’ll get another chance.   Don’t break His heart by not taking His gift and living for Him.

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Did you know that sin breaks God’s heart?  Jesus dying for our sins did not make sin acceptable to God.  Actually, continuing in known sin, like it’s nothing – not a big deal, after having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His death and blood on the cross as payment for your sins, is like stomping all over His cross and saying it was worth little, maybe even nothing to you.

 

You may say, “But D… it’s just so hard on me cause I love to (insert watch that tv show, listen to that music, read that kind of book, talk like that and so on…)______________!!!!!  I just don’t know if I can quit!!!”   God’s Word says differently.  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ❤

 

Choosing your sin over the Lord Jesus breaks His heart.  It’s really that simple.  Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”   And in 1 John 5:21 we’re warned – “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Choose Him instead of the world’s sin.  Choose life.

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In Acts 9:22 we’re told – “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” 

So, how exactly did Saul (Paul) go about “proving” that Jesus is the Messiah?   Ever wonder about that?   I did and what I discovered was that it wasn’t proven by him simply because he was highly educated, brilliant scholar, though indeed he was.  No, it was more than that.

His relationship with Jesus changed who he was completely and people could see this.  They could clearly see the evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah because Saul’s life changed and he backed up everything he said with how he lived.  This is something that should happen to all Christians.

Following Christ makes you totally different in ways you can’t begin to imagine until you’re living it.  The people around you should be taking notice.  Often times, it’s not something they really like either.  Being a true follower of Jesus isn’t always popular with friends and family, but it will bring you to a new place unlike any other.  It’s amazing.

How has being a Christ Follower changed your life?

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What is your definition of a Christian?    I’m surprised by the various meanings people attach to that one word.  Some people think of a Christian as someone who attends church each Sunday, others think of it as someone whose parents were church goers and therefore they attended church their entire lives, maybe even being baptized as a young child and now going is simply part of what they do; a habit.  Others still, consider a Christian as someone who has prayed the “prayer of salvation” at some point in their life.  But what truly defines a “Christian”?

Wikipedia shares information on the etymology and states that:   The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos)—meaning “follower of Christ”—comes from Χριστός (Christos)—meaning “anointed one”[5]—with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.[6] In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ,messiah), meaning “[one who is] anointed.”[7] In other European languages, equivalent words to ‘Christian’ are likewise derived from the Greek, such as ‘Chrétien’ in French and ‘Cristiano’ in Spanish.  (Borrowed from Wikipedia.org)

A Christian is a follower of Christ.  What does that mean though?  What does it look like to “follow Christ”?

Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 7:21-24 –  “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.  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?’   Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!’  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  

Mark 8:34-38  says – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

In 1 John 2:3-6  We’re told – We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.  Whoever says, ” I know Him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.  

And in 1 Peter 2:21 it says – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

There are plenty more Scriptures to show us how as a Christian we are called to become more like Jesus Christ and follow in His example each day of our lives.  Not in any effort to “work for our salvation”, because we already know we can’t “earn” that.  Instead it’s to show the world that we ARE indeed followers of Him that first loved us and died in order to pay our own debt for our sins.

James 2:14 – 19 shows us the importance of our actions in day to day life –  What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep arm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.  

Let’s make it our life’s mission to be sure and follow Christ every single day, giving Him our very best in all that we do, and show the world what Christians really are!

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Following Jesus’ Command to Make Disciples…

 

Let’s Get Practical. – Awesome blog that gives you great ideas on how you can go out and make disciples!

 

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It’s that time of year.  The time when we spend a lot more time thinking of all the reasons we have to be thankful.  When I do stop and really spend some time going over all the blessings I have in my life, I become truly amazed and a whole lot in awe of God’s love for me.  He is so gracious and so good!  My family and I have been so very blessed.

In the midst of all my thankfulness, I keep having these thoughts and feelings rise up in me.  Holy Ghost “suggestions”. Thoughts that tell me that there is no way that God could possibly have chosen for me to be born here in America, with all these truly incredible blessings, for me to just sit around and luxuriate in them.  Not while more than half the world’s population is trying to live off of less than two dollars a day.

Can you stop for a moment and simply think about that?!   Yesterday, I went out and did my Thanksgiving Day food shopping and while doing that I picked up some highlighters for our school work.  After we got home and were putting up our purchases, I was putting away the highlighters and the Holy Spirit stopped me right there and brought to my mind that those highlighters alone cost MORE than what that more than half the world has to totally LIVE ON for an entire day!   Can you imagine?!  That quite simply blew me away.

In American terms my family and I are hardly considered wealthy.  Far from it.  However, when you bring in the entire world and the overall levels of poverty that are out there, we are stinking filthy rich.  That thought totally blows me away!   I can get on Pinterest and it won’t take me long looking at all the gorgeous homes and rooms people post on there in their “Dream Home” boards to start feeling like what we have is pitiable, but when compared to most of the world, we truly are wealthy in our “stuff”.  Mind blowing!

The point, however, is that to be born here in such a wealthy land as America must come with a huge responsibility too, at least when you’ve chosen to give your life to Jesus Christ and follow Him the way He has asked us to in the Bible.  There are way too many Scriptures I could use to show exactly what Jesus thought of earthly riches for me to use them all.  Luke 12:15 tells us simply to “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”  

But isn’t that exactly what we do here in America?  Don’t we measure our lives and our worth in our stuff?  The very idea of the “American Dream” is to grow up, go to the “right” schools”, get the “right” job, marry the “right” person, buy a house in the “right” neighborhood, drive the “right” cars, go on the “right” vacations,  have children, teach them the same things….. and so on.  Once we’ve accomplished all of that we can then look forward to retiring and having the “right” hobbies and enjoying our lives and all we’ve managed to acquire.  

Could this really be what Jesus would consider good though?  Is this what He wants us, His followers, to do with our lives?  Is this what He did during His time on earth?  I don’t know what your Bible says, but mine doesn’t say He did any of those things.  In fact, He did the opposite and warned heavily against doing exactly what I just described.  He tells us in Luke 6:24-25a “What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now. What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now for a time of awful hunger awaits you.” 

Yikes.  That doesn’t sound too good.  Sorrow awaits us?  I don’t think I want to only have sorrow to look forward to.  So, I think that what I’m most thankful for this year, is that God loves me enough to bring this to my attention.  That He loves me enough to show me these warnings over and over until I “get it” and begin to live as Jesus Christ asked all of his followers to live.

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