Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What Does It Mean to be a Christian?

People who are not of the Christian faith, believe all sorts of weird things about them. They visualize the scenes of young men, dressed in black suits, knocking on doors.

The fact is, those black suits have nothing to do with Christianity and sense they are the visible ones, making themselves known, simply by their presence in public, this is the picture that is drawn in the minds of those who have no clue.

Christians are all around you, every day and in every situation. You could be sitting in a room full of Christians, right now, slaving away on your laptop in some coffee shop. You don't know it because you don't care to.

The true christian is not pounding on your door, during the dinner hour. They are not beating their chests in anquish, over you lost state. They aren't wearing special clothes, to make sure you know they belong to the great club of 'Christianity'. They aren't ringing bells to make sure you get the message.

The true Christians are those you will find standing up for your rights, holding out a helpful hand when you cry out. The true christian stands ready, at all times, to minister to your very spirit. Whatever happens to affect that spirit, is also the Christian's concern. The problem is, most folks don't want to be bothered and the true Christian, following in the steps of Jesus, does not push themselves or their beliefs on you. But, the slightest inkling that you need their help for any emotional or spiritual reason, and they are there-Johny on the Spot.

Most likely, your encounters with a Christian, come from a close friend or family member. They know you well, love you and care about your spiritual state. These are the ones who will bring up the subject, time and again. Because they care that much.

Don't be fooled by the great, public show of the black suit. It is the true Christianity that stands up for their own rights as well as yours.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pride: Remember Johah

Watch out for pride. Pride is (pretty much) seeing yourself or your opinions as more worthy than another's.

When we get right down to it, which of us knows which is more worthy? So you have the Bible to tell you when God is in agreement with you but how many times is your right hand doing the work of God while your left hand is an advocate of the devil?

Why would God give us the story of Johah? I mean, doesn't it make God sound harsh and unfair? Was it to show us what pride does? Was it a story to demonstrate the results?

God's prophets never got on their knees and begged to be made a prophet. There are things far beyond our understanding going on in the heavens. We see the results here without knowing where the beginning was. A prophet is a prophet for reasons we don't understand but not without the consent of the human himself. They can say, "I didn't ask for this" but somewhere down the line there was an agreement.

Jonah knew the score, he knew God was much bigger than himself and yet he acted out of stubbornness anyway.

One is left to wonder how many years this discussion went on, between Jonah and God, concerning Nineveh.

"Go tell the drunks on the corner that if they don't straighten up by next Monday, I'm going to lay them all out on the sidewalk for burial."

We say, "They asked for it! I've been there before and those people can't even hear, much less care. Now you want me to waste my time again? I don't think so".

Six months later, "Go down to the corner and do what I told you to do".

Your reaction? You get busy with the Sunday School Class instead. Sound familiar?

A prophet knows he or she is an ambassador of the Lord. If it were a paid employee for some company and we don't obey, how long will that job last? And yet we do this to God Himself.

You have a dream about a woman in the church and that dream points out that there is something troubling her walk. You, knowing that you are one of God's dreamers, worry and ponder over the dream, wondering why the Lord would tell you about such a thing. You come so close to sharing the dream with that woman but never quite get that far. Why?

You say, "I'll be ostracized. They'll call me a witch because of the dreams". Are we working to be popular or are we working for Him?

It's true that some dreams are simply motivating us to pray for that person. You will need to talk to the Lord about that.

My point is this. Are we about as willing as Jonah, to carry out direct orders? Are we caught up in the social life of church instead of acting as His employee?

I speak to the prophets that I know are out there and yet hide in their little caves. Read the OT again and pick out your fellow prophets. Where did they live? Were some of them hermits? Oh, yes. Not much of a social life for most of them.

Has anyone noticed the damage Jonah brought on those around him, by being so disobedient? Are we, the prophets, doing that to our families and neighbors? Are the winds about you, tearing up lives? If they discovered where the troubles were coming from, would they toss you out to sea? Remember those shipmen were idol worshippers. They didn't have to believe in Jonah's God, to be affected by Jonah's actions.

To the prophets of the Lord and His modern day dreamers, you know I'm talking to you. The day is at hand and time will soon be gone. Notice, I didn't say 'the' time, I said 'time'.

Your relationship is with Him, not the pastor or the choir or the socialites. The fact is you ARE a loner on most plains.

Remember Jonah's story ended with him still loved by God but his reward was appropriate. His reward was a demonstration.

Judy Sims

You Are

I must be the most spoiled of God's children. I say that out of reflection from an event that happened just today.

For the past 4 years, I've been out there driving up and down, across and back again, every highway across this nation, this U.S.

While my daughter and grandson established a new life in this small town in Arizona, I remained a stranger as I only saw home about 3 days out of each year.

I've stopped that merry-go-round and home at last. I'm not much of a socialite and so it's taking time to get to know the folks at this little church, where my daughter has been attending. As I learn about the individuals, as well as the church itself, I keep finding myself sitting with a gaping mouth in wonder.

It seems there is a young mother, in the church, who thinks I don't like her. It's the strangest thing that simply because I had not accompanied my daughter to help with a project at the church, this young woman thinks she somehow offended me.

Seeing the puzzled look on my face, as I heard about this crazy news, my daughter also explained to me that this woman seems ashamed that her husband has a pot belly and that she was surprised when my daughter praised her young son.

While I mentally scratched my head, I asked my daughter, "Are we spoiled"? "We must be the most confident, level headed folks in this whole town!"What was this, I was hearing? This on top of other things I have witnessed and heard around this group has me standing back wondering if this lack of confidence permiates the church. Is this true? Where does it come from?

Do you mind if this old lady leans back while she explains something to you young folks? Something wonderful and very true.

Do you know who you are? I mean, truly understand what you mean to the Lord? You should have your head in the clouds, every waking moment of your life!Here's the facts, ma'am-sir. You are the jewel of God's eye. You represent everything God desires.

He lives through you and in you and He is happy to do so.He loves you so much He was willing to sacrifice Himself in your stead. What does that tell you? That you should walk this earth with a turned down head? Absolutely not!

You are His children. Sons and daughters of the most high. Does that sink into that thick skull?We say "Worthy is the Lamb" and He says, "Worthy is My bride". It's a two way street, just like in marriage.

Why do you think God designed marriage? Is it not His expression of His desired relationship with us? It goes two ways.Are you worthy of that adoration? Yes! Jesus says so. His own blood makes it so. It is so!

Are you the pitiful, insignificant mortal being lost in the billions walking this earth? No, you are not. You are His pride and joy and He desires that you act like it.

Does it matter what the neighbor thinks of you? No, it does not. As long as you walk in righteousness, head up so the Lord can see your face, then the most important thing in this universe is what your Father thinks of you and you already know what He thinks. The Word tells you.There is no grey area in that, no excusing you to make you worthy of His love. It's all white! All white!

It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, what you've thought, your color, your nationality, your circumstances. What He fixes is fixed indeed. Don't hang your head down, pick it up. Let the light shine on your beautiful face, knowing the Lord enjoys seeing you.

His delight is when one of His own says, "I belong to the Father" with confidence. What father doesn't delight in this?

We speak His Words with confidence. How joyous is that to a father? We say, "Jesus doesn't like that" because we are one of His own and who would know better than us?

Be a team player. Be His child. Be His awaited bride. Be in love, He certainly is. Be confident. You can do it.Stand up and be His cherished, adored child. That's what the Lord desires. Test it and see that I am right. Don't wait for it, claim it today. He will walk with you.

Deut. 2:24

Judy Sims

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

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