Archive for the ‘Just Me’ Category

What does the world see when they see us? Do they see love, acceptance, similarity, lies, approval, truth, silence or boldness? For a while now I have delved into Scripture, sought out Godly counsel and read some controversial articles online while seeking to obtain answers to some questions. I have come to the conclusion that we, Christians, are more concerned with hurting some one’s feelings, stepping on toes, being ostracized or verbally attacked rather than being concerned with taking a stand and defending our faith based on Scripture and what God says is right; not what man says is right!

Scripture says we will be persecuted for our beliefs, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:18-20

We need to be  more concerned with doing what God says is right rather than with what man says is right by speaking His Truth boldly, spoken in love, to others. There is so much emphasis on wanting someone to be “happy” so we hesitate to share what God says about what they’re doing when they say it makes them happy. If God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong. We think if they claim it’s “love” then who are we to say it’s wrong even though God calls adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc. wrong and not love, not His definition of “love”!

To quote Mark Gungor, “Human love does not transcend God’s righteousness – ever.”

It’s time we stop approving of things God disapproves of and lovingly share His thoughts on the subjects. None of our sins are alright with God and if we are to be representing Him shouldn’t we be agreeing with what He says?! Man doesn’t get to determine right and wrong; only God can determine it.  As it states in I Cor 4:4, “My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.” We are only fooling ourselves and misrepresenting God to others by not explaining this difference to them.

The acceptance of who we claim to be seems so important and necessary to our existence on this earth. Yet, our acceptance is really quite the opposite of what God requires of us. He tells us to “deny” ourself, (Luke 9:23 “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”) and to be more like Him and less like us! Yes, He takes us as we are but then the changes take place and that’s when it’s evident that we want what He wants. The stubborn, strong willed, resistant persons we are do not reflect total submission & true repentance.

Don’t limit God (Luke 1:37 “Nothing is impossible with God.”) by telling Him, like you tell the world: “this is just who I am and you can either accept me or not. I can’t change; (James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you.”) I’ve tried. I’m not changing for anyone!” Good news: God is not just anyone!! He created you and He’s the only One who can change you to be more like Him & less like You. John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

We must ask God to make us willing to accept the changes He wants to make in us then have faith that He will “complete the good work” Phil. 1:6 He has in mind for us. We can trust God! Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

lake-of-fire-mary-k-baxter-hell-truth

Art by Carlos S. helltruth.blogspot.com

I’ve never responded well to being scared into doing something or believing something so I hesitate on certain subjects being handled that way. However, when it comes to our eternity, I know that God wants us all to know the seriousness, the pain, the agony, the absolute horror that will be experienced if we go to hell because we died in our sinfulness and never repented and made Him Lord of our lives. Thinking positively about eternity, hoping your way into heaven, being a good person, denying the existence, hoping your friends & family pray you out of hell, none of these will prevent you from an eternity in hell.

There’s no softening of this subject: Whether you believe in Hell or not won’t change the reality of it when you’re thrown there “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” Rev. 20:15 At the time it happens you won’t be choosing your sins over the life you could’ve had, you’ll be begging NOT to go there! Once you die, it’s too late, no 2nd chances after death! Choosing your sins over choosing forgiveness, love, mercy, grace and the freedom over death isn’t CHOOSING hell – but – you are sadly mistaken if you think you’d rather be in hell than in heaven. You have no real understanding of what hell really is then!!!! No one chooses hell! But you can choose life – for all of Eternity! Matthew 25:46 “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I have several family and friends who aren’t choosing life in eternity and it breaks my heart to know I won’t spend eternity with you but even worse,to know your eternity in hell will NEVER end and that it’s a decision I can’t make for you. I continue to pray for you, love you and share God’s Truth and Love with you. We’re not even promised the rest of today! Don’t wait any longer!

I remember someone who was questioning whether they believed or not once posed the question, “what if it (what the Bible says) is all real? I guess I shouldn’t take the chance with my life, huh?” Hint: there is no “what if”; you believing doesn’t validate it’s worth or truth! There are a lot of things in this life I never wanted to believe was possible or likely that humans would do or inflict on other humans, yet, even with all my disbelief, people die daily, due to these horrific things I’d rather not believe. Just sayin’ (and that’s a slight example of how your disbelief won’t change reality)

You do have a choice: die in your sins (what we all deserve) or live for eternity in freedom over your sins (something none of us deserves) thanks to God sending His Son to die for us! Your choices end when you die. It won’t be a big party in Hell! It will be HELL in every sense of the word! Matthew 13:42 “and they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Damning the President to hell, cussing out gay people in news feeds, burning abortion clinics, calling every dark colored person you see something I can’t even type, tweeting “hell’s happy now that so and so died”, gagging on public media when you discuss same sex marriage, blaming gays for 9/11, hateful speech because you think the Bible justifies your hate of certain people, calling teen girls who “sleep around” terrible names, wishing someone’s child dies because it was conceived out of wedlock, jumping in on the face book bandwagon of several who bash our leaders with wishes to murder or “take them out” – we call ourselves Christ followers??? Seriously! What’s the difference between us and the world who we’re supposed to be converting, praying for their lost souls, showing God’s love and being an example of Christ in all that we say and do! Shame on us! Arrogance, slander, hate, etc. does just the opposite and God hates our sins in doing all this too! Yes, I know God got mad but that’s a whole other topic: righteous anger. He doesn’t condone us using our anger to inflict hate or hurt. You’ll have to research that personally. I never said I agree with everything everyone does on this earth and I do call sin what God calls sin but I can’t justify my hate, bullying, hurtful and mean speech against anyone else just as I don’t justify theirs against me – a Christ follower. No, this won’t totally stop the way we’re treated or looked at as Christ followers but for cryin’ out loud, let’s practice what we preach, what Christ preached and show others His Truth in us, our lives and our words! Others deserve the same choice at grace, mercy, love and forgiveness as we got! None of us are worthy but Christ died for all of us!
Never, once, will you hear a lost person proclaim, “Yes, I’m so thankful for the cruel ways I was treated and all the hate. All that is what showed me my need for a personal relationship with Christ.” I love my fellow Christians, just as I love lost people, and I’m not hating on you fellow Christians, but I am asking you, like I have to do, to “look in the mirror” and see if your testimony: your words, actions, life, even your thoughts are furthering His kingdom or running off the lost! We should want what God wants for each and every one of us to know Him, His love, forgiveness and how He can change us and give us an eternity with Him! Let’s humble our hearts before God, ask for forgiveness, ask for His love to flow through us as we change the way we defend our faith, take part in political discussions, take our stands and live as an example of Christ in everything we say and do!

teensTeens live in our house, visit our house and talk about all kinds of interesting subjects in our house. Having both a teen son and teen daughter can almost guarantee that a variety of conversations will and have taken place in our house. Do I dread it, hate it, fear it? Absolutely not! I embrace it! Yet with the fun and sharing comes the challenge for me to be informed and faithful to stay in the Scriptures. Do I have all the answers? Not hardly! The latest subject, which is common to the guys and the girls, has been about purity, modesty, responsibility involved and well, you get it! So, I thought I’d approach the subject on my blog too, just to share what we’ve come up with according to Scripture.

Now, before I go any further, by no means do I advocate us blaming the victim for physical or sexual abuse inflicted on them by another. It is not your fault if you’ve been hurt physically, sexually, emotionally or mentally by someone else! PERIOD!

Let’s take churches for our first finding. (I actually researched this online so it wasn’t shared yet with my teens.) Teen boys and men in churches are not exempt from struggling with lusting over Christian girls or any females in the church. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed ADULTERY with her in his heart.”  It is their responsibility to exercise self-control and seek scriptural and spiritual help in dealing with these temptations. “Temptation in itself is not a sin. Jesus was tempted (Heb. 2:18; 4:15), yet Jesus never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, temptation is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when you yield to it.” (http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/lust.htm) Ladies, know this: No, their sins are not the fault of us females!

HOWEVER, it is also our responsibility not to be a stumbling block for them. Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Not out of law but out of obedience to God are we to dress modestly. Yes, I know that word isn’t a favorite and can be widely misinterpreted so don’t get hung up on the word so much as the meaning behind it when used in Scripture. Guys and men are just as responsible for causing a female to stumble too. People in the church will tell you how hard it is to be trying to listen to the sermon or worship in music and to be distracted by a guy in tight jeans or girls in a low top bending over to get something. No, it’s not on you that they are dressed that way but it is on you, on us, to look away. Example: My husband blessed me and respected me just recently in church when a young lady started to bend over and he already knew her top was low so he looked away before she actually showed anything. I caught the end of it, saw what she was showing, probably unknowingly, and saw my husband’s eyes looking the total opposite direction. That was a choice to resist the temptation. Is it easy? No way! But with God’s help, it is possible!

Teens may think there’s absolutely no reason to be concerned with the way they dress but teen guys have told me how hard it is for them when a girl isn’t aware or does it on purpose to entice them. The Bible speaks harshly about that girl or guy who purposely dresses to get that sort of attention. Some teens don’t care what others think but God cares how we, as Christians, portray ourselves to others and that is what He means by our causing someone else to stumble. Not caring and saying “it’s their fault if they think perversion about me” doesn’t exempt us from our part of the responsibility. But first you have to actually care what God says before you even choose to obey Him. As Christian teens and Christian adults, we should choose to obey Him and His direction.

There are tons of statistics proving the huge struggle evident, yet somewhat hidden, in churches today, in youth groups even. Females aren’t as visual as guys so there are different temptations for lust for us but if you only knew the extent of the struggle our boys and men go through, on a daily basis, then MAYBE, we females would try harder to help them and not add to the struggle. We are to show God’s love and not caring about them and their struggle is not loving them. It’s not helping!

Guys: you can help us females by not giving so much attention to the females when they do dress immodestly and tempting so that we, who are trying, don’t feel less than beautiful! We like attention too and like to feel gorgeous but when you’re focused on low tops, short skits, short shorts, tight jeans, females not sitting or acting like a lady and don’t give us the respect and attention we deserve, you’re sending us the wrong message! No, we shouldn’t be dressing just for you but c’mon! It’s a two way street out there with guys & females and it’s about time we both take responsibility for our individual parts of the actions and hold each other accountable, but in love, not judgment.  Sisters: let’s go out of our way to dress and conduct ourselves in a way that our beauty is more from the inside out then from the outside in. Don’t take this to mean that we have to dress covered head to toe or conduct ourselves perfectly but even though the Bible doesn’t say specific items of clothing like only wear “God’s Girl Clothing”, we should go to The Word for guidance. If you have doubt, don’t wear it. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14 MSG)

A group of very happy peopleThat phrase is thrown around so much today. Do you believe that as long as we’re happy or our friends and family are happy then we should be able to do WHATEVER it is that makes us happy?  What if we say we’re a Christian and others know that about us, yet, what we’re doing goes against the very God we say we love and obey? How does that saying apply then? Ouch! I felt the conviction!

Years ago I lived totally outside of God’s will for my life, doing exactly what I wanted all the while claiming to be one of His children, yet knowing what I was doing was against His Word, no matter how much fun it was and how “happy” I was. See, I was having a blast and had the attitude to go with it. I had my “fire insurance” as one of my favorite pastors used to say, but I avoided church like the plague, and especially avoided other Christians, who were sure to remind me what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t want to hear it. I justified it like crazy. I used the famous, “Don’t judge me.” Knowing good and well that God gave my fellow Christians the right to judge me and speak truth to me in love, which is all they tried to do but I wouldn’t hear of it. They cared and wanted me back in line with God’s will for my life. I spent several years disobeying God and living the “good life”, knowing deep inside that He wouldn’t let me go forever without doing something to get my attention and get me to come back to Him. I had “friends” who “supported” me. Of course they did; we were all doing the same things together. Did that make it right? No! I had lots of laughs and “fun”. Did that make it right? No! Should I have been allowed to continue living like I was while claiming to be following God? I think not! I know I shouldn’t! None of that mattered though because I let that temporary happy and unaccountable type living take over and convince me I’d always been a “good girl” so it was my time to live it up and “enjoy life”. Ha! It turned out to be a very difficult time in my life because the more things happened in my everyday reality, the deeper I’d get into the lifestyle that brought me temporary escape, but it’d all still be there, left for me to handle, after my so called “happy”. I didn’t want the “fun” to end and my actions kept telling God that and to let me go but fortunately for me, He didn’t give up on me, although the Scripture says He will if we continue to disobey Him.

Paul says that God, “GAVE THEM OVER.” God’s wrath is not in thunderbolts flung from Heaven but rather it is His settled,  regretful decision to give man over to his desire to sin. (That’s what I thought I  wanted. – my words)    (http://www.redlandbaptist.org/sermon/when-god-gives-up/)

I hadn’t realized just how ignorant and unloving that phrase actually is when you say it about someone who you know is not living according to God’s will for their life because they’ve claimed to be a Christian.  You have to admit that not answering to someone, like God, or fellow Christians, has to feel “fun, free and happy”, otherwise it isn’t tempting in the first place. Then, after living that way for a while, God gives us over to that way of living and we become resistant and deaf to His Words. Harder than that is He doesn’t answer our prayers.

Something I found so sad was that God won’t even hear us, His children, when we are disobeying Him. My actions affected my fellowship, my relationship with the only One who knew me inside and out and yet still loved me. Proverbs 28:9 “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.”

Another hard Scripture to swallow is Proverbs 1:28 “…they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.”

So, all this to say, (1) If a Christian is living outside of Scripture and just wants you to be “happy” for them because they’re ‘happy” then I won’t and you shouldn’t wimp out and say “What’s important is that you’re happy.” (2) We should continue to show them love, speak God’s Truth with boldness but not beat them over the head with it. (I never listened to that kind of “truth”) and (3) Pray for them to come back to God!  Remember the story of the Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32? Well, that’s me, the Prodigal Daughter and His arms were open wide and full of love when I finally did return to Him and His will for my life!

I won’t glamorize my bad choices over the years nor claim to be blameless today but I am a lot closer to God these days and have true happiness.

Being a Christian ~

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Just Me
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It isn’t about a big power play or ginormous ego.
It isn’t about being in control or always being right.
It isn’t about telling others how wrong they are.
It isn’t about shunning those “wretched sinners” in the world.
What is it about –
It’s about loving God with all our heart, soul, mind & strength. (Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30)
It’s also about loving others as ourselves. (Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31)
It’s also about being obedient to God. (If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15)
John 17:20-24 (NLT) “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!”
Philippians 2:2 ESV “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. “