“A Prize Fighter”

Each day for me as a Christian can be like stepping into the boxing ring or octagon whichever your prefer. If we consider the challenges we as Christians face within the secular world that surrounds us, we at times will take some punches that cause us to reel or even buckle, but we still get up and face the next round.

I find it interesting that those who are either not Christian or do not share in our resilience will make comments to criticize our belief, and yet when things get a little tough in their life or they find themselves with nowhere to turn they complain, blame and accuse others for their misfortune.

One of the toughest punches I receive are when I hear someone take God’s name in vain. I have to say that these have the hardest sting, and for those who use His name as commanded otherwise i do try to correct them.  Along with the correction I also offer up a prayer for them.

So each day as we step into the ring of life we as Christians must always remember that Jesus Christ has placed before us the one and true prize of redemption through which He stood in our place to not only fight for us, but also to take every painful blow sin could throw at Him.

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already l obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: not forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God in all of His wonderful glory!!!

“Our Public Testimony”

Today I saw something that made me think of the status of Christians everywhere.  I witnessed a young lady sit down to eat a meal at a public eatery and before she ate any food she bowed her head and folded her hands.  I am assuming that she was thanking God for her food, but it also seemed as though she was trying to hide the fact that she was praying.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always thank God for my meals when at the table, but I do thank Him at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day.  My practice may not be in with the best discipline, but I do thank God nonetheless. So, again, I am not without fault here.

What I would like to point out concerning how we conduct ourselves as Christians in public.  Starting with what the Bible says we are to never deny Christ or He will deny us; (Matthew 10: 32 – 33) 32. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

As we are human and prone to forgetting things I find it fortunate that through the grace of God we have Jesus Christ and the ability to ask for forgiveness, along with the ability to pick up the Bible and remind ourselves of what Christ actually said.  So being my own worst critic and quick to be hard on myself when I don’t do the things I should, I love the fact that God has a way of reminding us of what is important and that sometimes He doesn’t work in mysterious ways to keep us on track with our physical and spiritual life.

When it comes to our confession of faith in Jesus Christ we should only fear a few things; God, something that can destroy both the body and soul, and offending the Holy Spirit.  Nowhere in that list does it say to fear another human being.  In my own experience if someone is offended it is because they are trying to suppress the truth of God and are feeling conviction from God and instead of agreeing to or complying with it, they become angry or “offended”.

So to give a bit of a warning; if you happen to see me or another Christian praying prior to eating their meal, maybe as a Christian approach us and let us know that we did the right thing; everyone can use a dose of support from other Christians.  If you are not a Christian, then maybe take the time to ask the person why they pray; you might be surprised by what you hear.

Jesus Christ is the risen Savior and in this truth resides the living God that we glorify in all that we do.

Praise God!!!

 

 

“In My Tribulation God Waits, In My Heart He Lives”

There has been a cliché I have heard lately that has not quite hit the mark. There may those who agree and there of course will be those who disagree. I am not the first to think of this and more than likely, not the last, so here is the cliché I am thinking of;

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I would actually disagree with this. To be honest I think God does give us more than we can handle so that we can be nearer to Him. Think about it, when do we call on God the most; when we are in great need or tribulation.

When it comes to our happiness or feeling of fulfillment I believe that God wants the best for us, so much so that He gave His only Son for us, but at the same time God has told us through the Gospels that our tribulation and trials are there to make us stronger not weaker.

Romans 5: 1 – 5: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” NKJV

Of course many of us have been there when we have called on God to help us through the challenge each of us had in front of us and in some cases promises were made or pledges said. Therein lies the topic of how we act towards God after we get back to what we consider a sense of normal or comfortable. How did we carry out the promises made or did we soon forget what we even said because the situation was so bad?

God has given in each of us the ability to overcome tragedy through the promise He has given through His Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have a hope that no other has or ever can offer. With the connection we have to God through His Son, we know that no matter the consequence it is by divine promise and plan that we go through the challenges in our life, each in their own category and way. Each of us has our part to play and through love, fear and obedience to God the victory will be ours.

So looking back on my own life, turning to God through the good and bad is what we are told to do; it is that simple. God wants that relationship with us, but we must understand that the path may not be the smoothest and that we are to always be prepared by placing ourselves into prayer and study of the bible regularly. These are the tools by which we shield ourselves from the world and the stress it daily throws on our shoulders.

So to bring a solution to the table I will provide you with a new cliché; “In my tribulation God waits, in my heart He lives.”

“A Perspective of Salvation”

Today the world took another spin as we attempted to keep up with the momentum of time.  Each of us sees that rotation in many varying ways, which make us the unique species on this planet.

So are we that unique?  Well I think the answer is pretty obvious; we have a soul.  Even for those who say they don’t do and according to what we know in God’s Word to us, we are held responsible for the care and welfare of this planet. That should makes us qualified to carry out God’s wishes along with His ordnances.

This might be a point of disagreement and that is okay if it is, but our lives as Christians should not be to only wait patiently for Christ’s return or even death to carry us away to Heaven.  Actually we should be very busy to take care of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth as we were left as its caretakers until His return; whenever that may be.  Christ never tells us when; only to be ready.

So if we are to be busy prior to Christ’s return, then what exactly are we supposed to be doing?  We know that we are not saved by works, so then I must assume that we are “Saved for works” as stated by Dr. Joel McDurmon.  Knowing that Dr. McDurmon is a Theonomist makes my point more interesting.

Dr McDurmon comes from the idea that God’s Law must also be the civil law and we know that it is also the basis for our moral law.  This law also tells us that we are to care for God’s Kingdom along with its inhabitants.  We already know that the laws of God are just, but some may view them as “old”, “Jewish” or “no longer applicable”.  With the degraded society we live in that claims to be “modern”, “well-rounded” or even “fair”, for those descriptions I will simply disagree.

God’s Laws were and are fairly simple; yet difficult for even the best Jew to follow.  Considering the best and perfect Jew was Jesus Christ; perfection does not fall on any human being’s resume.  With this I am simply trying to understand how I as a Christian can be a better one and a proper steward of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.

I greatly respect those whose knowledge of God far surpasses mine and for them I am grateful to God.  From these our faith is measured in how well we receive and discern their words concerning their interpretation of God’s Word, its meaning and symbolism.  Whatever God has wished me to glean from their teaching I will use it to strengthen my faith and my stance for Christ’s Kingdom.

As there are too many to mention I will thank Jeff Durbin, Dr Joel McDurmon and my current pastor for their teaching; they bring my soul the freshness and nearness of God each time I hear them speak.

“As the Sun Sets”

As the world turns yet again for another day and the sun goes under the horizon, my mind takes me into a place where everything and everyone I see I must give thanks. This might sound easy on the surface, but I also have to be thankful to those who were not necessarily nice to me or worth, in my mind, giving thanks to.

This might be the thoughts of others as well; not sure.  To give thanks or even forgiveness is not always easy, as human nature dictates that these two things can be considered as optional. However it works for any of us is, well…, up to us. But is it really?

We say that we have “free will”, but do we really? If sin is controlling certain aspects of our lives, do we truly have enough control to say that the decisions we make are actually free from anything, other than the sin that permeates our total being?  The only way to let these go is to not only give our sins up to God, but we have to remember forgiving others must be done first before we approach God with the burden we want lifted from us.

Jesus speaks in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant about forgiving others first. Matthew 18:32″Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? 34. And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35. ‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

As we go through our day as Christians, we know that not everyone we encounter believes what we do. Although this wall does exist, thankfulness and forgiveness are still understood by non-Christians.  Living for God is not easy and I too struggle with the secular challenges, so with that being said I do know that the days of not forgiving and keeping Jesus Christ under a rug of social acceptability are over.

So as the sun sets at the end of each day, take a moment to think about how to best thank someone or give forgiveness if needed. God’s judgements may sound harsh concerning forgiveness, but in reality the potential pain we can cause others by not following through with what God expects of us could actually be our last chance to do so since none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, but being judged before His seat is.

Matthew 16: 24,25;  “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”