We live in a society now that has gone completely insane when in comes to their thought pattern on offense. A shift has taken place where morality has become offensive. Outright sin has become acceptable, normalized and even prosecutable if it your opinion about the issue hurts someone’s feelings. Should we as believers submit to these changes and just accept them as the new normal? No, but we need to love the people. We can’t get caught up in the debate, we need to trust God can use us to deliver these people from their blindness. We should never categorize sin thinking some are more heinous then others. Sin separates us from God, it does matter what sin, sin is sin.
Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. (Psalms 74:22 NLT)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT)
Sometimes we get so caught up in defending God that we forget that He can defend Himself. Our purpose on earth once we have accepted the gift of Jesus is to share that gift with others. So many believers are stuck in defence mode that they are spinning their wheels. There are many others out there working hard to defend the bible and God, let’s not waste our efforts of defence when we are called to reach others with the truth.
If you are caught up in defence, you need to rethink your strategy and work on your offence. Start loving the world, not what the people are doing, but love the people as those who need Jesus. We spend to much time focusing on the sin and not the person. We forget that we were just like them, lost separated from God, ignorant to the need for salvation. Some sin is so out there and right in your face that it so easier to condemn and make it a yelling point, but that isn’t the way forward in our cause. Gentleness, mercy, love and leading by example is the only way that we will reach this world today.
We are called to make disciples, not just bring someone to church, watch them accept Jesus then walk away from them. This isn’t catch and release Christianity. We went through a period in the last 30 years where discipleship was lacking in many of our church’s and we wondered why our young people were walking away from the faith. It wasn’t personal to them, they were missing something that we found but forgot to pass on, so when some other group or idea came along it grabbed their attention away from the Father.
If you are a believer in the faith are you mentoring anyone? Are you sharing your wisdom with the younger believer, believe it or not their age doesn’t matter. You may be an adult in your twenties mentoring someone in their 60’s in the faith. Spiritual maturity and age are two different things. God can use you at any age. Let God use you to mentor and disciple new believers. I wasn’t a fan if small groups until I started one and now I see that I had been missing out on an important aspect of discipleship.
If you are young in your faith join a small group for new believers, if none are around, ask someone at you church to start one. Don’t go to church, find one that preaches God’s love and has a heart for discipleship. Don’t think you can do this alone. Even Jesus had a group of men he kept close.
Dear Jesus, help us to let You defend Yourself. We worry so much that You will be defamed when that’s not our purpose. Strengthen our true purpose in our hearts to make disciples of all nations. Help us to become better at discipleship. Mentoring those who need to be mentored. If anyone is looking for a church home I pray that you will lead them to a place where they will get the discipleship they require. Thank you Jesus for everything you do for us. Amen
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”1 John 5:21 NLT
It is hard to fathom why one who has a relationship with God would replace him with something else. But we hear of believers, elders and even leaders walking away from him all the time. One might make the assumption that these believers never truly believed, as some have the notion that salvation cannot be discarded. What has truly happened is these folks have given up their relationship. Somewhere along the line sin got a hold inside and slowly but surely took them down a path away from God.
God didn’t abandon them, he didn’t leave them, but at some point they left him. They pushed aside the truth and the counsel of the Holy Spirit for an idea that what te wanted was right and for them. One of the startiling things that I see is leaders who drop out of leadership not only abandoning their church but in many case leaving their spouses. This is so heartbreaking as it can be a domino effect on those who admire and have been mentored by these leaders. They should know better but we don’t know what is going on in their lives and hearts.
This is where we as believers are failing each other. If we were more involved in each other’s lives personally we would become more intune to our brothers and sisters needs and troubles. Maybe we would be able to see things in the early stages and cut them off before they decide to walk away from God completely. It would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen with a time machine, but we pray and hope that the issues we resolve early will allievate any big mistakes down the road. Ultimatly it is between the person and God, but he can and will use us to build each other up, like iron sharpening iron.
This could be you, you maybe testing the waters of sin and not sure where the undertow is. But if your testing one day it will pull you under. I beg of you ask for help, cry out to God to pull you out now, send brothers and sisters of the faith to help you through this time of confusion. We need to ask for help, push past our pride, se that we are failing and need assistance. What we do with our lives as believers does not only affect us. It affect all around us, don’t be fooled that it’s my life and what I do doesn’t affect others.
Father, if anyone reading this is tempting their relationship with you by flirting with sin, I pray that right now you will show them the consiquences of their actions. Holy Spirit surround them with believers who will hold them accountable in love, building them up and loving them. It is not to late for them to cry out for forgiveness and change their behaviour, let them se that their actions affect others. God we ask that we will be used by you to reach others who may not know you at all or maybe did but have replaced you with something else. Give us the words to speak and wisdom to share with them your love. They matter you you God so they matter to us, amen.
““And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT
I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s series ‘Who Needs God’ on yourmove.is, in the last segment of the series he makes the quote ‘when we realize that our unbelief in God isn’t in his existence but our resistance.’ (Paraphrased) So many unbelievers and those who claim that there just isn’t a God, are living a life of unfufilment. We have a ingrained thought that there is more to life then just eating, sleeping and existing there has to be something more.
Our moral compass that we follow surely leads us to do the right things, but sin corrupts and causes us to go in directions we had never believed we would ever go as children. A child one would hope would never grow up with a life goal of murdering and raping people. These actions are the results of sin and sinful acts done towards that child or sinful opportunities the child has participated in. Sin then evolves and the moral compass is lost under mounds of sin.
Those who cross the line into atheism have taken the time to forsake the one who has created them by imagining that he doesn’t exist. Just like Christian tend to use the gap theory as an answer to questions that can’t be answered ‘ it’s a God thing ‘ atheists tend to do the same using natural selection to fill in their gaps ‘it’s a natural selection thing’. To forsake the truth and make excuses to justify makes it harder to reconcile with God as their hearts are hardened, they are not completely lost, but much pray and humility is required to reach them with the love of Christ. They need to first reject the theory that there is no God and start to seek him.
Those who seek him will find him. This promise is used many times in the word of God. Why? Because it is truth, God doesn’t play games, this isn’t hide and seek . He promises if you seek he will reveal himself through Jesus. The Holy Spirit is working in those who are seeking putting them in the right place and right time to meet and talk to believers. We must be prepared at all times to share the love of the Father, let us not be asleep when he is calling us to reach someone. I wonder how many opeertunites I have missed due to my pride, fear of humiliation or laziness.
We need to change our attitude in reaching the lost. The Holy Spirit uses us because we are called to reach the lost, trust he will give us opportunities to share Gods love daily. Are you ready to be used to reach the lost?
Father, forgive me for missed opertunities. I pray that you will open my eyes to moment where I can reach those around me. I do not want to be the reason someone isn’t following you, use me. Holy Spirit provide me wisdom and words to speak when talking to those around me, open the hearts so you can speak through me. Father you love this world and all the people in in, I should love them too so I pray you will put this love in my heart. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”1 John 4:11 NLT
We have and still receive an abundance of love from God. We don’t always see the blesssing he bestows on us but they are there, it just may not always feel like it. God in his vast love for humanity sent his son Jesus to take our place on the cross that we deserve. His sacrifice put on display the completeness of his love for us. That love is not just for believers in Jesus, it is for all humanity, he took away all the sins for all humanity. Open to all who would humble themselves and come to Jesus asking for his forgiveness. This kickstarts the relationship with God that we were created for. This relationship is for all, there is no other way for humanity to have this close connection, no other god, no right living, no secret formula. Jesus prepared the way for humanity to return to the connection they had with God in the Garden as he intended.
So do you know Jesus? Do you have a Relationship with God? What about those around you? Do they even know that Jesus died for them, maybe they do but they don’t see any point in ‘religion’. How are you showing them that God loves them and desires to have a relationship with them? Is your faith your best kept secret? It should be your worst kept secret, overflowing your life.
Father, today I ask that believers everywhere wil step up in sharing your love, telling other about the love you have for them. This world today is so full of alternative ideas on who you are and suggested pathways to eternity that confusion is rampant. Help us to create a clear picture of your love and salvation message. Holy Spirit give us words to speak and wisdom in every situation. Pour out your love through us so others can see Jesus in us. They matter to you God, so they matter to me and I am ready to push past my hesitations and do something. Amen
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”1 John 2:15 NLT
When some of us read this passage we feel like we’ll then, what exactly are we supposed to be doing here, but what we need to slerate is the word world from the word earth. The earth is and was created to sustain us, we were called from the beginning to take care of it, help it to multiply. So for for us to enjoy the physical earth and all that it has to offer is to revel in the glory of Gods creation.
Now the world that John speaks of her in this text is directed to the life and lifestyle of those outside of the faith. Those who live sinful lives oblivious to the fact that the path they are on leads to everlasting life with out God. Some live in full knowledge that they want nothing to do with God, which should boggle the mind of any believer, how one could once know the love of the Father yet choose a life of sin. This begs the question did they really know God the first time? I can’t judge the sincerity of their faith, but what made them walk away from their first love? Something in this world outside Gods love tempted them.
The saying goes when you play with fire you are bound to get burned. My daughter has started a passion for reading, she has shown interest in the fantasy genre. I am working hard to guide her from this as I know that many if not all focus on some sort of magic and if she has not set her feet on a solid foundation of faith that it may effect her. She doesn’t understand my thoughts when I tell her to return a book because it isn’t healthy for her, but I know that we must be wise in what we input into our minds. I gave here the options, read all your bible and if you do then I won’t be the judge of what else you read. I want her to read the truth, I want her to have the love of the Father in her life.
So how are you living your walk with Jesus? The world has nothing beneficial to offer. Sure it may have some seemingly fun things to offer, but almost always there are strings attached. Don’t be fooled you can’t love God and the world. Are you ready to change the way you think about life and walk with God, trusting he will not let you down? He has good things for you, let him in and show you.
Father, thank you for this awesome earth you have created for us. Help us to enjoy the earth and avoid the worldly things that will harm us. Sin has infected a lot of things and what we think may be innocent may very well be deadly. Holy Spirit guide us through life, show us what we need to do to be effective in our daily walk. We want to be seen as a people set apart, not as isolated but with something to offer, something more. We want to reach others with the truth about Jesus salvation and love. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen