As you know, we are busy with “The Mind”, focusing our attention on “think what you think about”. The reason for this focus is to ensure that we, as Christians, live lives that stand out, due to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. To those of you who have not hear me share this story, allow me to set the scene for the “why are we focusing our attention on this?”...I heard an atheist make the following statement to a Christian: “Why would I become a Christian? They are the only people I know who stress, then pray because they are stressed, then stress because their prayers are not answered!”
When I heard this statement, I immediately understood what he was saying and, if we are to be honest, he really has a point. We were called to radiate the HOPE that Christ gave, the LIFE that He displayed, the WAY that He showed, yet, many christians (see the lower case in my selection of christians...intended, because it is only in name, not by lifestyle) live lives that judge others and their lifestyles rather than being the display of Christ. We were not called to be “good people” or live lives of “religion” or “doing the right things”! We were called into a relationship with the Creator who IS LOVE, and therefore our lives will be the display of HIM. We have to understand the fullness of His Word to know that you can be the most beautiful display of Christ and still offend someone. This is only because of free will that was given to each person. Christ did not say that He will make everyone “like us”...instead, He said that we will go into this world like sheep (lambs) amongst Wolves.
What is my point? To some it might seem that I am contradicting myself above – I am not. I read a book written by Craig Groeschel a few years ago, and immediately thought to myself that this was the book I would have written if I was a writer. The book’s name is “The Christian Atheist” – it speaks about people who call themselves christians, but do not live their lives out of relationship with HIM (good book to read should you look for reading material). I see far too much of the world creeping into Christianity and the church. Christianity is the display of a relationship. The driving force behind Christianity is CHRIST HIMSELF, and He, therefore, wants to display through us as Church - His amazing Love, Power and Majesty. If we then live lives as Christians that seem similar to any normal earthly-thinking person, and are not “doers of the Word” or “followers of Christ” or “obedient to His Word”, what gives us the right to judge the world if we ourselves cannot display the PEACE, the REST, the SABBATH that HE left for us?
A big problem in Christianity today is the “modern trend” where you can listen to any sermon you want on podcast, any leader that fits your style and read “Daily devotions” as if it is enough food. Christians: it is fine to not know everything, it is fine to struggle and not have all the answers, but know that Scripture tells us to crave the Word like a baby craves milk! Get into His Word! Ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance, make Him part of your reading and “doing” of the Word. Invite His power (grace) to overcome you and show you how amazing He is.
Read the following scripture with the intent to understand and then do what you read: Roman 12 (Amplified)
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. 3 For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 4 For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, 5 so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].
6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; 7 if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; 8 or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness. 9 Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing--without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; 11 never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; 12 constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], 13 contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] Hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. 17 Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Let us be Authentic in our Christianity in following Christ wholeheartedly! Enjoy an amazing November.
Written By: Pierre Ferreira