The Real CHRISTian…

The Real CHRISTian…

 I Pet 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation,, His own people, THAT YOU MAY PROCLAIM the
praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had
not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

A.W. Tozier

“The real Christian is an odd human being anyway. The Christian
feels supreme love for One he has never seen, he talks everyday with
Someone he cannot see, he expects to go to heaven on the virtue of
Someone else, he empties himself in order to be full, he admits he is
wrong so he can be declared right, he goes down in order to get up, he
is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is the poorest,
happiest when he feels the worst, he dies so he can live, he forsakes in
order to have, he gives away so he can keep he sees the invisible, hears
the inauditable, knows that which passes knowledge.”

The test. What is your life proclaiming? And of course remember, the
biblical requirement for being a Christian is that, ‘you must be born again’

Acts 11:26 “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.
And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with
the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called
Christians first in Antioch.”

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

HAVE A GREAT DAY SERVING JESUS and remember what real
priorities Jesus would have you to practice!!!!

Understanding the Bible…

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Understanding the Bible….

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.

How do I allow myself to be changed from the inside out?

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.

Renew your mind with God’s truths…

2 Tim. 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Those who do not have Jesus as their Lord and Savior have one major problem!

I Cor 2:14 “ But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

There is one thing needed before you can understand the Bible and know that you will spend ETERNITY with God….

 John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve;”

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Looking unto self, the author and finisher of my destiny, who for the pleasure set before me, I empowered myself, despising all those who disagree with me and I sit on my throne with confidence and pride.

“God created man in His image and man returned the favor.”

But as scripture says, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Especially as God sees it because that is the only truth that counts. Man left to himself is…

Rom 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as unclean things, and all our
rightlessness’s are like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities,
like the wind have taken us away.”

You may want to delete this challenge because of the tone so far but be careful. God never tells us an untruth, so we must view all of God’s truths as just that and ask, how does this apply to me. It is tough thing to see yourself as God sees you but vital.

The good thing is that all is not lost. The fellowship with God that sin (iniquities) destroys can be restored.

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

John 5:11, 12 “And this is the record; that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

So, what should be my Manifesto? The Biblical Christian Manifesto as given by our God is;

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It cannot be said strong enough. Either my joy and reason for living is centered on self and the philosophies of men (religion), or on Jesus. Why else would Jesus say; “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me” and, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father, but by Me”. In our world would view that is being ‘narrow minded’ and bigoted. And as long as it is from God, I am ok with being viewed that way. How about you? Let’s be salt and light today and not just one of the crowd.

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me! The choice on who and what I will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Have a great day following the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!!!!!!!!

Daily Warfare within…

I Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from
fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

 Daily Warfare within…!

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going on
inside him. He said it is between 2 wolves.

One is evil: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one I feed.”

Romans 8:3-5 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after
the Spirit the things of the Spirit
.”

Gal 6:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” 

Is it well with your Soul…

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Is it Well with your Soul…

Maybe it is just my imagination and I hope so, but it seems to me that much of Christianity does not see the persecutions and trials of this world as having merit. Am I wrong and how does my life stack up is the nagging question? I know that in my heart I do not like persecution and trials so if I can avoid them, I will. Then I see scripture that says if there is no objection to my life style by the world then I may be a Christian in hiding. And worse yet, if no trials then I might not be saved. Ouch, that thought process is not one that I wish to pursue.

First I check out my eternal life and find I am confident that I have asked and am trusting in Jesus sacrifice for my sins to be sufficient for my salvation. Nothing can be added from my end (Gal 2:16-21). Then comes the question of how my life as a believer stacks up to His will for me. If I do not change to meet my Savior’s will for my life just what will I hear at the Judgment Seat of Believers. I know my sins are washed away so they will not be on display there but how about my life’s work or lack of work for my Savior after being “born again”?????

The second verse of “It Is Well with My Soul” puts persecution in perspective.

Tho Satan should buffet, tho trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And an example from scripture helps us to put trials into perspective.

Paul is one of those examples. As we review his life as recorded in scripture we see that he was given “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Almost every saint of every age could echo Paul’s concerns and the request for God to remove those thorns.  Trials do come to each child of God.

That is a given. How we look at them is not. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).  God had a purpose in Paul’s life, and He has a purpose for us.  Paul couldn’t clearly see the purpose, and, at times, we can’t either. We can, however, “glory,” as Paul did, or “rejoice,” as Peter advises, or “count it all joy” as James records in response to the knowledge of God’s loving oversight.

 

I love this thought from that passage on removing the thorn in II Corinthians. I memorized it so I could have it ready when the difficulties of my life are better understood by listening to my God. Paul accepted God’s answer to his prayer that he requested three times and the answer was.  God’s grace is sufficient; you need that thorn in your life for a much greater purpose and outcome than the immediate fleshly satisfaction of it being removed.

II Cor 12:8-10 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Holy Alphabet…

James 1:2a “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”

Notice it is not “if” but it is “when”. Why do you think that would be?

 ABC’s

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame

Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know

Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee

Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone

Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command

Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Exalting God most high

Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

“I AM Too blessed to be stressed!”

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the
distance between your knees and the floor.

1 Thes. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

James 1:2,3 “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various
trials; Knowing this, that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Hitting the Self-Destruct Button…

Mat 7:1, 2  “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Hitting the Self-Destruct Button

It seems we are constantly battling the temptation to judge.  If we aren’t trying to refrain from judging someone else, it is usually because we are judging ourselves.  Most of us would deny being judgmental and it is absolutely true that we do not want to be. However, if we are being honest with ourselves, we often are guilty of comparing ourselves to other people.  We compare our jobs, clothing and, oh yes, our body types.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  So true!  It’s as if we are hitting a self-destruct button every time we compare ourselves to others because the outcome will never be good!  One of two outcomes occur when we compare ourselves to others.  The first possible outcome is that we instill a false sense of joy.  We have a temporary high due to the false sense that we are better than someone else.  In reality, we are simply having a better hair day or we spent more time being high-maintenance that day.  The other possible outcome is that we feel down on ourselves and actually begin to resent the person who we are feeling jealous of.

It’s so much easier to focus on the things we don’t like about ourselves rather than focusing on the things that we do like (if we will admit we actually like something about ourselves).  We all have good qualities and we all have areas that could use some improvement.  Albert Einstein said, “Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”  Yep, we have all been there…. we have all “judged a fish for its ability to climb a tree” or allowed our feelings to be decided by judgmental comparison.

Are you ready to expose all the shame and guilt you experience when you don’t focus on the wonderful God-given qualities you have and instead compare yourself to those around you?  Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”  We can begin to let go of comparison when we expose our weaknesses to God and admit the mistakes we make.  Saying, “God, I am a mess, forgive me for putting my focus on who I’m not instead of who you made me to be.” Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better known as Plumb, co-wrote and recorded “Lord I’m Ready Now.”  Read the lyrics slowly and let them sink in….

 

“Lord I’m Ready Now”- Plumb

I just let go
And I feel exposed
But it’s so beautiful
Cuz this is who I am
I’ve been such a mess
But now I can’t care less
I could bleed to death

Oh Lord I’m ready now
All the walls are down
Time is running out
And I wanna make this count
I ran away from you
And did what I wanted to
But I don’t wanna let you down
Oh Lord I’m ready now
Lord I’m ready now

You called my name
I turned away
But now I
Am listening
I was so caught up
In who I’m not
Can you please forgive me?

The bottom line is…Comparison is dangerous!!!  Comparison can cause resentment, pride and ruin relationships.  Most importantly, comparison is a sin.  God is pretty simple and blunt when he says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”  (Mathew 7:1)

Challenge:  Instead of comparing yourself to others today, thank God for three qualities He gave you (make sure one of them is a physical characteristic).  Also, give three people, who you may feel a little sting of jealousy towards, a compliment.  Focusing on our positive qualities and appreciating the positive qualities of others can change the way we see ourselves and the way we view others.  Don’t hit the self-destruct button today. Instead, choose to lift up those around you and be thankful for the beautiful person God has made you!

One final thought. There is One who you should keep your eyes and pattern your life after. Can you guess Who He is? And yes, if you do He will change your life.

Hebrews 12:1, 2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”