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Archive for July 7th, 2013

tree-planted-by-stream

There continues to be a disconnect between people who claim to believe in Jesus and how they live. A great majority of those who claim to be Christians or run to God when a tragedy hits live their lives no differently than the world. Here’s some of the ways this manifests….

– Feel they don’t need to go to church to be a Christian (even though the Bible is quite clear we are created to be in community with one another)
– Goes to church but treats it as a social club on the weeks it’s convenient to go (even though Christian community is much deeper Biblcialy)
– Posting Bible verses on their Facebook page next to the latest pic of their drunken episode with buddies the night before
– Fighting for Christian family values while treating their own kids  with contempt
– Claiming to being victorious through Christ but holding a victim mentality where they act defeated and the world is unfair to them
– Praising God on Sunday with the same mouth that curses and uses His name in vain throughout the week
– Claim to be a Christian but never open the Bible to learn His ways and follow them (please don’t say what you think is in the Bible but only what you know from your own reading is in the Bible. There’s a lot of misinformation out there already.)
– Accept Christ as Leader and Forgiver in their own life and then have no interest in following our main purpose of leading others to the Lord, baptizing them, and growing together to be more like Christ.

Sound familiar? Might be time to take a look at what this life is suppose to look like. Let’s start now….

First, don’t read me wrong. We can not be righteous on our own account. The Bible tells us that none are “good” and all have fallen short of the glory of God.

However, it also says that anyone who accepts Jesus as Leader and Forgiver in their life by “confess(ing) with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead…” (Romans 10:9) and repenting (leaving the old ways of life and following Christ…. then you are saved.

But then what? Let’s look at some promises in Psalm 1…..

Psalm 1: 1-2

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Here’s what we were just talking about..

If you want to be blessed (joy that is not tied to your circumstances but to your spiritual walk so it is not a roller coaster ride), it is not found in acting like the world. It is found by delighting in the Word and living it! Do you have this in your life? When is the last time you picked up the Bible? When is the last time you sat under the counsel of others teaching the Word? Do you delight in it or is it a task? Do you live it or do you find it easier doing what “feels” right and then can’t figure out why life seems so unfair and off base?

Look at what the Bible promises happens for those who delight in the Word and live it…

Psalm 1: 3

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it? However, make sure you don’t misunderstand. This is not a verse that promises you money, a mansion, or a nice car. It does promise prosperity! God’s best for you! Not God’s best for the guy or lady beside you but God’s best for you!

I know several people who love the Lord, love His ways, and (get this) LIVE IT! Some have extra money and some don’t but they all have a stronger foundation that passes the circumstances and are blessed through the Lord. When the good days come or the bad, they have a firm foundation, a loving Christian community, and the respect of others for living what they believe, They are impacting the lives of others (including their families) and have a purpose. They are a tree planted by the water yielding fruit through the Lord. They are strong. they do not wither. They prosper. What about your life? There is a different path….

Psalm 1: 4-6

“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The wicked is not only the horrible people you see on the nightly news that you hold at a distance. It is anyone who is not living the way mentioned in the Scripture above. Again, no one is perfect… trust me….. but Jesus is and living through Him is righteousness. However, living by the ways of the world is wickedness and it might be time to take a serious look at this.

Do you want your life to be blessed? What about your family? Your job? Your marriage? Your friendships?

It’s not hard but it does take a conscience choice and then some discipline.

Blessed is the one who does not follow the ways of the world but instead delights in the ways of the Lord and follows it both day and night. Be blessed.

 

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