Christian Faith: It’s Not Complicated.

I believe…
because God said.
Simple? Yes.
Easy? No.

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Just Wondering

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Have you ever considered that when professing believers bicker, gossip, hold grudges and generally refuse to work together that we are directly opposing Jesus’ John 17 prayer that His family live together in unity?

 

I Am That I Am

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Exodus 3:14-15 (NKJV)

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”  And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’.”
Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God or Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever and this is My memorial to all generations.”

I Am. The Self-existent One of the ancient Hebrew texts has revealed Himself to us through the Man, Jesus of Nazareth.

John 18:4-6 (NKJV) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Mark 14:61-62 (NKJV) But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Revelation 1:12-18 (NKJV)
Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;

His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Thoughts on Christian Culture 6: Can You Handle The Truth?

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Can I handle it?

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
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•Things Christians are not promised in this life, through scripture:

~family approval
~popularity among peers
~satisfying love life
~wealth
~perfect physical health
~social respectability
~political influence
~fashionable clothing
~fun career
~earthly possessions
~freedom to be whatever we want
~leisure time

These are all worldly (temporal) goals. These things can make our existence more pleasant, or convenient; and can sometimes be considered a blessing by those who manage to keep things in proper perspective.

But Christians are supposed to be looking ahead to something better.

Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

•We are actually told to expect:

~misunderstanding
~rejection
~active opposition
~loss of personal possessions
~spiritual discernment regarding sin
~generalized struggle with our own self-indulgent sin nature
~God’s provision in God’s timing
~prayer support (and accountability) from other believers

Matthew 6:10-12
John 15:18-19
John 16:33
Luke 11:3
Romans 7:18; 8:13
Galatians 5:13
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
James 5:16
2 Timothy 3:12

Thoughts on Christian Culture 5: Arrogance

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Image courtesy Naypong

Two faces of pride:

~ I am always right.
~I cannot believe I did something wrong.

The first response refuses to acknowledge sin.
The second one wallows in self-pity.

Either way, the focus remains on personal performance instead of the need to seek God’s forgiveness.

Engraved Invitation

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Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV) Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV) And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

John 6:35 (NKJV) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Revelation 3:20 (NKJV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voic and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. ~ Jesus

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Jesus IS the feast. He has been given freely to revive us poor, blind, deaf and lame beggars.

Those of us who have been given access to His table should remember how unworthy we are as we graciously invite others to join us.

We have no right to close them out or simply toss a few stale crumbs at them.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Christian Culture 4: Testify

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John 4:6-7, 28-29 (ESV)
(Please read omitted verses for essential context)

Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”

28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,
29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?


We all tend to talk freely and excitedly about the things that are most appealing to our hearts and minds.

Over time, I have become ever more convinced that “sharing Christ” should not be a learned, forced methodical activity.  Introducing others to our Savior should not feel like a burden, but a privilege. As we get to know Him better, offering His love to others should become more and more of a “natural” impulse, in the same way that a spring of fresh water simply flows down a mountainside.

Of course, there are times when some are not open to hearing, and God’s Spirit may direct you to keep silent rather than try to force-feed someone who does not believe (s)he is hungry.

But this type of restraint is subject to His discretion, rather than our own fear of rejection.