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Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

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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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As most of you who are following my blog know, I’ve been reading, praying, and spending time in God’s Word in the book of Psalm lately.  Yesterday, I was spending some time in Chapter 119 where it talks a lot about God’s commands, His decrees, His regulations, and laws and how we should rejoice in them all and study, reflect on them, as well as delight in them.

Later in the day, while at work, I happened to notice a car in the parking lot with a tag stating “In God We Trust” and also a bumper sticker saying “straight but not narrow” on that same car.  It was like being hit, in a way, with this realization that the person that owns this car is stating that they trust in God, but that a law He’s given us can make us “narrow minded” if we decide to obey, rejoice, or delight in all of His laws.

Honestly, it made me sad.  Sad, because I know so many other people that feel the same way about all sorts of God’s laws and commandments.  He gave us His laws to help us, not to hurt us, but so many people feel that they somehow know better than their Creator does as to what is best for them.

I have tried hard to find you-  don’t let me wander from your commands.

I have hidden  your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

I praise you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us.

I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches.

I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.

I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.

Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word.

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

I am only a foreigner in the land. 

Don’t hide your commands from me!

I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. 

Psalm 119: 10-20

As Christians and children of the Most High God, children of our Father in Heaven, how can we say that ANY of God’s laws, commands, decrees, are anything but GOOD and PERFECT?  Maybe we don’t “LIKE” them all because we’d rather have our own way, just like our children do, but if you trust in Him, then you must TRUST IN HIM.  Trust that He is GOOD.  Always has been, always will be.   After all, anything less means you do not “trust in Him”.

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Learning to Fly – shared from Godvine.  I loved this and wanted to share it with all of you! images (2)

My neighbor has a number of mature spruce trees in his back yard and every year a family of magpies nests in one of them. We are blessed that our back yard often becomes the place for magpie flight school.

The young birds work their way to the end of a branch, and sit there squawking for a while. Mother magpie is never far away, encouraging the young ones to try again. A nest of magpies can make a lot of noise when it is time to learn to fly.

After working up enough nerve and making a suitable amount of noise the young birds jump, spread their wings and drop to the ground. Squawking some more, they eventually jump up from branch to branch to climb back up the tree, and repeat the process.

The young one goes back to the end of the branch, makes enough noise to work up its nerve and tries it again.

Sometime during the process, they actually get airborne and soar a bit. The first time they soar, it frightens them and they land quickly, unsure of what just happened. Eventually though, they get the idea and fly and soar at will.

As Christians we are often like those young magpies, we stay near the nest and make a lot of noise. Sometimes we take a brief leap, then make a lot of noise over the attempt and head for home.

Other times we actually get to fly a bit, and it surprises and frightens us. We knew it was possible, but we didn’t really think it could happen to us and we stop in disbelief.

Now and then though, we get the idea and actually begin to do what we are called to do and fly. To soar, empowered by Holy Spirit. We begin to become the people of God that we are called to be. Other people see us soaring and the sight turns their mind towards God.

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Each of us is called to work in different ministries. Each of us is at a different point in our faith walk.

Perhaps you haven’t yet broken out of the egg or left the nest. Perhaps you are standing on the edge of the branch squawking in excitement and fear preparing to jump. Maybe you have just soared and it surprised you. Perhaps you are like the mother magpie, knowing you can soar and that it is your duty to encourage others.

Where ever you are in your walk, know that we are called to soar and are empowered to soar, all for the glory of God.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Do not grow tired of the attempt — know that the Father has prepared a ministry for you to excel at; to soar and bring Him glory. May you find that ministry and soar in His presence, as He intended, according to his plan. God bless.

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Personal Disciple-Making Plan.

Can’t say enough good things about what David Platt and Francis Chan are doing in the area of encouraging people to get out there and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone possible.

I fully believe we need to get serious about sharing the truth and the love of Christ.  I hope you enjoy this blog post I’m sharing that can help you in this area of life that is soooooo very important.

Keep speaking…gently.

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Coming in March: An online study based on The History Channel’s miniseries, “The Bible”.

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I can’t begin to tell you all how very much I liked this post. It’s come at a perfect time in my life for reasons I won’t get all into right now. Suffice it to say that I have a hole to go dig.
If this post speaks to you in some way, please share it in the comments section. I’d love to hear about the necessary holes in your life and how the Lord blesses you with a brand new shovel.

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When many unbelievers hear the word “Christian” what do you think comes to their minds?  Someone that goes to church on Sundays and occasionally reads a Bible?  Someone who is sometimes nice, yet sometimes not, depending on their circumstances? Someone who is sometimes happy, yet sometimes isn’t, again depending on their circumstances?  Or maybe they think of someone who tries to tell them all the ways they need to change their lives for the better, yet is still someone who appears to be in some serious need of changing their own life?

James 1:22 (NLT) says: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”

God wants you to be a DOER of the Word and not just someone who hears it on Sunday while you’re in church. The best way to show the love of Jesus Christ is by your own example; the way you live and share His abundant love with others.  We can tell people about Jesus and His love for them, but if we’re not living differently than the rest of the people they know, they won’t have any reason to listen.

Would you even consider hiring a mechanic if he’d only read a book about working on cars, or would you prefer that he have at least some experience at working on them?  I’m betting that you wouldn’t even consider taking just his advice, on matters relating to your car, if he’s only read the manual and hasn’t gotten some experience in working on them. 

People in the world need to see Christians who live differently than they do. They need to see us living what we try so hard to teach them. And they desperately need to see some proof that choosing to follow Jesus Christ WILL impact their lives in a powerful way. Unbelievers need to see us helping those who are in need, not just living a selfish life where our own needs always come first.

These changes don’t happen overnight, no. But changes DO happen in your life when you begin to actually practice what you preach and do what you hear in church on Sundays. The Holy Spirit will work within you and transform you, leaving evidence that He’s been at work inside you when you make the decision to truly become a doer of His Word. The Bible calls it fruit. And people NEED to see some serious fruit in those of us that call ourselves Christians.

People saying that they’re Christians yet acting as if they’re unbelievers is crushing the hope, that some people have, that maybe there is a savior for the world. It is causing untold amounts of people to decide that they want nothing to do with the hypocrisy and lies.

This is serious business. We need to stand up and do what we can to make a difference for those that are looking to us to see this change that we, as Christians, say is available through Christianity.  We need to live in a way that proves that we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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On Sunday the church my family and I attend started a series titled “Life’s A Circus”.   It’s about how we, as Christians, need balance in our lives and what we can do to attain this balance.  There are several key areas that we’re to figure out how to best “juggle”.

One of these was in the area of our social life and the pastor’s wife suggested that Christians should have a “mentor”.  Someone that can help keep them in check or in balance in their daily  walk with the Lord. Someone wiser than them, that has already been there and done that and can share their experiences with you so you’re able to learn from them and maybe have slightly fewer “ut ohs” in life.  I happen to think that this is a GREAT idea!  The only problem is… Where does one go to get this Christian mentor? How is this done?

Before you all jump in to reply and tell me what a silly question that is and that I need look no further than that very church I attend let me say this – It isn’t always that simple.

If it is for you, then I’m thrilled for you!  But for some of us, it just isn’t easy at all.  Even though I’m not what most people would consider shy, I still find it hard to just walk up to random people and jump straight in to their lives.  Like – “Oh hi, hello, my name is ______. It sure is nice to meet ya and ya know… I’ve been interested in finding myself a mentor and since you appear to be older and therefore maybe wiser than myself… how about it?”  See… I’m thinking that might not go over too well.  Yeah?  And yes, we are involved in a “small group”, but they’re either our age, or younger, and aren’t exactly mentor material for us.

So, when you’re in a position like this – How does someone find a mentor?  Those of you that happen to run across this post and know about some other ways that obviously are escaping me, please do leave tips and suggestions on how to find a good Christian mentor that can share their hard earned wisdom.  Surely, I’m not alone in not being sure exactly how this is done 🙂

At least I hope I’m not the only person on the planet that’s clueless about how this is done…  cause that’d be a bit embarrassing.

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