Aside

You Say Following Christ Is Easy?

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Responses from onlookers can be unrealistic, critical, misinformed and disingenuous, at best. Most people believe that the lives of those who follow Christ are lives of ignorance, conceit, self-absorption and/or delusional, holier-than-thou attitudes. People, often, consider it easy to follow our faith and live as we strive to live; they are misinformed and incorrect.

Folks also consider our faith to be one of giving up everything fun, becoming “boring” and having all things made off-limits or taboo; this too, is no so. Yes, there are certainly, portions of life which we may no longer partake of, but does that mean we have really “given up” anything valuable or of actual worth? I dare say, we have not. Not that such things are beneath us as we’ve become somehow superior or our royalty precludes us from stooping to the lows of mere paltry people, but that they are not blessed of God and are of the World. We are a “peculiar people” according to the Bible; Dr. Dan Hayden also wrote this explanation:

When the King James translators used the word “peculiar” in 1 Peter 2:9, identifying Christians as a “peculiar people”, this is not what they had in mind. According to A. T. Robertson, the word “peculiar” comes from the Latin word, “pecus” which means “flock”. The KJV translators were simply reflecting the idea that believers in Christ are the unique possession of God — they are His flock.

As followers, believers and children of Jesus Christ, as “Christians”, we are called to a life and held to standards which simply cannot be compromised. We are held accountable by God’s word, the commandments of God and of Jesus Christ and the convictions of the Holy Spirit. No person is excluded from these accountabilities, commandments and guidelines; many, simple decide and desire not to adhere to them. Judgment will be carried out, regardless of whether one accepts & believes or not; this is simply a fact and a rather unavoidable one at that.

What you may not understand about “Religion” is that it is not Christianity and the two have very little, if not nothing whatsoever to do with one another. According to James, this is the extent of religion and its practices and beliefs are observed as follows:

James 1:27

King James Version (KJV)

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world

One might also be misinformed as to the fact that Christians can be and do have, FUN! Often, in fact! We live a life that knows many smiles, laughs and happiness. But we also know one of constant struggles, battles and discomforts. We live a life of servitude, embellished by the constant need to decrease ourselves, so that God may increase and be glorified. We live a life that requires great humility, lacking the pleasures which others find in self-acknowledgment(s), giving all honor to our Father in Heaven.

There are both, wonderful and terrible examples of Christians all over the globe. Painted in so many lights, with countless opinions, views, concepts, disagreements and misunderstandings, Christians are portrayed as the thorn in everyone’s side. Because religion and religious people have marred, if not ruined, the very name of a great people of God. Without dismissing the additional truths, fellow Christians and those professing to be such, have done their disgrace to us, seriously causing all but irreparable damage.

Lest I continue with the chasing of rabbits, may I please submit, our faith is not an easy one to aspire to. We live difficult lives. Enduring, not only the hardships placed upon everyone else in the world (taxes, education, jobs, family life, marriage, unemployment, etc.) while then having the additional requirements of keeping the commandments given us by God. This life, it is not for the faint of heart and “those who endure to the end, shall be saved” is for sure, factual. We must endure, all things, and can, by the very grace of God.

We survive and manage to live an abundant life, if we strive to honor God, acknowledge Him in all things, keep His commandments, and act with compassion, mercy and love. If you really think it is so simple and easy to do as we do, try this requirement for a while:

King James Bible
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

King James Bible
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

You Say Following Christ Is Easy?

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Remaining Least of All

How to serve with profound visibility to others, while being seen as behind-the-scenes myself. Wanting to be GREAT for the Lord’s glory, while being the very last person, mentioned for their efforts. My greatest inner-struggle is how to be boldly apparent while remaining completely transparent.

How do I preach the Gospel, share the Word, glorify God, with a given talent and calling, while being as little-known as a passing breeze?

Enduring Our Loss – Keeping Our Hope

So often, it’s been said of me, that I should’ve been born in another time. People often suggest a time, perhaps, like the early 1900’s; I tend to agree.

Upon reflection, my meager length of life has provided such an awe. Greatly, has our nation and its peoples changed; I do not say progressed. Once, we were a people of good cheer, kindness, morals, ethics. Consideration for others was simply a way of life; there was a natural, instinctual, respect for one another.

Such disdain, dissatisfaction…an utter reproach toward the manner in which our once, great nation, has run itself into the reef. We are taking on water and seemingly, in desperate fear of the possibilities of hopelessness.

Hard times come with realization – priorities change, understanding unfolds – what we must do now, what we have done in order to achieve this situation, etc. Eventually, it will come down to survival, hinged upon absolute necessity.

What hopelessness might await our people? Will there come a time wherein, we fully, insightfully and with humility, measure our failure before the Lord? As a nation, as a people, merely as children of our beloved Creator, we will find ourselves before Him. Either in wrath, pleading for mercy or in awe, thankful for additional grace…we will certainly come to an ends.

Gratitude affords me hope, in that, we have solemn promise from the Lord. If we seek Him with all our heart, we shall find Him. God is not hidden from us, and He has not yet turned His back upon us. God is able to have patience, for a time. Nevertheless, God awaits us to present ourselves before Him, not the other way around.

For the people that will continue to walk in God’s ways, remaining in God’s will, we shall know His grace, mercy and love. People who refuse Him, will assuredly know His wrath. Yes, believers shall see times of severe difficulty, but we shall face it with perfect clarity that God loves us and provides a means, a way and an end.

Prayer is a byproduct of faith, which comes from patience. Without faith, we cannot speak prayers to the Father; it would be completely futile and senseless. We must have the genuine faith He exists, that He is the only, true God, as well as hope that our promises shall be rewarded us for our good, faithfulness.

What I hope to convey and trust to assure, is that we shall never be completely without hope. We, His children, shall never be cut off from Him, cannot be removed from His will or cast out. Salvation is secured, hope is constant, faith is required.

Look always unto the Father, seek Him in all your way. Let there be no questions, debates or confusions about a complete certainty; God answers when we speak to Him. God ALWAYS listens and inclines His ear to us.

Be glad in your heart when the Lord “tries” you. God does NOT “tempt” man, but allows and provides trials, for those He considers. If He has called you out, there is reason, bigger and more important than “yourself”.

My prayer is NOT for deliverance from this, but rather, discernment. Allow me to see and understand the greater glory of that which is revealed to me. There are reasons for all things, – the logic of which, may be evasive – but a time and season yet remain.

Let us not cause another to stumble or speak unwisely. Our place is yet to encourage and lift our brothers upward, not condemn with a disapproval or harsh words. Jesus, even when He rebuked, still loved the person; He was quick to place into perspective, what man cannot always envision

We live each day, by, for, and through His Grace. It is not trying, but training and learning, every day, that allows us to grow. Do not be despaired or think that you are failing in your faith, but know that you are NOT Christ. Understand that you are learning, each day, to be like Him and realize just how great that challenge is.

May I ask of you a simple question? When you speak to God, when you pray, are you being real or going through the motions? It is perfectly pointless to present yourself to the Lord with anything less than honesty!

If you are not aware of this, He knows ALL THINGS, even unto the depths of your heart, the bones of your closet, the darkness beyond your light. Sure, we do not convey or openly confide all things with people. But why would you not just come clean, open up and be sincere with the God that knows all things already?

In the end of each day, He is the God to Whom we are reconciled. Speak truthfully, for admission TO Him is confession of your very need OF Him.