Dare to be a Christian!

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is a Christian?

The name was given to the worshippers of Jesus by the Gentiles. It also was a title of honor. It means a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

What does it mean to follow
to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him
2) to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple
a) side with his party

Mt 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

A disciple is one who follows ones ways or teachings

to deny means
a) to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone
b) to forget one's self, lose sight of one's self and one's own interests

Now, the question is, Who really is a Christian? In todays day an age, almost EVERYONE considers themselves Christians. It has become the universal term to say I’m ok, your ok and we are just like you.
The way I understand the Scriptures, a Christian (which is first mentioned in Acts 11:26, 26:28) is a FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

To FOLLOW means to join up, accompany, become one who follows his ways and teachings.
Jesus himself said, If ANY man will come after me, let him DENY himself which means to affirm that you have no more acquaintance or connection with anything else and you forget your own self, you lose yourself and your interests.

If Jesus said, Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Coming to the Father means the God of the Universe the One and Only TRUE GOD, Jehovah, if that is who the Father is then how do people from all walks of faith and beliefs call themselves followers of Christ? There is only ONE WAY.

This has nothing to do with tolerance, and everything to do with TRUTH of life and death. One can believe anything they want to, it does not make it TRUE.

Only those who have truly put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ are Followers of Christ, because now they have denied themselves and are being drawn to walk out the ways of Jesus.

Amazingly we can be deceived to believe that going to church, being involved in programs, and giving time and money can make you a Christian, or worse yet, become a better one.

Following Jesus Christ, means taking on all of His Words... Believing they are true and must be followed out. This will be the evidence of the significance of a person’s claim to be a Christian.

Many twist, change, manipulate the Words of Jesus to best suit their needs or current circumstances in order to avoid doing the hard things of which are called to do! Like, asking for forgiveness, restoring relationships, no longer desiring to please your flesh, tell the truth, honor your parents, take care of your temple...

In order to follow, you must leave something behind! That something should be “self” the way I see it. Jesus called Peter out of the boat, in order for him to follow, he left behind his dad, his livelyhood, and the future of what he thougth he was living out. Think about that, that very day, changed his life forever, all of his dreams running the family business, hanging out with the same ole friends the rest of his life was left behind!

Hard as it may be, through the struggles, the lies, the misconstrued way man has created Christianity and Church to be, if we are a true follower of Jesus, we will identify with Him, and there will be enough evidence to convict us in a court of law, if put on trial.

Image bearers are just reflecting the one we are bearing!

So, the next time someone asks you, “What church you belong to, or Whats your faith, or Are you a Christian?” Dare to say, I am a FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST to make it known exactly where you stand and who and what you are following.


What am I thinking?

>> Friday, May 6, 2011

What, What am I thinking?

Ever wonder if you can figure God out? The Holy Spirit who is our teacher just revealed to me that I am constantly trying to figure God out. I guess if I had a defense, I would say, “But God…I am so excited to know what you will do next!” Or, I’m sure at times its because I like to know where I am going, when I am getting there and how I’d beeee getting there, yano? Kinda like, “Are we there yet, Lord?” (As a parent, I hate when my kids ask me that!)

Regardless of my excuses…and I have many, it is sin. I will tell you why. When we start “thinking” anything, most of what we “think” on is how we would like to see it unravel. The difference in us “thinking” and the “thought” of what God wants us to do is this, Pr 16:3 ¶ Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Big difference huh! Who establishes our thoughts? The Lord does establish our thoughts after we have committed our works unto Him.

Excuses are just a really nice word wrapped up to cover up, I am running ahead of God or I know what God wants. I have caught myself saying that numerous times. Although my thoughts have been established and I have moved out knowing God told me so at times, more often than not I still get hung up in the excitement of “telling” or “thinking” what God “really” wants or needs.
I wonder if I am the only one who “thinks” like this.

Things aren’t always what they appear to be. I want to be careful that I do not mix my motive or agenda in the “thoughts” that I believe God desires of me. Now if I am dead to self, and yielding…decreasing there’s a good probability that I may just be in the will of God.

I opened to Job 39 this morning, may I share… In this chapter God appears to be trying to get Job to understand how little he knows and to yield to the sovereignty of God! Ummm thus why I write this morning as God is working on me, continuingly that I may be transformed a little more in His image. Job realized "What am I thinking" also and it stopped him in his tracks. The reality that we make ourselves bigger than God at times is sobbering.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalms 23:1-6 KJV)

Resting at the feet of Jesus is not laziness, but honor and obedience, let us not let anyone tell us differently. When God wants to get alone with us, let us just bask in His presence without a care in the world…He loves us so much and wants our undivided attention. It is not about what is next, but what is now. What was I thinking?

This Psalm is a healing balm to our soul, however notice it comes in steps or stages. We cannot skip the steps! As I go through life, may I constantly be desperate for Jesus, understand the splendor of His ways and trust that on God’s timetable and in His perfect will He will do what is best for me regardless of what I “think.”

What is it that we think on? What is it we try to obtain? Are we manipulating God? Most of us would think we arent or dont but at times we do. We must admit our sin, confess it, repent, and turn from wrong thinking.

I write this past week with a final thought coming monday of how God has used all four of these little ramblings to discover an important step in our christian walk. It will hopefully be up for Monday...sorry to make you wait.

God, I confess I have sinned against you in my thinking, I repent and ask for forgiveness and ask you to continually show me where I am in error. Thank you for loving me and restoring me. I desire you to take my thoughts and make them yours. I commit myself unto you, I desire you more than silver or gold! I am intentional to tear down every thought captive into your obedience and seek you more and more. I am desperate for you!


What am I doing?

>> Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who am I, Where am I, now …What am I doing?

What in the world am I doing? I do a lot, a lot of things that keep me so busy and on the other hand also keep me from what I should be doing. It is a hard knock life for sure when we really start to go below the surface of Christianity. These are just my thoughts, I am being practical and maybe not so biblical but do believe they have spiritual application.

Is it just me, or the closer I get to Jesus, the harder things become. It’s almost like; I have brush, weeds, vines and bushes growing so quickly in front of me as to become obstacles in my path. I have to fight harder to get through the day, more so than others, but there is always something. Now you may be thinking is she talking about things, people or what. I think I am talking about what is real and what is not. What am I doing and why am I doing it. Am I using my Bible as a machete to cut through the cr-p?

There were times I just followed, trusted, and did what everyone else did. Watched a lot of TV, allowed myself the enjoyment of life, fun, and relaxation. Somewhere, sometime, my eyes started to open to the things I spent my time on. Even how I spent time with people, friends, those who needed an ear to process their pains. Wow, the time spent trying to get others “saved” without the power of the Holy Spirit! Just say a prayer… How about thinking being in church your closer to God? Serving in ministry you’ll grow, find favor, playing church is it all Time well spent? Are we really seeking Jesus in what we do, is He on the forefronts of our minds…it certainly is worth evaluating that there is a huge difference, isn’t it?

I have made money and thought 90% was mine, mine, mine! If God got his 10% I could do whatever I wanted with the rest, right? I mean, I live in America, I work hard, If I can afford luxury, a bigger house, a nicer vehicle, designer clothes, isn’t that my right? God must really love me to have placed me in such a good place to allow me to prosper MYSELF, right?! Is it all Money well spent?

Gaining favor with God, giving of my time the way I thought was right, spending my money on what I thought I deserved, and investing my heart in others…What am I doing?
The enemy uses so many distractions, temptations, alluring the flesh to seek self satisfaction, all for what…to leave us feeling emptier then when we started to pursue our self interests.
All this to say, What am I doing? Why am I doing it?

Why do I do what I do? Is it for acceptance, favor, insecurity, wanting to belong, peer pressure, to advance, to satisfy self? We as people struggle much over these hindrances that cause us to move out on things that were never meant for them or me.

I find myself solving yet another world problem in my little life…laying down my rights for the benefit or love of others. That could be for my immediate others or others I have yet to meet in this world. What am I doing with my resources that benefit someone else other than ME?
Am I using my time without sympathy for how others may desire me to use it? Am I listening and obeying the voice of God? It may seem illogical…may seem harsh…may seem distant…may seem irrational, but at the end of the day…what am I doing? What have I done?

God desires us to decrease so He may increase. What we once did, we may not do any longer. What we once thought was alright we may have found it was against God. God wants us to be humble, totally abandoned to Him, yielded, and completely desperate for Him.

The KEY in what am I doing, is do we ever feel like we are on a hamster wheel doing a lot of nothing? Are we seeking things, people, ministry, or purpose more than we are seeking Jesus? Mary and Martha had this dilemma, Martha was upset that Mary sought out to be with Jesus and Jesus’ own words to Martha where…Martha you are worried about much things, Mary has chosen the better.

If all I do in life is seek Jesus… I have done a great thing however if all I do is seek myself, satisfy myself, flatter myself, lavish myself… I have done nothing more than exercise vanity.
The difference is what is the first thing we seek in any and all circumstances? Who do we talk to, process with, pray, fast, seek and find? I hope its Jesus, Jesus, Jesus how we love Him and adore Him will show in what we say and do. Leaving with the question….What am I doing?


Where am I?

>> Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where am I?

I live on a planet called earth that God spoke into existence. God clearly has made it known to his people this place is not our home. He has gone to prepare above the celestial stream of brilliant star lights that brighten the sky a mansion for me just over the hilltop.

I am but a sojourner just passing through. I am not a human being on a spiritual journey but a spiritual being on a human journey. I am not to get comfortable and settled in, as one day I am here and the next day I am there. But why, oh why have I become fond of the things that are not mine? Why have I allowed the distractions of possessions, places, and people to shift my focus horizontally rather than vertically?

The more we have, the busier we are. The things we own need caring for, cleaning, organizing, storing, and of course playing or using them for their intended purpose to bring us happiness, contentment or pleasure.

How did it happen? Where am I and how have I been born into a place that I would only be passing through. Have I kept my God given purpose or have I become distracted? I enjoy my house that I have come to call home, which is not my home but is. I am content with where I live and what I live in. Think of the multitudes that live on this planet all in boxes called houses. When we look at earth from a distance in space they are just a lot of little boxes, made of wood and dust filled with lots of junk or should I say belongings that keep us busy. Yet we idolized or worship or work to serve our houses.

If that wasn’t enough to wonder where am I, here on earth I have become comfortable with the people I enjoy, the church I attend, the friends that I keep on this planet of a world I call home that really isn’t my home, because again I am just supposing to be passing through. Yet I have these attachments and relationships that I have put before God on a daily basis, knowing this isn’t my home.

If I am just passing through, does it appear to others, I have settled in?
All this to say, so often I forget where I am. I am not home, and as I travel on this journey called life I have found I have collected many unnecessary things I cant take with me. They have distracted me, they have decreased my attentiveness and stewardship for the things of where I need to be going. I have created idols, coveted relationships and desired the places that earth has to offer.

Have I forgotten where I am? I am on an exciting journey, a mission as an ambassador for Jesus Christ going through this country that should not be for my own personal enjoyment, pleasure, and comfort, but for the cause and purpose of Jesus Christ. I have not only forgotten where I am, who I am, but forgot not to let the cares of this world distract me from my calling and fulfilling what I have been created to do, and that is to glorify my Father which is in Heaven.

Praise God, Jesus stayed focused…Paul stayed focused to the point they didn’t let people interfere with their mission, places didn’t faze them and things didn’t hold them back or down from travels. They got where the needed to go and didn’t let anything or anyone come in their way from being obedient to our heavenly Father.

Why do I constantly forget where I am. May I continue to take the earth as a layover for training if you would, proving what I cherish, prioritize, and sacrifice in the name of Jesus. May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord, the abandonment of myself and the intake of heavenly things.

May I leave an imprint on this earth that impacts the kingdom of God and not the other way around having the earth leave its imprint on me.

May we know where we are at all times…just passing through this world that is not our home. Let us not get bogged down with the things of this world and the distractions of our mission. May God be glorified! The scriptures tell us in Col 3 to set our affections on things above and not on the things of this earth. God help me to constantly remember not to adopt anything of this world as my own and help me not to be comfortable seeking pleasures of life more than loving you. I love you Jesus!

And I desire to be intentional on protecting our relationship, Jesus and remembering Where I am and Where I am going!!!


Who am I?

>> Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who Am I is a question at the forefront of my mind lately.....

There are seasons where I am confident who I am in Jesus Christ, I am assured in His love, I am covered in His forgiveness and I am strengthened in His Joy. Then a trial comes, some trials come and go much faster than others. My little world has not been turned upside down, but certainly turned inside out. I am struggling to know who I am, what or who should I be when I grow up, and who is this woman called wife, mother, and friend? So many expectations and responsibilities come with the roles of titles.

AS God is forever changing us, we change but sometimes the expectations from others do not. Well these two don’t blend nicely "change and expectations." Who I was 20 years ago when I first got married is not who I am today, sorry hubby. Who I was when I was rearing up toddlers, is not who I am today, sorry kiddos. Who I have befriended along the way, I may have been a part of your life in a certain way then, but I am not that same friend anymore, sorry friend. We cannot keep up with expectations that life will always be the same. I for one was that person that took refuge in “sameness” “comfort” and the predicable. One thing is for sure…Nothing stays the same, except our salvation.

AS we are being molded, bended, processed and turned inside out and upside down for God, I can only pray that we are being transformed for His glory with joy and not bitterness. The fact that the way I once thought a year ago, I do not think today. The way I was 6 months ago, has all gone away. God prunes and grafts. He is the potter, I just the clay.

Seasons are interesting they can be bright, sunny, warm and toasty and all of a sudden …comes the storm and then the aftermath of that storm, and with that is a mass mess and a cleanup needed, and what was once there is no longer the same but made different.

All I know is, who I thought I was I am not, and where I am going I know not, and when will I get there is a mystery. Life is deep very deep and if we allow God the right to show us, we will forever be changed.

Circumstances change us, people change us, issues, opportunities, and trials seem to change us. However only God has control over our hearts.

Who am I, I am not sure…Do you know who I am? I would assume only those willing to walk life out with me will really come to know me as I walk it out with God and come to know and learn myself.
One thing I am sure of, I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life and I will be who He has created me to be, it just takes a lifetime to get there, so I am learning me as others are.

My desire is to stay focused, seeking Jesus, hearing his voice, responding in obedience and watching the transformation take place. Who am I? I am a child of the most High God, a daughter of the King, a servant, friend, and bride to Jesus. Everyone and everything else must find its place with me under those conditions. When we are intentional to seek, hear, and obey we will surely disappoint people in our lives because we then are not available or able to meet their needs the way they desired us to meet them and likewise with them as well.

I am learning to stay connected with God despite the temptation to sympathize with others and how they feel. Discernment helps us to see things the way they are and to stay Jesus focused for the welfare of our individual lives.

It may not be the popular thing, or the logical, but Jesus centered is always the right thing.
Does anyone think they know who I am? Do I really know who anyone is? In order to find ourselves we must first have been found by Jesus. There is a work internally that no one can see or recognize until God allows it to glow and flow externally. Don’t get comfortable even in that work, as another is coming and soon that new work becomes old and the process repeats itself as we are forever finding and loosing ourselves in Jesus.

I am sorry if I have disappointed you...I am focused on one person...I am sorry that one is not you...it is Jesus...I hope you find that pleasing and appropriate.

~my mind's ramblings today...solving world problems!


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