Has The Church Become Bland?

(Matthew 5:13)…We are called to be “salty” in this world. Far to often we see that the church, and Christians, have decided that they are simply going to keep to themselves and not be apart of the culture we live in. We wonder why things have gotten so out of hand in society, well if believers aren’t there to make Godly decisions within society then it’s sinfulness that’s making the decisions and driving the world.

How are we as Christians living in our secular work places? I try to do the best I can at my job, however I’m not always good about making sure that I stand out as different from the rest. I need to work on being the guy that stands out, I need to bring salt into my workplace and even other places outside the church.

Forgiveness…

(John 21:1-17)…One of Jesus’ final meetings with some of the Disciples, after he rose again, was very similar to his first encounter with them. We see them our fishing and not catching any fish. Once again they listen to the instructions given by Christ and they have success with their fishing. Afterwards they all have breakfast with Christ on the shore. And we get to listen in on the restoration of Peter. Peter denied Christ three times, in turn Christ came back and restored Peter three times.

I look at my own life, and see how I fail so much, and I struggle with how I can just simply be forgiven. I think we can see that it’s not only a matter of being forgiven, but to be working to change your life so that you don’t fail in those same ways. When the Disciples listened to Christ they had a great catch. When we listen to the calling and instruction in our own lives “fruit” will be produced in our lives. We may be blessed, but even more we have opened ourselves to be a blessing to others. The amazing thing is that no matter how many times we mess up Christ forgives us. There are many days that I don’t feel I deserve that forgiveness. Then again, salvation is not based on what we deserve, we clearly know that what we deserve is death. I stand in awe at the grace, forgiveness, and love that God shows me.

The question that I need to ask myself today is “what specific actions am I going to take to make changes in my life today?”. Well, in one way I keep failing in being responsible, forgetting about things I’ve said I’m going to do. I need to begin taking steps to work on holding myself to following through on what I’ve said I can or will do. I need to set myself as many reminders as possible. I need to create myself task lists and always make sure that I look at them. I need to be up front and honest when I fail because I forgotten and not try to hide my failure. It would be good to enlist the help of others to make sure that I write things down so that I remember them. I want to be a person of character and responsibility, that is something that God has called us to be, especially me.

How Are We Living?

(John 18:12-27)…In my devotions this morning I was post with this question; “have we ever denied Christ before others by the way we live?”. The context of this question is connected to Peter’s denial of Christ. As followers of Christ I think we can easily say; “well I’d never do that!”; but that question got me really looking at my own life. I don’t think I can honestly say that I have lived my life so far and never acted in a way that really denies Christ. Even as outrageous as it might seem, I’m reminded of Survivor: Fiji and the season finally where Boo confronts Dreamz about his dishonesty to Yau Man and being a Christian. I don’t know how much truth there is in Boo and Dreamz being Christians, however, if Dreamz was claiming Christ than Boo hit the nose on the head.

If we’re going to claim to be follower of Christ, in any way, then we need to love like it. We are of course going to fail at times, but if we can realize our failure and seek forgiveness from God and those we may have wronged, then we will have grace and ourselves restored as followers. This is very similar to what happen to Peter later on after Christ rose and met up with the Disciples on the shore. Christ gave Peter and opportunity to be redeemed. I desire to ask myself every day, how am I going to stand as a Christ follower and not deny Him?

No Better Believer…

(Galatians 3:26-4:7)…Paul begins these passages talking about the fact that as followers of Christ we are all the same, all one, under God. We are all given the gift of being children of God when we follow Christ. In fact, as followers of Christ we actually become not only children of God, but heirs to God.

I think today with such a variety of “Christian” churches, it can be easy think of one group as better than another. The Jews and the Gentiles were very different groups, yet Paul was stressing that they were all equal under God. In many of Christ’s teaching He stressed that fact that we are not to judge, how easy it is for us to fall short of that. As follower of Christ we can become so wrapped up in the “right-way” to follow Him, that we lose sight of following Him with a true heart.

We are all sinners, we’re going to fail as we try to follow Christ’s example, however God still loves us, still gives us a second chance. God knows our true heart, there is no hiding alterer motives from Him. If we fail in how we follow Christ’s example I believe that God will show compassion on us and work to correct us. That is what a parent is like.

When we think about the fact that God offers to make us one of his children, and even on top of that an heir, I feel in awe and truly humbled. Being a child you feel special in the sight of you parents, and you generally feel loved, and looked out for. How awesome to have God as a parent! Beyond just a child we are given the gift of being an heir as well. I don’t know what that all means for us, other then many blessings in heaven. On Earth being and heir makes you entitled to everything the one you are heir to has. I can only assume that this in some way means that we will have access to all that God has to offer when we go to be with Him. With everything that God can do, and everything that He is, I can’t even begin to imagine what great things will be in store for us in heaven.

It is so easy to get caught up on judging those around me. I am called to rise about that and focus on loving all those around me. I know that I don’t have it all together as Christian, and I can’t expect and more from anyone else. My desire is to love and not judge.