What is Christianity????
Christianity must be more than a habit or "just going through the motions" You must be transformed from the inside out by a renewed heart in the likeness of Jesus Christ' loyal heart....
This was in the devotion book we are going through this summer. I began to think of the ways God is transforming my life from the inside out and the character qualities that result from having a loyal heart from God.
Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you strength"
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 "So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today- to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all you soul- then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in our grains, new wine and oil"
Life is going to be hard; we will have good, bad, sad and happy times. We can't base our christianity on our emotions or our present times or conditions. There will be times when we go through testings and trials that it may seem as if God has surely forgotten us. But God desires a relationship with him so that we can share in these trials and develop hope and faith. He, himself, was tested in his weekest moments and took on pain for us. He showed such unconditional love for us that even in our times of struggles when it seems as if he has forgotten us, in those moments he wants us to hang on and cling to his promises
Hebrews 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you"
Sometimes we get caught up in the "certain kind of living"... We should act, behave and respond a certain way, which typically is OUR WAY.
Our "ideal conditions"
Our "perfect model of living"
The harder we try to be the "perfect Christian" the harder we fall. Reall life sneaks up and whacks us from behind, seeking to break our unbending back and our stiff neck, threatineing to paralyze us
Deauteronomy 10:16 "Circumcise your hearts, therefore and do not be stiff-necked any longer"
Excercicing our muscles of faith, hope, and understanding will enable us to supplment life with godly grace and perspective. We must be willing to give up "OUR WAYs' and devote a lifestyle of compromise and flexibility.
Deuteronomy 32:4 "He is the ROck, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just"
This is a hard one for me, as I am dealing with relational issues with my oldest son... He is so bitter and anger towards me at times. Other times we get along great. I am filled with anxiety as my desire for him to have a heart after God. I am praying for this as I need to trust that God has a plan for me and his life. He is molding him into what he would have him become. Turning even what I perceive has hurtful into his good.. My failures, his failure , our failures into footsteps toward Christ, himself. I try to make a concious effort to place this situation and every situation in God's hands as he is my ROCK, whom I lead on.
Joshua 1:9 "Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord our God will be with you where you go "
I struggled with shame and guilt (still do on occassions) when I would feel so unworthy to be in the prensence of God. I knew I had made the same mistake over again, after repenting from it numberous of times. Or after being called to fullfill God's will for our lives slip back into the same old habits or forget to priorities my life. OR, getting OUT of our comfort zones and spreading the LOVE of JESUS to others who need to be saved.. God is giving me a chance to be a channel for him, to be his hands and feet as he gives everyone the opportunity to do his work for him. The question is this.. Will we let fear cripple us from doing his work because we may be afriad of offending someone? Or Will we let fear disable us from wanting to experience the peace that comes from being in the presence of God all because we do not feel "worthy"??
Its time to take a stand for what we believe in and save those who need saved. It not about feeling comfortable, its not about feeling safe, and its not about being afraid of offending someone.. Jesus himself, offended people. But he was about his father's business. It all starts with our heart.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will"
When we conform to the world's patterns and methods, we do not please God, not matter how good we feel about ourselves or how much other people approve of us.. But we do please God when our minds are renewed.