Not so bold and unashamed of the Gospel.

A lot of Christians, including myself, like to quote Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” We wholeheartedly believe this and this may be true for us to a certain extent, but we have to remember who these words were coming from at the time. Paul, the author of Romans and of many books in the Bible proclaimed the Gospel in a hostile time. To be baptized and to say Jesus was God was a one way ticket to prison or execution. Living in America we can’t quite grasp the severity of proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior because there is no persecution other than being told we’re bigoted and judgmental. Paul writes these words while he is in prison, believed to have been waist high in human waste. The state of his living was not good, but this man meant his words. He lived these words out, hence the horrible conditions he was in.

My pastor this morning emphasized the importance of the Gospel, the Word of God, it has power. It saves and changes lives and it is by hearing the Word that people open their eyes to the reality of their sin. Wearing crosses whether tattooed or by jewelry, going to church, or wearing t-shirts that say we “<3 God” doesn’t hold any power like the Word can. People need to hear the Word of God, Jesus was the Word and we think just by living for God that people can read us. Yes, we are a light separated from this dark world, but because we are the light we need to shine truth on God’s Word. People are in darkness and on their way to hell because we’re too afraid to speak up. We want the approval of man to the point we neglect Jesus’s lasts words and mission to go make more disciples. Will we offend people? Yes. Will we annoy them? Yes. Will we push certain people away from us? Yes. Could we lose our friends? Yes. The things that will happen to us on this earth don’t even compare to what these people will suffer for eternity – separation from God.

Francis Chan’s book Multiply touches base with the fact that Christians will walk away from church services with conviction and almost pat themselves on the back for feeling bad. It’s like that’s what we’re looking for, when we leave church are we moved with emotion? It seems like that’s our only goal. We should be moved to action, we should be out there getting our hands dirty. Satan has us where he wants us, complacent Christians who feel conviction, but do nothing about it. We’re not a threat to Satan. I don’t know about you, but when I get up in the morning I want Satan to be like “Oh no, there’s that woman of God!” I want him to feel threatened.

With my uncle being laid up in ICU after heart surgery, practically on his death bed, my dad has raised hands held high in prayer over my uncle. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this was in front of working nurses, people who are trying to help on my uncle get back to health. I have been so moved by my father’s faith and him being unashamed in public prayer. I feel so ashamed of myself, Jesus is risen and I’m afraid to proclaim that to people? Do I read my Bible every day and pray? Yes. To the world’s standards my walk with God is good, but I know that is far from the truth. I need to trust in Jesus despite my circumstances and walk out in faith knowing that His Word, when preached, will not return void.

We all have seasons Jesus needs to walk us through and I’m not telling you to look for sin, but if you’ve been complacent… ask the Lord to challenge you and break you of the things you’re putting your trust in.

^^ Please take the time to watch this video by Kari Jobe called “Forever”. It is such a beautiful song! So much truth.

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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!!!