Culturally Christian

Do you fit the mold and profile of a follower of Jesus? If you were to stand before a judge and be tried as a Christian, is there enough evidence in your life and your actions to convict you of being a Christian?

What do I mean when I am talking of “culturally Christian”? I am speaking of having your life so invested and intertwined with Christ until you are more like Him than your “self”. Few people are this committed to being like Christ and I am not saying that you would be perfect in your life because we can’t be perfectly in God’s will as Jesus was. What I am referring to is your character and whether it is identifiable as being like Christ and not like the world around you.

Can we do this as flawed human beings? Not in our own strength, but with the strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart, you can. Living your life through the Spirit is essential to being a Christian but do you know many people who actually do this? So many go to church and go through the motions of what is required or thought of as identifying them as Christians yet “their heart is far from me” as the Lord says.

The only way to bring your life into the culture and character of being a Christian is to give your heart to Him and learn about Him and His ways. Study the Bible and pray about your life in Christ and His life in your heart, then God will answer your prayers and help you learn His ways so that you can be more like Christ. There are many people who don’t believe in Jesus and some who reject Him and the Bible too. This is okay, but what if the words and the prophecies of the Bible are true?

Living your life in denial of the truth doesn’t change the truth, it just allows you to go on with your life thinking that your “truth” is right and others are wrong. Truly, there are those who say that the Bible is full of false claims and lies but there has never been anyone who can prove it. The Bible does contain history and historical places that have been proven by archaeology to have existed in the past. Since it is truthful in this, then the other words contained within it are true as well since God cannot lie.

All of the words in God’s Word were penned by flawed men, but they were being led and given the words by the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit had not been giving them the words to write, then the prophecies would never have come true and the Bible would be just a collection of words from history. But, the prophecies have come true and some have not, but they will. Belief in Jesus and taking the Word into your heart and your life is a part of being a Christian. If you can’t do that and live your life accordingly then why call yourself a Christian? If you have chosen to be like the world and not allow Jesus into your life, then you need to think about your life, not just the one you have now but the eternal one that you will have later.

The time that you have now is not all that there is, as some seem to think. God designed us to have an eternity and for that eternity to be His children. Living your life as you see fit and in whatever way you wish to live is fine, but what will you do when you wake on the other side of this life in the next one? If you haven’t given your heart and your life to Jesus here, then where will you be then? If you have attended church or heard a sermon anywhere then you know that there are only two destinations, Heaven or hell.

Think about it.

Can you live with yourself?

We do it all of the time and yet living and life itself has consequences that come from the things that we do every day. Is it possible that each of us might impact someone’s life in a way that is harmful? Can we make a change in our life so that the impact on others is good for them and for us?

The answer to that last question is actually “no, we can’t”, but God can! Do you truly know where your soul will go when you die? Are you sure of that destination, whatever it is? Many people think that when they die, that is it and there is no more living to do. In a way they are right about that because in the body that you have now, life will end at some point. But, we have all been created with an immortal soul and it will live on in eternity. The question is…where?

You can choose not to believe this if you wish and I am only trying to bring you to the realization that there is an eternity in which we will all live. The matter at hand is which eternity would you rather have…one which is loving and care free with work that you will enjoy for an eternity being with friends and family and with Jesus and all of the saints from the Bible?

Or would you rather be partying with Satan and his demons and all of the murderers and rapists and other scumbags in hell, where you will not enjoy eternity but will be tormented and in agony? Eternity in hell is not going to be a party, it will be filled with pain and misery not for just a while but for eternity.

Hell was not made or created for us at all, it was created to punish Satan and the angels which rebelled against God. But, if you have decided that you know better than God how to run your life and how to be a “good person”, because you don’t need Jesus in your life…then you are on the side of Satan as well. There is no middle ground, no possible way that your “good works” will save your soul. Jesus did the work that was necessary for your salvation on the cross! All that you have to do in order to receive it is to believe in His atoning death for your sins and ask for His spirit to come into your heart. When that happens, you will be changed into a new person!

You will no longer be the person that you were, but you will be in Christ and you will have Him dwelling in your heart. You will never be alone or away from God and He will always be beside you, near you whenever you call on Him for help or just simply to talk things out. How you choose to live your life is up to you but God has given us an easy way to come to Him and enjoy His strength and guidance in your everyday life…by simply asking Him to and believing that He will do what He says in the Bible. Since God does not lie, He will do what He promises.

Give Him a chance to show you what life can be like and what success in life with Him can be like because once you experience the success that God gives you, then you won’t go back to living without Him. If you have truly asked Him into your life, He will never leave you. You might walk away from Him for a time, but He is always there waiting for you to return.

Think about it….what if the Bible is true and everything that I have said is true? What will your eternity be like without Him?

What is happening?

People are going completely crazy it seems! On the news someone beat up their grandmother, and of course there are other uprisings going on all over the world because of one thing or another. How can this world be so mixed up and messed up? The reason is Satan’s hatred for us and his attempts at keeping as many people from God as he can.

The problems and craziness that is happening now and the terrible horrors of war and violence that has been going on throughout ages past is his doing as well. All of it can be laid at his feet because he wants to mess up this world and the people in it as much as possible while he can. His time is growing short and he knows it so the news is getting more graphic and horrible every week. 

Many people don’t think that he exists and that is fine with him, because if no one believes in him then they won’t realize that it is him and his demon’s influence in this world and over people’s minds that is the cause of all of our woes and heartaches. Satan has been biding his time for thousands of years and he is the prince of lies. He knows exactly what your weakness is and what mine is and how to exploit them.

When the Bible says that “Satan prowls around like a ravenous lion, seeking whom he might devour” (1 Peter 5:8), it is not a figure of speech or a metaphor but it is the truth. To those who might want to pick at what I wrote about the scripture, it is a paraphrase of the verse that I quoted. In either version, it is the truth and whether you believe it or not doesn’t change it.

Belief in the truth doesn’t change it, belief or unbelief in something that is true doesn’t change it either. Satan and his demons are real. The cause death by any means available to them and they are good at it. Cancer, bacteria which can’t be controlled or killed, viruses that were once wiped out have come back, these are examples of their work. Science may not believe it, scientists may not believe it, and I am trained as a laboratory scientist myself. But since Satan is a better theologian than any evangelist, I believe he is also a very good geneticist as well.

The problem is his pride and his ego. He thinks that he can win against God, the Creator of all including him! 

The tricks that he has devised against us have grown exponentially over the millennia as well as his ability to manipulate us and our emotions and the thoughts in our minds. He can appear as an angel of light, which he was before he tried to ascend above the stars of God.

Satan is an adversary and a liar, but with Jesus in our lives he can be defeated. Carrying the Word of Truth in your heart and reading it daily can give you protection from his ways. But, only if you do it!! 

Sitting in church doesn’t do it, reading your Bible once or twice during the week or the month doesn’t do it. He knows the scriptures like the back of his hand, so he can manipulate them so that you could believe a lie from the Word and think it was the truth. Playing at being a Christian is a very dangerous thing and it will cause you to spend eternity with Satan and his demons because that is who God created hell for. We were never intended to go there, but if you are not a child of God then you are in Satan’s camp.

Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Faith, do you have any?

We are supposed to have faith in God and in His Son, if you are a believer. Those who don’t believe in Him, for whatever reason, don’t have faith in God although they know of Him. Knowing about a person, whether it is a celebrity, a sports figure or an entertainer or God Himself, does not amount to truly knowing that person. Do you know someone in a political office or just know about them? How about those players on the national football or basketball teams, do you know them personally? No, you can quote statistics about their ability to play their respective games but you don’t know them.

Faith_in_God

That is the difference between knowing about someone and really knowing them. That is why God created the relationship of marriage between a man and a woman, so we can have an idea of what our relationship with Him is supposed to be. Faith in God and in His provisions.

Living as a Christian gives you freedom and it really doesn’t hinder your life. The problem that many people have with it is that they see all of the things that they can’t do after becoming a Christian. Jesus never told anyone that you can’t do this or that, He just told them to go and sin no more. Although it is true that we can’t successfully do that in our own strength, we can with His Spirit living in our hearts. It is a lie that some believe that they can be righteous and holy after becoming a Christian, you can be but not twenty-four hours a day! You will have sinful thoughts, you will say things or think things about someone that are sinful, we are not perfect. We can strive to be perfect in our ways and follow His example, as long as we are truly His and follow Him by reading and learning the wisdom of God from the Bible. Apply this wisdom to your life, your family and your business practices and you are a few steps down the road toward Jesus.

This is the only way to truly belong to Him. If your salvation experience did not bring you to the cross to lay your sins down and walk away from them then you may need to check to see if you are His. God loves you more than you can realize, but if you keep pushing Him away and putting the leading of the Holy Spirit on your heart off, then He may give you over to your sins and to Satan. If God has a purpose for you to fulfill, then He will get your attention and you will come to Him. If you are being stubborn about it, the consequences could be like Job in the Bible, but then again they might not be.

We are not guaranteed our next breath, let alone tomorrow or next week, so putting off God’s call on your life is not a good or wise choice. Give your heart to Him, follow His steps and His purpose for your life. It doesn’t mean that you will be a missionary in some foreign land or a preacher but be willing to be whatever God calls you to be. The rewards may not be such that the world will take notice, but your impact on your world locally could be tremendous and the seeds that you plant may take root in someone’s heart on the other side of the world. God may use t hem to make an even larger impact, but the seed that started it all can come from something as simple as this page, this message. All you have to do is be receptive to the call, the pull of the Holy Spirit in your life and your heart. Let God do the rest.

Is Satan real?

“Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28: 12-15)

There are many sites which question the validity of the Word of God which states that he is real and also bring up the idea that he is just a metaphor for mankind’s evil state. Well, if the prophets say that the Spirit of God gave them the knowledge and the words to write about him, then I believe it. Also, our Lord Jesus said that He witnessed Satan fall from Heaven like lightning, so to answer the question: Yes, I do believe that Satan is real!

Look at all of the evil things that go on in the world. I know that mankind is evil in some ways, but some of the things which happen to people and especially to youngsters must be prompted by Satanic forces, demons, principalities, whatever you want to call it. It is just too depraved, it seems, for a person to do some of the horrendous things which make the news sometimes without being pushed or influenced by a truly evil presence.

He is known by many names among which are: Satan (the Accuser); Lucifer (the name he was given by God); Beelzebub (the evil one). He is also known as the Dragon and the King of Tyre. By whatever name you call him, he is a created being that was created by God to be a guardian cherub which is why he is so powerful. He was created with all of the beauty that God could bestow upon him and when he saw himself and realized how magnificent he was, he wanted more and pride took root in his spirit.

Lucifer, became Satan when he tried to take what a created being has no right nor power to take. He tried to become a god, above the throne of God on the mountain of God. A human can’t do it and neither can an angel or a cherub, no matter how powerful they may be. He will bow one day to Jesus as the King of Kings. He won’t like it, Gabriel or Michael may have to force him to bow, but he will.

The most wonderful news that I can give you, as a Christian, is that you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore you have power and protection against him. Although, I believe that anyone would be frightened if he actually showed up in physical form regardless of your belief! We have the Spirit of God in us as Christians and therefore we have a part of the Trinity living with us. If you have not asked Jesus into your life, then Satan has an open door to your heart and soul and can enter at any time he chooses. If you mistakenly invite him in by playing a game or playing with witchcraft, then you will pay the consequences.

Give your life to Jesus, decide to follow Him, read and pray about what you are reading in the Bible. God will reveal things to you through His Word to teach you about Himself and about who you are in Christ. Once you have taken the Word of God into your heart by the reading of it, determine to learn from it and you will have a weapon against Satan that he cannot go up against.

Think about it and one day I may meet you in Heaven.  🙂

The Messiah, do you know Him?

There are over 400 prophetic writings in the Old Testament which refer to Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. He fulfilled them all! The probability of someone doing that without being the true Christ of God is over ten to the seventeenth power to one.

I don’t know about you, but that is more than enough proof for me.  His life, death and resurrection happened because of His love for us and for Israel at the time of His appearing.  God loves us all and would like for all of us to come to Him but He patiently waits for us to ask.

Your life can be so much more meaningful to yourself and to Him once you accept Him into your life. Jesus cares for us all and wants the best for us, but He will not force Himself into your life. He has to be asked to come in, like a visitor to your home. Although, when He comes into your heart, He will change your life in ways that no other visitor could. Give Jesus a chance in your life, He will make you into the person that you were meant to be!

How do I know that I know God and His Son?

There are three “tests” that John put forth for a person, a believer, to know that they know God without a doubt. These tests are that we keep His commandments, to walk as Jesus walked in obedience to the Father and to show unconditional love toward our brothers. The first one is usually the hardest for some to understand. It is to keep or obey His commands. Not just the ten commandments, but the two which Jesus put forth in Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus said, “Love God with all of your heart, and with all your strength, and with all your soul and love your neighbour as yourself, on these two commandments hang all of the Law and the Prophets”.

Those who say that they know God, but do not keep his commandments are liars and the truth is not in them. Belief is not enough, reading the Bible, God’s Word is not enough, your life has to show beyond a doubt that you belong to Him. We are put where we are to be “salty” and to be reflections of Him, not of ourselves or our personal views. Our mission, if we are Christians as we claim to be, is to be the best reflection of Jesus that our lives can be. How we live our faith on a daily basis shows what is in our heart, not what may be on our minds at the time. At least, that is what the world should see.

To walk as Jesus walked, in total obedience to God’s will, is our goal and purpose. As Christians, we are to submit to the Spirit’s leading influence in our life on a daily basis. This does not mean to give up entirely, but we are to give Jesus and His Spirit control of our lives daily. This is a hard concept for us because we do not like to give up control of our lives.

How can we, mere humans, accomplish this? The only way that we can do this is through Him and His Spiritual control of our lives. The only way that we can be truly effective for Him is by the power of His Spirit in our life. If we did good things (works) for others before becoming a Christian, how much more could we do with Him in our life? Those works that we did before becoming Christians may have been good but they did nothing more than to make us look good in other people’s eyes. What about the ones we are led to do or accomplish after becoming Christians? As long as we obey Him and accomplish them, we are doing His will and fulfilling His purpose in our lives.

Even though we are not bound by Jewish law, are we required to act as if we are regarding the Ten Commandments, as well as the commandments Jesus gave in Matthew 22? If we are truly His, yes! Our life is to reflect that His spirit lives in us and that we live through Him. If our lives do not reflect what is in our hearts as the truth of God, we need to re-examine our faith and our beliefs. We can only pass the test when we are led by the Spirit on a daily basis.

Is there a broken relationship in your life? Is there any prejudice or animosity toward any particular group of people? Do you fail to demonstrate love for others through tangible actions, not just  giving people “stuff” ? Is there a way we can fix these failures? Yes! Come to Jesus and show that you truly love those who love you and those who don’t.

As followers of Christ, we are to love Him so that we can resist the attraction of the world and all that it tries to offer us. To serve Him in whatever we do, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to us is our calling and purpose. In that way the light of God and His Son, Jesus, should shine through us so that everyone we come in contact with will see that we have something that they need and in doing so we will be the true followers of God that we were called to be.