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Posts Tagged ‘believers’



You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me-John 5:39

Many of us who claim to love Christ have yet to truly live for Christ.  In essence, we cannot live for Christ until we come to learn about Him.  As we learn about Him, we begin to live like Him.  In living like Him, we come into the glorious light of illumination towards living for Him.

To serve like Christ, we must:

  • Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)
  • Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

Examine the Savior (Study Jesus)

Start with the Scriptures

Jesus Himself said in the Gospel of John that the Scriptures testify about Him.  The truth about Jesus may be learned and understood through a thorough and consistent study of the God’s Holy Word.  It is this type of study that will revolutionize your relationship with the Lord and Savior of our salvation.  Devote yourself to the daily discipline of biblical study and devotional reading.

Read Sound Doctrine and Materials

Max Lucado wrote an epic book on Jesus aptly entitled No Wonder They all Him the Savior.  It is a simple, straightforward style that presents Jesus in plain everyday language.  Such are the works of brilliant and inspiring theologians.  Find the works of E.M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray and A.W. Tozer as well as some other notable of the faith.

Exemplify the Savior (Serve Jesus)

The New Testament teaching is clearly stated in 1 John 2:6.  We are to walk as He walked.  Andrew Murray states it plainly, saying: “As He was, so we are to be.”

Serving Jesus includes serving like Jesus.  He has given us His own earthly example.

Follow his ministry and its message and methods.  Make a clear divide between what the world accepts and what the Lord commands of us.  Live by the latter of the two.

Some additional helpful resources:

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“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”  – Mark 1:15 (NIV)

Doing as He Says

Repentance and belief are what lead to salvation.  The first calling for us as believers is to salvation.  We are called to believe the Good News (the gospel).  Upon our internal belief in it, then we confess our belief in Jesus as Savior before men.  This our public profession of Him as our personal Savior.

This is our first calling as Christian.  It is what makes us Christians.  We accept Christ as Savior and enter an entirely different realm of existence, for His Spirit indwells within us upon belief.  That is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Many of us may differ upon the numerous other things that transpire upon belief.  Some things are more inherent to our denominational traditions and beliefs rather than biblical facts. However, as believers, we all have a common faith with Christ as the head authority over us all.

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Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. – Colossians 3:11 (ESV)

. . . but Christ is all. . .

Essentially, Christ is all that way we need.

  • He Complements Us:  For all that we are, Christ is the perfect fit for who we need to become.  He is complementary to us in that He offers us something that makes us function better as people of faith.
  • He Confirms Us: Whatever we might doubt or be unsure about, He is our answer.  He gives us confirmation of what is expected of us and what we will not be condemned for despite of how guilty and unworthy we truly are in accordance to his laws, decrees and statutes.  Despite all of that, He still calls us His own, His flock, His dear children.
  • He Completes Us: We need only look to him to fill the emptiness in our lives.  The voids and flaws are no match for His perfection.  Where we have shortcomings and failures, He comes in and completes us.  He makes us whole.  With Him as the head, we are able to strive towards maturing to “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ,” a perfect man (Ephesains 4:13, KJV).

. . . and in all

The all that we see here is one with a focus on the parts making up a whole, as in totality of each and every part coming together as one.  In essence, Paul said this in a few different ways.

To the Corinthians. . .

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. . . As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (12:14, 20, ESV)

To the Ephesians. . .

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith,one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (4:4-6, ESV)

To the Roman. . .

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (12:4-5, NASB)

Beyond the emphasis on the body of Christ as a whole made up of many members or parts, there is continual evidence of the Scriptures providing us with more confirmation of our unity in Christ.

There is logic and reasoning that may have some to say that this is too touchy and feels phony, but let’s step back for a moment and evaluate the entire concept with both wisdom and discernment.  Let us look objectively at how this is laid out in the Scriptures, in particular in the New Testament and especially in the letters to the churches.

Gnostics and others like the Hellenists have reason to give heed to their feelings.  They have their own rationale for why they accept the labels that mankind has placed upon the very things that were to be so simple that we have somehow complicated and almost perverted into something else.  It makes sense to some of these folks to embrace something other than what was meant to exist as among us.  Concepts like love, unity, joy and compassion become mere words, losing their strength as concepts for Christian living.  They do not carry the same value when action words lead to little or no action and the descriptive words and phrases no longer fit the description within the profile of a Christian.

So, if logic stands to reason, then we face a sad truth that our very reason for being in Christ is endangered as we try to make Christ make sense in accordance with our own human reasoning.

What is irrational becomes totally rational.  What makes little or no sense is all the more sensible.  What is seen as off beat and way out there becomes our personal mantra of faith, hope and peace.  After all, He is our peace.

 


There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galat
ians 3:28 (ESV)

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. – 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith – Galatians 3:26 (NIV)

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility – Ephesians 2:14 (NIV)

 

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. – Colossians 1:28 (NIV)

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We see it in numerous examples in the Bible.  Lives projecting God-given drive and strength, tenacity and perseverance, are scattered throughout the Scriptures.

Men in the Bible who lived without regrets had to include Stephen as he was stoned to death as a faithful believer.  Paul must be on that list somewhere.  Men who may have made mistakes but like Job they faced adversity with faith.

There have to be some women on that list, too.  Mary carrying and birthing the Lord.  Martha giving birth to John after years of being barren.   Look at Gideon and Isaac’s mothers, even the mother of Samuel.  How about Esther and Rahab? They, too, had to be listed among the faithful who forged ahead in faith despite all that they had to face.

I want to live such a faithful and enduring life without any regrets.  I want to say that I laid aside every weight of the things that throw us off and get us down but ran my race with endurance.  I simply wish for such a life led by the lord that I live without regrets.

Take some time and read Hebrews 11, then read chapter 12:1-2.  See if your faith isn’t raised a bit.   See if you do not find yourself inspired to go a little further with your faith.

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Many of us have heard the rallying cry of “Carpe diem!” at some point in our daily walk.  The romance language of Latin seems to give off a hearty scent like that of uncorked wine or succulent roasted meats over a crackling fire as it urges and encourages each and every one of us to simply: Seize the day! Take it for all that it has to offer and give it your all today, for indeed today is the only opportunity that we have at hand.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has yet to arrive.

So how are you going about seizing the day?

Matthew chapter 6 offers us a whole lot of how-to knowledge for implementation as believers.  It runs down how we should pray, fast, give and other related to-do items for us.  Yet, this chapter ends with some glorious advice attached to a warning about worrying.  Jesus points out that the birds and flowers do not have closets, but the Lord feeds them and clothes them (v. 26, 28-29).  He even poses the question: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (v. 27).  Jesus offers a simple warning based on biblical and ancient wisdom.  Worrying gets you nowhere and does little for you or your health, even your situation.

Worrying will not change:

  • Your Past: You did what you did and you have been through what you have been through in the past.  It is over.  You do not have to relive past mistakes and remain hostage to their haunting you daily or for a lifetime.  Get out of the past and live for today.
  • Your Possibilities: You can predict, prospect and project, but none of it is with any level of certainty.  The future is not promised.  The brother of the Lord, James said it best: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15, NIV).  Don’t bank or bet on the future because you may just vanish.
  • Your Present: No, contrary to popular belief, you cannot change your present circumstances or situation.  That is to say that you cannot control what happens to you.  You can control your own thoughts and actions, keeping your emotions in check.  However, you cannot alter that situations arise to: build us up, buffet us or break us down.

Today is here.  You have a chance to make the most of it,  Go and get what He has offered you for today as your “daily bread.” Seek the best of His blessings, and then seize them as you seize this very day.

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Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7 (NIV)

Israel was in a bad spot.

God had been speaking to them through the prophets.  He was sending messengers their way.  He sent them with His words of warning.  He sent them ahead of sending the people into captivity.

They did not listen.

It actually sounds familiar.

So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. – Exodus 6:9 (NKJV)

I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed – Jeremiah 36:31 (NKJV)

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.- Matthew 13:58 (NKJV)

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. – Mark 16:14 (NKJV)

I guess one way to look at it is that hard heads make for hard times.

You cannot hear from God’s message if you will not listen to His messenger.  It just will not work.  In order to get the message and grasp it, you first need to hear from the messenger.

After all, God has revealed it to the messenger first so that he can carry it to the people.

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“Just as Christ demonstrated God’s love, believers are to demonstrate to the world Christ’s love.” – Andrew Murray

Take a long, hard look at how we love others.  Look at how we love the “world.” Do we show love to others? Do we share our love with others? See if we are offering the love of Christ to people freely and unconditionally.

People learn about Christ from us as believers.  They see our lights shining in the midst of the storm and approach us, seeking safety and security.  What they discover is that we are not the true Light.  The Light is Jesus Christ.  We are merely to serve as reflections of the Light, so that others will come seeking out such a life in the glorious light.

Make today the day where you go forward with love.  Show your love towards others.  Share your love with others.  Let love serve as your purpose for interacting with others today.  You can love someone without expecting anything in return except that they come closer to seeing the Light.

Books for Showing the Greatest Love of All

 

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