Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lessons in Christ-Living

This is gonna be a rather rambling thoughts entry.

I think one of [if not the] greatest things about life is to have the honor of being Christ to others. It’s a tough, heavy calling, but I mean, what is better?

It’s tough being a Christian in the area of reputation and imperfections. Christ IS perfect; I am not. I’m going to make mistakes and those mistakes will hurt my witness to others [Christians and non-Christians alike, I’m usually thinking of both], but it’s still important that I allow Christ to redeem me and that I carry on anyway, constantly striving to do better.

I think, it isn’t about being perfect and only doing good, nor is it that I do good at all or for the sake of goodness, but that the good I do is grounded in God’s love for people. I, know that God loves me; others need to know that He loves them.

If I do good but my relationship with God isn’t good or non-existent, I just don’t understand that. I mean, I did that but I don’t understand it. I used to do good and wasn’t taking care of my relationship with God. Now that for the past two years I’ve been taking care of my relationship with God first, I’m doing good and there’s a difference, a GOOD difference. I don’t know exactly how to explain the difference yet; I wish it worked that I could just tell people to try it and they would so that they’d find out for themselves that it’s true, but it doesn’t work that way apparently.

I think that most of the time, one can tell a Christian from a Christian whom is taking care of their relationship with God, whom is grounded in Him.

Anyways, I have all these thoughts in my head about things I’ve learned and things I’m seeing in the world and what the Christian life is. I’m writing these things out and trying to get these “lessons” to where they’ll be received in the most effective way. I have to remind myself that it’s not important if the audience receives it and runs with it or not but the importance is that I tell others about the lesson at all. And then it’s the work of the Holy Spirit that whomever that lesson was meant for will receive it and take it to heart. And that I pray over others.

And it would be nice if others had grace that I’m still growing and learning in Christ also and that I understand this. I’m not like Billy Graham who’s been a growing Christian for years and years and did something with his relationship with Christ. I’m in my early years of this, yet it’s still important that I start. And I wanna see others start too, though I have to rein in my zeal for this a little.

I’ve got ideas about modesty in clothing and speech, ideas for forming a regular activity that will exhibit “preaching and healing,” our attitudes about sin, what it means to have our “cup overflow,” etc. I need help with this so I’m thinking about who could help me. I’m trying to tie in God’s view with our attitudes; I don’t know if that’s the way to explain what I’m thinking but it should do for now. It’s sort of looking at this world through the lens of the Christian faith. It’s not an exacting science or an exacting faith, but it makes a difference.

It’s something like, here’s an example with the idea of miracles. Some would say they don’t believe in miracles or that miracles can’t happen anymore and they’re probably coming from the viewpoint that they don’t see miracles happening today. It seems like God hasn’t performed a grand miracle in centuries. However, the point is not that I don’t see miracles happening. The point is that I believe in Almighty God whom has performed miracles in the past and that He has the ability to do miracles today. That He hasn’t done a miracle [as we perceive a “miracle” to be] in a long time is His divine control. It’s for me to believe He will do a miracle if it’s in His plan to do so and to believe in miracles even if He doesn’t do so, even if I don’t see Him doing so.

I don’t know if that makes sense to other people. I don’t understand a Christian not believing in miracles because part of the Christian faith is to believe that Christ rose from the dead and isn’t that a miracle? And then no one’s risen from the dead lately and so miracles aren’t possible or that I shouldn’t believe in miracles? Do I believe in an almighty, sovereign God or not?

Friend had a question about the motives behind others’ giving money towards a project. I was thinking, well, so what if their motives were wrong? We don’t know for sure that their motives were wrong but so what? What should our response be? Should we not accept their help? Should we interrogate them to make sure they have the right motive? Should we tell them sorry, we’re not going to accept your money until you have the right motive? More than likely, it was God’s right motive that we have help with the project and worked his motive through others, no matter what the motives those other people have. We shouldn’t accept things like blood money, of course, but that wasn’t the case here.

We look too much to other people, what they’re doing, why they might be doing it, and not enough to our own hearts.

Anyways, I was thinking about the hikes I went on with a ministry and how the hikes could’ve made a better impact. We should have prayed before and after each hike, and the other activities we did. I’m big on prayer yet still have a thing about feeling like a dork ‘cause I trip over words whenever I pray out loud and I’m also trying to encourage others to pray more and you know, I just don’t know why we didn’t pray. Well, if I do it again…

Oh, and then I listen to podcasts and now I’m reading other blogs about the Christian faith and I’ve come across some pretty good ones lately. I like listening to Focus on the Family mostly because they have guests speakers and such so I get a range of other people’s stories and experiences and expertise. And one doesn’t have to agree with every single thing said but there’s some real gems in there and in the least would get one thinking and moving. There are some ideas that I've had to wrestle with. I also listen to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life, but I have to figure out why it’s not automatically updating that podcast; I just think from what I hear from him, he’s got the idea, you know?

Well, I wonder if I could put together some kind of class series of FotF podcasts or something and then a discussion period but it’s hard to have a class just listening to something, isn’t it? I don’t know. I think it could be worth it.

I’ve heard the salt and light passage taught and there’s a good one by Dr. Tony Evans. Rev. Herb Lusk talks about going the distance in “One More Round.” They have a speech by Zig Ziglar about “Staying Christian in a Pagan Culture.” And there’s practical and biblical advice about Christians and dating.

I don’t know. As always, thinking. What do you think?