I've been getting a lot of "input" from all kinds of sources, some Christian, and some secular/worldly...and it brought me to one thought:
WHAT MAKE CHRISTIANS DIFFERENT FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD?
This is sometimes seen as a simple question with a simple answer, but I just don't see it that way. To me, it's more complex. Just hear me out- the answer itself IS simple, but the APPLICATION is not so easy.
When we go from "regular attendance status" at church, to getting involved in what God is doing through our churches and leaders...that's Christianity.
When we go from talking about the goodness of God, the glory of God, and the grace of God...and start finding ways to SHOW these things to others, that's Christianity.
When we are more into changing ourselves, than judging and trying to change everyone else around us...that's Christianity.
When we reject the secular society's concepts of social order...race, class, and wealth-based cliques And act like the "Acts2 Church"- All-inclusive, giving, accepting, and edifying eachother...that's Christianity.
When we truly put ourselves and our ambitions aside for the cause of Jesus Christ...THAT'S Christianity. Obviously, right?
Isn't the definition of CHRISTian..one who is Christ-like?
I believe...after a lot of prayer, meditation, and study of the Word...we should shift our focus from:
"What Christians Shouldn't Do" to....
"What Christians SHOULD do"
I've seen both approaches to reaching out to others, and I can tell you, from personal experience out in the streets of America...that people are more interested in what Christians DO.
Waaay more than they are interested in what we don't.
Blessed to be a blessing,
I went to a great bible study last night with my wife, and the Holy Spirit said a few things to me...and if it's alright with yall, I wanna share them:
* Don't BLAME God when things in life are going wrong, BELIEVE in Him and that He will carry you through. That's the whole essence of FAITH. Just consider Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." when you get done with that one, jump to Hebrews 11:6 "For without faith, it is impossible to please God."
Seems to me that when we feel like giving up, or going crazy because of the pressures of this life...that would be the best time to keep a cool head, and trust in God. I dunno, that's just me :p
* I confessed to my brothers and sisters that I was struggling a little bit in being patient, and starting to doubt if God was gonna intervene...wanna take a guess at what the Holy Spirit said to me? I quote this, word-for-word:
"You say you were starting to waver on whether God was faithful, but you KNOW He is. He has been there for you many times in your life. So the REAL question is..will YOU remain faithful to God??"
Ouch. But as it's written: "The LORD disciplines those He loves." And I'd rather take a Spiritual Verbal Warning from God, than anything else.
Right now, I'm going through a personal crisis...but I don't do what I used to do- freak out, flare up, fall down. For some reason (which I'm about to tell you), I'm keeping my eyes on Jesus. It's like I'm in the eye of the storm...and I can see the chaos being unleashed on everything around me, but I'm in the peaceful center. And I can literally hear God, telling me step-by-step what it's gonna take to get things together. I got a wife who's a godly woman in every SENSE of the word...and she just became a Christian less than 2 years ago. But...this is the point I'm getting to: Jesus went through pure HELL for us. And He didn't even DO anything. WE did. He took all the blame, all the guilt, all the humiliation and suffering that we should've, and even said, "Father FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." This past week, we remember when He was beaten, when He was flogged and mocked, spit on, cursed, and unfairly convicted of being worthy of death. And I'M gonna complain? Maybe not so muuuuuch...ya heard? God is good, and He's good even when life doesn't make sense. He's good even when everything you know and love is gone, and He's good even when your entire world has fallen apart....Just keepin it real, tho: I usually BUG OUT when something like this happens. But I'm trying to be UNusual. Peculiar. Strange this time. Seems to me that's what FAITH is.......think about it. And get at me. God IS Good..ALL the time. And ALL the time..... -dOk