Are you ashamed of the Gospel?

I’ve been praying for people’s salvation more than lately and asking God for wisdom in sharing Himself to others. As Christians we need to love others when sharing the Gospel, but we need to be honest in that love. If I’m beating around the bush about God and not being honest about hell, then I’m acting ashamed and afraid of their reaction. We can tell people that Jesus loves them night and day, but if we’re ignoring the reality of their sin and where it’s leading them… we’re only preaching prosperity Gospel. The realization that we sin and fall short of the glory of God should make us fall flat face to the ground in grief. It’s ONLY when knowing we’re a sinner that we need God’s grace. It’s not just accepting His love, it’s knowing you are eternally depraved yet unconditionally forgiven. 

We try saying we’re not ashamed of the Gospel, but aren’t we when we care more about other people’s opinions? People in this world are always first to preach their ‘passions’ and ‘beliefs’ on us, but Christians get put down for it and we’re not allowed to? We need to stop letting the World dictate who the church is and listen to what God says about His church. Amen?! I’m preaching to myself here.

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Christians who can’t be bothered.

There are seasons for everything and apparently in this season of my life, I’m not meant to have any actual friends. I won’t mention any names here, but I just had a girl who I tried to disciple and be friends with, delete me recently. I was like “Wha…?” I didn’t do anything and besides being confused, I was a bit p’d off. People have seriously taught me one important lesson and that’s that they come and go. Being now 24-years-old and married, friends are hard to come by these days. My interaction with people is rare unless someone new comes to church. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a quantity of friends, just quality ones, but right now I have 0 friends I hang out with. The few people I actually get along with live out-of-state, so it’s not like I  can hang out with them. I do my fair share of asking people “Want to go do this?!” and that’s when I start getting excuses or flat-out ignored.

I’m just wondering when did Christians or supposed ‘Christians’ start closing themselves off and decided their ‘comfort zone’ was their best place to stay? What makes me mad is people who find a group of friends they grow comfortable with and then ignore the world around them. I’ve seen this in churches and it’s not cute and definitely not Christ-like. Churches are either divided or they don’t make contact with the other members. If I sound cynical, it’s because I am. I realize I need to get off my high-horse because I have sin too… but if we’re doing something that completely negates the Gospel, like not practicing discipleship… what are we doing with our Christian lives?!

Complacency is not something that the Lord honors. You can pat yourself on the back all day long about how much you’ve grown in the Lord, but if you’re not actually passing that onto other people and LOVING them… then you might be that noisy gong the Bible speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV)

Like I was telling my sister tonight, some people’s sin annoys me. The church should be about unity, breaking bread. I could easily blame the world and say “Oh technology makes things less personal and people are more closed-off because of it…” But sin takes a deeper root, it’s in the hearts. Technology is just a distraction or wall built up to be passive about our sin. Seriously, when is the last time you looked at your heart? Or are you too busy checking Facebook to know?

 

Stress and trusting in God.

Pray More

I talked to my sister not long ago about this and how we say we have faith, but our attitudes express otherwise. You can pray every day, read your Bible, and say “Yes Jesus, I trust Your will for my life!” but then when you come back to reality you start snapping at people. Whenever I start being mean and having an ‘attitude’ it’s because I’m stressed out and worried about a million things. It’s like being in a constant state of being ‘unnerved’. At this point of my mindset, my faith is circumstantial because if something rubs me the wrong way I’m going to fly off my wagon (whatever that means LOL! – I was born in a country household).

I will admit I can be a bit OCD about things, if even one or two things are out-of-place in the house, I need to clean them, right then, right now. The same thing applies when I have a to-do list. In the next few weeks I have so much stuff going on and all I can think of “Is everything going to be okay?” I get anxious about it. I think where I’m trying to get healthy, now adding a bunch of dental work on top of that, and now doing a million things at my church, I feel overwhelmed. If I’m being honest, my stress, although it’s a sin in and of itself, turns into an even bigger sin. I start nitpicking at things and I’m not content. I have to constantly apologize for things, just ask my husband and he will tell you. I don’t like being like that and I don’t know about you, but I feel alone when things start piling up. That I need to ‘carry this burden’. I can’t expect anyone else to help. I’m so quick to do my freak out dance that I forget I have God who helps me carry those burdens. I’m not meant to do it on my own. I also need to realize that I need to go to my husband more often because when I told him the things laying on my heart yesterday I just wept on his shoulder. He reassured me everything was going to be okay and I believed him. God’s Word reassures us that everything is going to be okay too and we need to believe that as well. We need to take God’s Word for face value.

No wonder some of us have anxiety, we try handling things that are out of our control. I caught myself yesterday just needing to take a break and breathe. I could feel my chest getting tightened up it was that bad. I wonder how many times I’m going to have to learn this lesson from God. Trust me girlfriend or you guys out there, when you think you’ve got your walk with God under control and you have it down to a T, you don’t. Our faith can be shaken, but let’s not be moved. At the end of the day, all we have is the Savior. When everything falls apart, when everyone fails you, God will still be on His throne in His perfect righteousness. We have to stop looking down and at our situations and look up – our hope should be in heaven. If you feel like you’re playing ‘catch up’ in life, you’re not the only one. I’m there too and I feel like I’m always behind in this world that is always moving forward.

It just dawned on me now that when I had told my sister I had been stressing, she reminded me my worth was in Christ. I thought to myself at the time… “Okay, well what does that have to do with stress?” It has everything to do with it, because the things we stress out about is the things we usually find our worth or value in. We find success in these things going well, whether it’s a relationship or job, we worry about the status – where is it going? We go back to being circumstantial. If you lose your job, if they cut your hours back, if your relationship is failing, if you have no friends, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it’s okay. You know why? Because our worth isn’t in those things. Those things change. I’m preaching to myself here and I’m crying as I type this because I always need to be reminded of these truths.

If you need prayer for anything, please comment below. I will leave this blog with a prayer that whoever reads this will find hope again if that’s what you needed today. May God bless you for His glory and remember to trust in Him.

Misconceptions about Christianity.

BACKGROUND: After a series of nightmares and endless tossing and turning, I woke up this morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. I felt awful so I put the heating pad in the microwave, took 3 IB profen, and started to pick up around the house. That last part has to sound crazy to most people and it did for me too, at least this morning because I had the intentions of hugging the recliner while I wallowed in my pain. After picking up around the kitchen I turned on the television thinking “okay I’ve done some stuff, so I’ll sit down after I hear the microwave go off.” Yeah, about that… that didn’t happen either haha. I kept making my way around the house, slowly feeling the headache go away, and then heard the local news saying the Pope decided to resign.

If you’ve been in the faith long enough, one of the things that should have came into your mind is the book of Revelation/ End Times/ Rapture/ Anti-Christ/ False Prophet/ Prophecies. Whenever it comes to strong authorities or leadership in this world, I can’t help but believe those will be the people who will be responsible for helping God’s prophecies come alive. It usually only takes one topic as such to get this girl’s mind going. Shortly after I received a message from my sister asking me about the book I had been reading, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples by Francis Chan, the wheels started to turn more. Everything in my thought process this morning kept going back to God. Inevitably I think about people who aren’t saved when I get on this one track mind.

I decided there was way too much on my mind this morning to make a Facebook status out of it, one that would probably get over looked any ways. At least my thoughts have a few cents more value on here. The reason I’m writing this blog…. *drum roll please*… if you read the title, yes, it’s about misconceptions about Christianity. Don’t ask me how I got there, I just did haha. When I come to to these random thought processes I honestly think it’s the Lord trying to get something across through me. You may beg to differ, but with God anything is possible.

The few misconceptions that stood out to me were:

1.) Jesus Christ – in the words of C.S. Lewis, He is either a “Liar, lunatic, or Lord.”
I don’t think there are enough people in this world who take the time to actually ponder about who Jesus is. Most people lean on the thought that he was a good prophet. When people say this, it leads me to think they have never read the actual Word of God – The Holy Bible – KJV  (Kings James Version) – NKJV (New King James Version) – ESV (English Standard Version) – NIV (New International Version). John 14:6 says that Jesus is the ONLY way to God. He died a criminals death on a cross to take the burden of our sins – to make us acceptable before God. Can someone really say a good prophet would do this? A liar? A lunatic? Christ did not die in vain. He took the punishment we deserve and He is currently sitting at the right throne of God in heaven, He is a Sovereign God who deserves our never-ending praise and devotion. That is who Jesus Christ is.

2.) Grace – the definition or what comes to mind when you hear this word. 

Before being saved, when someone said the word ‘grace’ it made me think of people who dance ballet ‘with grace’. Something peaceful, serene, slow, light handed. Dictionary.com even defines this term first as…

  •  grace [greys]  noun, verb, graced, grac·ing. noun “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.”

Some people may even think of it as the thing you say before you eat dinner. However, the grace that God gives is free unmerited favor. Meaning it is a gift, not anything we can earn or deserve. It means we are forgiven because Christ has taken our place. The best example of grace is how we constantly spit in God’s face, but His grace makes Him long-suffering and ultimately puts up with us. Again, not because we deserve it… but because He is God. It’s non-existent in our society to give others grace because we’re more prone to be bitter, vengeful, unforgiving, hateful, etc.

3.) Sin – Don’t do this and don’t do that. Hello legalisticcc!

This is actually addressed in Scripture and it’s called hypocrisy. The biggest people back then to make up these lists of dos and don’t were called Pharisees. These people were super-religious and thought they were holier than thou. They did everything right in their eyes and even in the public eye. They would even go to lengths of making sure people knew they were fasting because their appearance would be dreadful (fasting would usually show on their faces). These exact same ‘religious’ people nailed Christ to the cross. They accused him of blaspheming God and summoning demons. Christianity is more than the 10 commandments, it’s about our hearts. Do we think we’re fooling God with our works? No, of course not. Some people think they can abuse the grace of God yet proclaim Him on Sundays and call themselves “Christian”. Sin is not just about doing bad things, it’s also about not doing good things. When we’re given wisdom by God, we’re even more accountable because we know better. Sin is a heart thing.
4.) Church – Money scandals and hypocrites?

I find it sad that a lot of people blame bad churches for being the reason why they don’t attend. You wouldn’t believe the excuses I’ve heard, especially when it comes to tithing. “Ohhh churches are just after my money.” I can see where a few bad news stories might make one apprehensive, but the real reason is that they just don’t want to go or they just don’t want to tithe. Churches aren’t just the building and they aren’t perfect. The church is the body of Christ and it’s made up of believers imperfect believers. Another excuse that people use is that people are hypocrites within the church. I’ve heard Matt Chandler preach on this and his response to that was “Yeah and you’re one of them.” We’ve got way too much time on our hands to be nit-picking the church. If you find yourself in drama at church, examine your heart. Have you been going for God or the social aspects of it? And if you care so much about what other people are saying, are you letting that outshine the truth of God’s Word? God’s opinion is the only one that matters. As believers we are to live above reproach. Humble ourselves. Forgive others always – no matter how bad. Rebuke in love. And pray about it.

This blog isn’t directed towards atheists, I’ve read way too many discussion boards from Ray Comfort’s blogs and posts to know they have “read the Bible front to back” “researched Science” or what have you. They think they have it all figured out and there’s no talking to them because any kind of truth you give them, they want proof. The fact is, one of us is right and one of us is wrong. We can’t both be right. I believe in the God of the Holy Bible. Please do not make excuses when it comes to God. We’re never promised tomorrow and that ‘proof’ you need will cost you your soul. I’d rather people not wait till judgment day to figure this out. If you have any questions or comments, please list that below and I will be glad to talk to you. God loves you my friend!!!

Simply put.

There are some days I am just so thankful I am not God. I told Eric that if there’s one thing God hasn’t gifted me, it’s compassion. I have been trying to work on that for quite some time but my train of thought here lately has been so disgusted. Placing judgment on non-believers is a no-no, but we have a right to judge the actions of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not their heart, their actions. You cannot read the Bible and tell me that’s not in there, to hold each other accountable. I know I am far from perfect and if this blog sounds self-righteous, then I’m sorry, but that’s not my heart. My heart is wanting people to get it, to love Christ more.

I just don’t understand why so many ‘Christians’ are surface-level in their walk with Christ. Why aren’t they thirsty for wanting more? Why do they care so much about how they appear on Sundays? Why is Sunday the only day people even act holy, yet forget God the other 6 days of the week? Why do people get so caught up in the social scene at church that they start gossiping about others and start divisions? Why do people at church even form clicks, like sit on a certain side of the church because that’s where the ‘cool’ or the… ‘wealthy’ section is? I never even knew half of this stuff existed when I had started going to church. I thought it was about going for God, not other people. There’s a little known fact that if you stay at a church long enough, the dirty secrets of some people’s lives will just be thrown out there like dirty laundry.

Our hearts aren’t right, we’re not dieing to ourselves. We’re living and feeding ourselves full of unGodly trash. We’ve made church about ourselves and less about God. I’m sitting here thinking about the book “Radical” by David Platt (which is a must-read by the way) and how the American church is… I feel so discouraged. It’s not the lack of God, it’s the lack of people serving and FAITHFULLY seeking Jesus Christ. It’s the lack of renewing our minds and hearts. It’s the lack of facing our convictions and getting face first on the floor before God in humility saying “LORD YOU ARE ALL I WANT AND ALL I NEED, PLEASE KEEP CHANGING MY HEART!”. We need Jesus Christ to save us from ourselves, we are far too complacent. We don’t more, we’re fine with having little. We are our biggest enemy. Not just the world or Satan’s lies. It’s us.

AND another thing that has been bugging the poop out of me, but am I the only person getting tired of seeing Christians post pictures of themselves at bars and drinking beers? Like seriously? Where did ‘be of a sober mind’ go? It’s still in the Bible.