The Walk of The Believer -Ephesians 4:1-3
What does it mean to walk the Christian Walk?
You have probably heard it said; Dont just talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. This phrase is common in many areas of society, whether it be in our jobs, at school, in sports, or whatever. What it means is if you are going to participate in such and such, do whatever it is you are going to do in such a manner that you bring honour to whatever it is you are involved in. Dont go at it half way, give it your best shot, do the best you can do at whatever it is you are involved in. It is all well to talk big saying I am real good at .. But do your actions back up your mouth? As a youth I often heard it said that talk is cheap, which is another way of saying something like, your actions dont back up your mouth.
In the Christian life, we also should back up our mouths with our actions. There are many nominal Christians out in the world who are good at talking Christianese. But their actions, their day to day behaviour says they are not Christians, because they behave like the world. They behave just the rest of the secularized world. Others looking at them would never recognise them as Christians.
What would you think for example of a guy who goes to church every Sunday, all dressed up to the max, and then when he goes to work Monday through Friday he drinks like a fish at night in the bars, swears like a sailor, and gets into bar room brawls on Saturday night? The outside world would never associate him as being a Christian, would they? But, sadly that is how many nominal Christians behave. What is a nominal Christian you may ask? It is one who is a Christian in name only, but in reality is really not a Christian. Those who profess to be Christians, but behave like the world, give the name of Christ a bad reputation. How can we blame unsaved people from not wanting to become a Christian if they see called Christianity behaving like drunken sailors, cheats, thiefs etc.? They have every good reason to call us hypocrites.
A story is told by an un-known writer, about an elderly man who retired after many years in the British army. One day a man who knew about his long history and distinguished military career decided to play a prank on him. As the old soldier walked down the street with his arms full of packages, the jokester sneaked up behind him and shouted, Attention! Without hesitation, the military man dropped his arms to his side, and every package went tumbling to the sidewalk. Without a conscious thought, the veteran was doing what comes naturally to a soldier.
Similarly, as believers in Christ, our behaviour as Christians should mirror, and correspond to the new life in Christ which has been granted us since we gave our lives over to Him. Our lives should mirror more the example of Christ living in us. Though we are still dealing with sinful flesh on this side of eternity, we need to exemplify the kind of person that God wants us to be. When an athlete is performing in the Olympics, he behaves as an Olympian. If he does not he is often disqualified, and he is shamed. A soldier also in training behaves like a soldier or he is discharged, or perhaps put into military prison. As a Christian we likewise need to put into practice the deeds of a Christian and we should not in any way be seen to be behaving in any manner that puts to shame the name of Christ.
By faith in Christ, we have become children of God, who are empowered and enabled to walk the walk of a believer by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. To walk the walk of a believer is to put into practice the teachings and ways of Christ, so that the world may see Christ living in us.
Richard W. De Haan writes an analogy likewise showing how some do or do not walk the walk. A new Christian was reading through the Gospels. After she finished she told a friend she wanted to read a book on church history. When her friend asked why, the woman replied, Im curious. Ive been wondering when Christians started to become so unlike Christ. What a testimony that is to Christianity. Whether the story is real or not, it is a true statement of what the church has become. It is said, if you want to know what the world is like, look at the church. Why? Because if the church is strong, standing up to its beliefs, being the standard bearer, being in a sense the judge of the world, setting the moral example, the world will be in line with the church. But sadly, the mainline churches have slacked off; have allowed immoral standards to creep into her midst and the consequences are not hard to see. The world has slipped into a slimy pit of immorality, mirroring the days before God flooded the earth because the whole world had become corrupt and immoral.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. 5:5 KJV
How can we blame a new believer as above to wonder what has happened to true Christianity, when it would appear the majority of Christian churches have slipped, appearing to be no different than the world. We have become so un-Christ-like. Rather than trying to behave as true believers, imitating the life of Christ, many so called Christians are imitating the world, rather than Christ.
Roughly 2,000 years ago the name 'Christians' first appeared on the earth. (Acts 11:26) It is true that many today still bear that name, but how many bear the image of Christ? In other words, when he comes back to call His own home , will He find any true Christians? What a sad state of affairs that would be for Christ to come to call home His elect, and to find none but nominal Christians!
Paul writes; For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10 KJV
This tells us that we are saying unto the world, we are following Him, who is Christ Jesus our Saviour.
How dare we then, who bear His glorious name, foul the name of Christ, bring shame to Him, dishonour what He has done for us on the cross by behaving as the world, indulge in every fantasy, in every sinful act that God has decried as evil, as an abomination, doing the same shameful deeds as they who Jesus will one day say; Depart from me into everlasting fire to the pit of hell created for fallen angels.?
Should we not be more like the Master, should we not, live and grow, love as He has loved, showing the world the love of our Master? Should we not deny our self-indulgences, like the Galilean? Should not our motto be; 'More like the Master I long to be!
A true story is told of a missionary who was once captured by rebels and they held a gun to his head. They told him to renounce Christ or die. He replied; Pull the trigger. By Gods providence and mercy, the trigger was pulled, but it jammed. Shortly others came to his rescue and the rebels escaped. Can you picture in your mind, to be at church the following Sunday to hear this missionary say; Friends, we must be faithful, even unto death. Would his listeners not have heard him in a different more profound, powerful way than by one whom had not had a gun pointed at his head, and been told to renounce Christ? His message would have been; if it is important enough for me to die for Christ, should you also not live for him, being ready to die?
Paul likewise, when he was imprisoned for his undiminished testimony and stand for Christ wrote to his fellow brothers, telling them of his imprisonment and stand, and also telling them that what he was doing, he was doing so that they would also follow his example and live for Christ; to live as Christians, and if need be to die as a Christians, standing up boldly proclaiming Christ not only in word, but in-deed also.
Paul was telling them, to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk also.
One of the biggest barriers we have to reaching the world for Christ is our witness to others by our walk. We are being witnessed every day by others, seeing how we live, how we behave. Do we portray a Christ-like life in our everyday words, deeds, behaviours? The world sees these so called Christians, these nominal Christians, and they see that they, like many of us are hypocrites. They see the office worker who goes to church on Sunday, but behaves like scum the rest of the week. So why, tell me why would they want to become Christians? Sunday morning pulpit preachers and teachers and parishioners are, found in adultery; found viewing pornography, found molesting kids, found in adult book stores, found smoking dope, drinking to excess, etc. Are they a true testimony to the world of what it is to walk the walk? Is it no wonder we are unable to reach the lost of the world for Christ with that kind of testimony? Our words have no power when the world sees us behaving the same as they are. The truth of the gospel is small talk; it is cheap talk to the eyes of the world, when so called Christians do the same as the world.
What does Paul say in Romans Chapter 2 regarding the likes of those who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk, doing the same as the world? Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever that art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. KJV Rom. 2: 1
Do you? Are you condemning yourself?
Is this not the hour to manifest once and for all true Christ-likeness? Shall we continue to debase the name of Christ? Shall we profess the name of Christ one moment and slander it at the next moment by our witnessed walk? True Christianity must not only be witnessed with the mouth, it must also be believed in the heart, and lived in our daily lives as we walk among the heathen, among our fellow workers in banks, in malls, bowling alleys, in the parks, down the ski slopes, and not only in the church alone.
The book of Ephesians is a strong commentary of the Christian life, both in the here and now and in the coming promises of eternal life. One of the main themes of the book of Ephesians is the mystery of the wonderful truth revealed now to both to the Gentile and Jew. Both believing Gentile and Jew are now one in Christ, being fellow members of the Body of Christ awaiting our redemption where we will be transformed into our new glorified bodies.
Chapter one called the mystery, looks forward to the time, (a dispensation,) when all things shall be brought under control, under the leadership of Jesus Himself. (Ephesians 1: 9,10, 21-23) and all believers shall reign with Him.
Chapter 2 describes the process of salvation by the grace of God, by which believing sinners are reconciled to Him, becoming one with Him as new creations, where God dwells in the human temple, by way of His Holy Spirit.
Chapter 3 continues to explain the mystery of Christ (verse 4) whereby all believers become fellow heirs, partakers of Gods promise (verse 6)
And now we look a little closer at what it is to be true walkers of the Christian faith emphasizing also unity of the body of Christ.
Read Ephesians 4:1-3 to see if we can get an idea what it is to Walk the Christian Walk, not to just talk the talk.
Remember this first though, to walk the Christian walk is not a Fire Insurance to make sure you get to heaven. Many so called Christians have taken on that attitude. They want a simple easy Christian life, getting that Fire Insurance to heaven, without the added responsibility to live as Christ would have us to live. They do not want to Walk the Walk but merely to just be good at Talking the Talk. Is this the life Christ has called us to? They may find at the time of reckoning that they will be surprised when God sends them in the opposite direction, of what they expected. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that he shall also reap. Galatians 6:7 KJV
In the opening verse of Ephesians Chapter 4, there are two very important words which we should take notice of. They are the words, therefore and beseech. First of all, when you see the word therefore, in scripture you have to keep in mind that the writer is about to move from an important precious thought, idea, ready to expand on it to another dimension. In the previous chapters Paul wrote of the Spiritual Blessings of the Christian, both now and future, and now moves to the practical aspects, the importance of Walking the Walk.
The Apostle Paul, also uses the word beseech, when he says, I, (...), beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (Eph. 4:1 NKJV) The word beseech means to ask earnestly, to plead, to implore. It is an appeal to walk worthy of the calling of the life we now have in Christ. In other words we are to behave at all times, in all ways, in all manners as Christ would in all situations.
To be called of Christ is a calling which carries with it an honour, a prestige, nobility. To be called means that we are ambassadors for Christ. What higher honour can there be than to be called of Christ, to be followers, resembling His life in us? We are to walk worthy of that calling.
I submit to you that the walk of the believer according to these first three verses includes not just a calling, but a correct attitude, and an endeavour to live up to an expectation worthy of what we have been called to as ambassadors, representatives and followers of Christ. In the King James 1611 the word used instead of calling is: vocation. The word vocation literally means a calling, to which you have been called. What is this calling we are called to? In the secular world, we think of the word vocation, or calling as a job, i.e. banker, teacher or whatever. In church we often think it means our calling, perhaps to become a missionary, a music leader, pastor, Sunday school teacher, or what have you.
All this is good and true, but we have a prior, higher calling, and that is to be saved. 2 Tim. 1:9 tells us God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. KJV
This is the greatest calling that we could ever have, to be called and saved by God. Remember, it is not us who calls upon God, but He calls us. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, convinces us of the sufficiency of Christ and causes us to be drawn near to Christ and to be saved. (Phil. 3:14)
Therefore, now we have been called to the highest calling, we are to live a life worthy of the name of Christ and to be called Christians. We must not do anything that will bring shame or dishonour to the name of Christ, by the things we say, do, dress, act, think, work etc.
Our walk, the Apostle Paul says is to include a right attitude. Our attitude, he says, is to be "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love" (Eph. 4:2 NKJV).
Lowliness means to be humble. We are not to be prideful. We are to be conscience of our nothingness, to esteem others better than ourselves. Lowliness is the opposite of conceit and arrogance.
We are to walk in gentleness, or as the King James 1611 says, in meekness. Meekness is not weakness as some would have us to believe. Meekness however is to display the qualities of kindness, mildness, gentleness, and to be teachable. Jesus Himself said to take His yolk upon him, and to learn from Him for He is gentle, and lowly in heart. For you will find rest in your souls when you allow Him to be your all in all, to allow Him to take control of your life. Matt. 11:29
The Christian attitude is to be one of longsuffering. Longsuffering is to endure trouble, pain or injury brought on by another, and to be patient with others. Longsuffering means to be able to put up with insults criticism etc. without lashing back and getting angry. Longsuffering means to take the punishment meted out to you, without defending and avenging yourself. Rom. 12:19 tells us,Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. KJV. See also Deut. 32:35; Lev. 19:18
Jesus gave us the example when He was abused and taken to the cross and crucified, though He did no wrong. Also before the cross, he said,To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:29 (NKJV)
Longsuffering also means to patiently bear the faults of others. After all, which one of us is perfect? Just think how much happier would be our homes, churches and places of work if we learned to patient with one another, excusing each others faults and shortcomings.
Thirdly Christians are to walk with an attitude of love. What does Paul say about the subject of love in 1 Cor. 13:4-7? He says love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, and thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth. Love bears all things, hopes in all things, and endures all things.
Why are we as Christians able to put up with each other despite all our quirks and faults? It is because we have the love of Christ in us. How does that song go? They will know that we are Christians by our love, by our love. (written by Peter Scholtes additional words and music by Carolyn Arends. © 1966 by F.E.L. Publications, Ltd./ASCAP (1925 Pontius Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025)). This is how we ought to treat one another, with love.
If you truly loved your neighbour, would you be doing anything to offend them, or cause them to be upset with you? Of course not! Yet we all do from time to time dont we? It is a good practice to think before we speak. That way when you are tempted to say something that is not nice to another, you will think twice before doing so and say something nice instead.
In years past it was common to see some folks wearing a bracelet with the initials; WWJD. It stood for 'What Would Jesus Do'. This was a constant reminder to act as Jesus would in all situations. Would Jesus purposely insult you, cut you down? Would Jesus pick on you? Would Jesus swear at you? Would Jesus go out of His way to defame your character behind your back? So why do we?
In verse 3 of Ephesians chapter 4, Paul says that we are to Endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The key word of course is endeavour. What does the word endeavour mean? It means to try hard, to attempt earnestly, to make an effort, to strive towards a goal of action.
So Paul is saying here that we are to try to make an earnest effort at maintaining unity. We are to work hard at, or strive diligently and apply ourselves earnestly at maintaining a unity, a oneness, a harmony in the spirit of peace with our fellow man. This follows well what Paul has been appealing for us to do already, doesnt it? It is hard work for many to keep the peace no matter where you are at, whether it is at home, at work, at church, or even in your marriage.
Most of us want to do things our own way, rather than making an attempt at being agreeable, working in unity with one another. We cringe at the thought of compromising or agreeing with one another, when in reality we would rather do the opposite. To get along with others is hard work. We have to work hard at it.
Here are some examples of what it is to Endeavour to Keep the Peace in Unity. Sometimes you need to bite your tongue when you want to speak out if you feel wronged. Sometimes you need to do what others are doing rather than doing things your own way. You must be careful not to spread rumours. You need to avoid gossip, slander and dissing someone. Dont cut others up. Avoid sarcasm. Do not be negative with one another. Do not assume things about others until you have all the facts.
What do you think are the biggest problems in the church today? Division and disunity are probably the biggest problems in many churches today. Jesus said in Mark 3:25, And if a house is divided against itself that house cannot stand. (NKJV).
A divided church you see, is a dying church. In many of the bigger churches they find it difficult to accomplish maintenance projects because of all the infighting among themselves. Everyone has his or her own opinions on how this or that should be done, what colour, what wallpaper to use etc. And no ones opinion is right except your own. That unfortunately is the prevailing attitude in many churches today.
Unfortunately also there are those within the church whose sole ambition seems to be to cause disunity, to sow the seeds of disharmony, rather than to do the opposite. Some unfortunately thrive on controversy. Some go out of their way to sow seeds of discontent, to catch the preacher at a mistake, always looking for a way to cause division.
In every church youll always find those who are critical of everything that goes on within, criticizing leadership, or the way things are done, often dissuading change. God says in Prov. 6:19 that He hates the one who sows discord among brethren. If this be so, then we must work hard at guarding our tongues, our thoughts, our words and our actions.
Division is just not common in the church. Division is alive and well also in the home as well. It is just as important to keep unity and peace at home as it is in the church or at work or at play.
For example someone may want and insist on having the biggest piece of pie at supper time. Another may make certain that they get the most comfortable chair in front of the television. You may push your way into the bathroom first thing in the morning. Kids especially will fight to sit beside the window in the car. At play you may argue to be the captain of your 'pretend' ship. An older bigger kid may insist on being the captain of the 'throw together' baseball team. Adults and kids fight to have the best seat on the boat. The list goes on and on.
The same problems are found at work. Why do you think there is so much trouble at the work place, why are there so many strikes? There is always someone who wants to be top dog, to get their own way.
Is this a new phenomenon? It surely is not.
Disunity and disharmony began way back even before there was time on earth. Let us read briefly Isaiah 14:12-15.
How are you fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning? How are you cut down to the ground. You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. NKJV
Do you see it? He wanted the best place in front of the T.V. He wanted the best seat in the ball park. He wanted to be top dog. He was not satisfied with the position and place God had given him in the universe. He basically had it all, yet he was still not satisfied. Greed and pride go hand in hand.
Greed and pride also breeds disharmony and disunity. Greed and pride breeds division.
Do you now see why it is important to endeavour to be at peace with one another? Do you now see why it is important to have an attitude of humbleness, meekness, longsuffering and love?
What is the fate of those who strive to do otherwise? Let us return again to Isaiah 14:15. To Satan, God says, Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. KJV This is a solemn warning. This may not be the destiny of all, especially believers, but Jesus makes it plain to those who want to be first that they shall not be first, but they shall be last. Matt. 19:30 And Mark says in 9:35,If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and the servant of all. KJV
So where is your heart? Pray and ask God to show you where your heart is at. It may be a scary thing to do, because you may not like what you see. But is it worth your while to continue your life with an unclean heart? Or will you strive to be a better person and follow the desires and commands of God.
What kind of a Christian are you? Do your desire to strive forward and accept the calling of salvation as God has laid it out for you? Do you desire to strive forward and work hard to have an attitude of lowliness and longsuffering and love? Are you endeavouring to work hard at maintaining unity and peace with not just your fellow Christian, but also with your fellow man?
Have you been Walking the Walk, or are you just Talking the Talk? If you have just been talking the talk? Pray now that God will change you from the inside out. And obey the commands to walk the walk, endeavour to work hard at being the kind of person that God wants you to be, so that others will see a difference. Do others when they look at you see someone who is different, or do they just see another person of the world?
Are you a man or woman of God?
Are you Walking the Walk?
Unless otherwise mentioned: Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Who Are We?
We must know who we are before we know what to do, when to do it, where to go, and how it's done. Identity is a first step in the Christian life. Before Jesus' public ministry, the Father proclaimed Jesus His beloved Son in Whom He was well pleased (Mt 3:17). As soon as Peter recognized Who Jesus was, Jesus announced to Peter: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18 (King James Version).
Paul repeatedly told believers who they were. He called us the holy ones, the chosen ones, the adopted sons and daughters of the Father (Eph 1:1-5). We are the redeemed, the forgiven, the gifted of God (Eph 1:7-8). Likewise Peter proclaimed: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;" (1 Pt 2:9. King James Version).
The first question in life is: "Who is Jesus?" The second is: "Who am I?" All the questions of life are based on these first two. Jesus asks each one of us: "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt 16:15 (New International Version, ©2011))
When we recognize Jesus as Lord and Messiah, we reverse the situation and ask Him, "Who do You (Jesus) that say I am?" We tell Jesus who He is, then He tells us who we are.
The Christian life is a struggle to believe in our God-given identity. It is an identity crisis. Our heavenly Father tells us the truth about Jesus and ourselves while the devil tells us lies. For example, after the Father proclaimed from the heavens that Jesus is His beloved Son, the devil's first words in tempting Jesus were: "If you are the Son of God..." (Lk 4:3 (New International Version, ©2011)).
In the same way, the devil tempts us to doubt our identity. He substitutes question marks for God's periods and often adds the word "if," but the Father through Jesus tells us who we are, and this is confirmed by the Spirit.
Father, may we not be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewal of our minds in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:2).
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Food for Thought
Recently while reading a book I came across these words in a fictional story about a China man and an American business man who were once Harvard room mates. They were both standing on the Great Wall of China and the American saw the greatness and technical marvel of Chinese ingenuity. The Chinese saw the deaths of millions and the sorrow and pain of the slaves who built the wall.
The Chinese fellow said that we in the America's only see what the Chinese authority wants us to see, we do not see the whole picture, we do not see what went behind the building of the wall. We do not see the misery, the persecution of the Chinese Christians and of the poor in China.
He used the following to illustrate this point.
A frog was in a well. A bird stopped to drink at the well. They argued about how the sky looked. The frog thought it looked very small. The bird thought it was very big.
The bird could see the sky as it really was. The frog could only see a part of it.
We also do not always see clearly as we think we do see.
I am reminded that our lives on this earth are a reflection of this story. Especially our spiritual lives. We see and often act and react according to what the world, and to what Satan whispers in our ears. Consequently more times than not we take the wrong step and we fall into sin. As you know the result is pain and suffering, perhaps even death.
God cannot allow us to sin. He gives us ample opportunity to repent and come back to Him. But again, as often as not, we forget the bird in the sky view of what God sees and we listen to the words of Satan and of the world. We hear only the views of the frog.
God has given us His instruction book to help us to walk as He would wish us to walk to avoid the pitfalls of sin. We are fortunate in this day in age to have the Bible so available to us. Sadly it sits too often on the shelf collecting dust. What good is an instruction book on the shelf if all it does is collect dust. It would be like a student trying to do repairs to the carburetor in your car without having first some instructions on how to do the repairs. The result of course would be perhaps pain, suffering and quite possibly death.
The Chinese man said something interesting. He said: "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name."
As sinners we tend to want to give in to our sins, that is we want to hang on to them often because instead of seeing things as God sees them we believe the lies, and Satan, being the great deceiver that he is calls things the opposite of what things really are.
So where do we turn to, to learn and the truth. The Bible is God's truth.
Ps. 111:10 says "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
Also Prov. 1:7 says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (both King James Version)
If we want to be wise and live a Godly life we need to follow the wisdom of God found only in the Bible. If we want His understanding and to live according to His commandments we need to be reading His Words.
A Bible sitting on the shelf collecting dust is as worthless as the car repair manual also collecting dust. It is totally worthless.
God instructed the people in the days of Joshua to put the words of the Lord in front of their eyes, to put them on their door posts and gates so that they will be forever reading them and learning His ways and words and instructions. In so doing, they will by way of absorbing God's words, begin to not only read, but also to live a godly life and thus avoid the pitfalls of sin. Because, when you are reading and living, and breathing God's Word daily, you are not falling into the well and only seeing a portion of what God wants you to see. You are seeing and living the whole of Him. And thus you will not fall into the temptations and snares of the world and the devil. You will not be believing and listening to the lies and misrepresentation of the world and Satan.
God wants us to live a joyful life with Him as our Father and guide. He wants to be part of your life. He wants to live in you, and you in Him.
Take a moment and reflect and think hard on your own personal life and see if you are listening to the words of the frog or of the bird.
Perhaps you are listening to the frog and you are grappling and struggling with your sins, struggling with your addictions. Perhaps it is time to climb out of the well of despair and fly and be as a bird and live your life the way God intended it to be.
We do not always see as clearly as we think we do when we are living in a well. But surely if we climb out and fly in the glory and brightness of the Lord, we will see things clearly as they are. We will then ignore and walk away from the temptations and lusts of the world and be free. Jesus wants you to be free. He said the Truth shall set you free.
Do you want to be free?
Take that Bible now off of the shelf. Dust it off. Toss away things on your computer, books and things of the world that corrupt your mind, and begin a new day, a new way and fly and be free.
As one radio Bible broadcaster says: "Have a good and godly day; for what lasting value is a good day, if it is also not a godly day."
Invite Him in!
Go forth this week and have a good and Godly week, for what good is a good week, if it is also not a Godly week.
Don't Compare Yourself with Others
Be careful to not compare yourself with others. That is a good time for the dark side to fill your mind with the lies and deceits. You are perfect in the eyes of God.It is quite likely that many of them do not have a good marriage. We all look great at parties all duded up and wearing our plastic smiles, but as the song writer once sang: "who knows what goes on behind closed doors." All is bright and rosy behind rose coloured glasses, take them off and she don't look so good after all. Look rather to Him and see yourself as he says you and walk in His ways and be uplifted by Him, not by the world standards.
Remember that the standards of the world are as filthy rags to God. So strive rather to compare to Him and search to be like Him, not people.
God Bless and have a great and Godly week
We Are All Unique to Him
Jesus said as much when he said that it is not what a man eats that makes Him bad, but what is in His heart. Okay, let me clarify a bit.
If we entertain and watch bad programming via any media outlet or read it etc. We learn it. It enters the soul, and we learn it. Same way, when we go to school, we are entertained with knowledge. Some good, some bad. Though we would like to believe when we go to school, we come home and say we learnt nothing in school today.
Well, the truth of the matter is that we do learn, whether we want to admit it or not. The brain is a sponge which absorbs everything that is being presented to it. Some of it is filtered out and placed into the delete and garbage bin by choice. But, like a computer, which is exactly what the brain is, our brains never actually delete messages taken in unless their is sufficient damage done to the brain due to an accident or by death.
Therefore, all the bad stuff we watch on T.V. on our computers, read in magazines, books etc., is all there in retention, never really forgotten, but just put on the shelf for further use when by need or want, the brain brings all that information back out of the folder and into the forefront of the mind.
That is why, we are told to seek first the kingdom of God and not set our minds on the things of the earth, but on the things of God. Col. 3:2-3
Now, therefore when Hollywood sends us these types of bad programming and young and or old watch it it, where does it go? Into the mind for future reference. And they know it. All that we see & hear is stored into our memory banks, and unless we have the nature of God and are re-born again into His likeness, guess what, we become and do the things stored in our minds. True, not all will copy and do the bad, but it is still there in your minds and it makes it all the more probable, that given the right circumstances, that bad knowledge will come to the forefront of your minds and you will act as the world and do what is not right in the sight of God.
I can recall that as a younger person seeing many movies of what the future would be like. The past movies rightly prophesied the world of today, because the media has been portraying for the last roughly 50 years what we are seeing today as the norm. So if what you are seeing on the T.V. today is a look at the future, how bleak will the world be. Look no further than your t.V. and the prophecies of the Bible to know what the future holds for the earth tomorrow.
This is the key to living in Him. To be a Christian is not a matter of following rules and be fearful of a heavenly Father who holds a big stick above our heads. The Key to being a Christian, is to have a personal relationship with Him. When you are in a personal relationship with someone on earth, you are as a rule, doing all you can to be please to that one. Likewise, when we are in a personal relationship with Christ we ought to do what is pleasing to Him. And in so doing, He rewards us with treasures on earth and in heaven and much more joyful life as we walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.
So my friend, go forward this coming week, and enter into a close fellowship with Him, and watch and see how He draws to you.
Go with Him and have a great week.
Accept Him as Lord!
Metamorphosis-The Transformation of a Believer
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(King James Version)
When I think of the word transformed, I am reminded of Transformers, the kids toys which can be twisted from one form to appear as something else.
For example a humanoid looking robot can be twisted and transformed to look like a fighter jet or a car.
Metamorphosis is another word which conjures up the image of transformation.
We are all familiar with the metamorphosis of the Monarch Butterfly which goes through a few transformations from the egg stage to the adult butterfly.
Another transformation is the complete change of a tadpole which eventually loses its tail, grows legs and no longer breathes with external gills.
The last stage of a tadpoles transformation of course is an adult frog.
The word Transformation comes from the ancient Greek word Metamorphosis. Which means a transformation, a marked change in appearance, character or function.
Turn to Rom. 12:1-2 and let us read what Paul wrote about the word Transformed.
From the New King James Version we read; ``Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
From this reading we see that Christians are involved in a kind of metamorphosis.
The difference however is that we do not change outwardly in appearance once we believe, but rather our transformation begins the moment we believe the gospel message.
What happens at that moment is a miracle which involves the Holy Spirit and is called Sanctification.
You are at that moment changed in a moment and are set apart as a child of God into His Kingdom.
That is not all that happens at that point.
At that moment you are born again, the Holy Spirit begins an inside job in you.
He begins a cleaning within you, changing you, transforming you gradually to become more and more like Jesus.
That is, your old ways begin to change. Your way of thinking begins to change. You are no longer concerned for the things of the world but thinking more and more of the things of God and our eternal destiny with Him.
A character change in other words begins and continues until we are perfected and taken home to be with Jesus.
As Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 5:17,Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (King James Version)
The prophet Ezekiel likewise wrote regarding the Jewish nation, that God will one day:
Eze 36:26-27: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (King James Version)
God is likewise doing the same thing to us.
He gives us a new heart, He puts a new spirit within us, He takes out our old sinners heart of stone and replaces it with a new heart, one which is in harmony with His ways.
We no longer desire to be conformed with the ways of the world, but desire to be transformed and following and obeying His ways.
Instead of being conformed to the ways of the world we are gradually being conformed instead to the image of his Son. (Rom. 8:29 King James Version)
Paul again reminds us of this gradual transformation in 2 Cor. 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (King James Version)
Though this metamorphosis is a work of the Holy Spirit working in us, we have our own part to do as well.
Just as your muscles will not grow if you do not exercise them, our spiritual growth also needs a spiritual workout.
We do this with daily with time spent reading and studying His Word and meditating on what we are learning.
This is also accomplished in our talking with Him in prayer and in associating and spending quality times with other fellow believers, not only here in the church building but in other situations as we gather together in fellowship through various other get-togethers.
We grow closer to God as well when we put into practice the things we have learned through His Word and as we listen to His still soft voice speaking to us, guiding in our day to day living.
Listen to this quote from Oswald Chambers: QUOTE
The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of Sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God`s perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God. The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a persons life is the unmistakeable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirits work in us? When I pray, Lord show me what sanctification means for me, he will show me. It means being made one with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus puts in me; it is Himself in me .Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and being exhibited in my life. Sanctification means the impartation of holy qualities of Jesus to me. It is the gift of His patience, love, holiness, faith, purity, and godliness that is exhibited in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy, it is drawing from Jesus the very holiness that was exhibited in Him, and that He now exhibits in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation. Imitation is something altogether different. The perfection of everything is in Jesus Christ, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfect qualities of Jesus are at my disposal. Consequently, I slowly but surely begin to live a life of inexpressible order, soundness, and holiness kept by the power of God. 1 Pet. 1:15
END OF QUOTE
God in His awesome power created some creatures to undergo a metamorphosis. In so doing we are witnesses to His almighty power and awesome beauty in creation. It is said in Romans that the heavens display the glory of the Lord.
Unlike the creatures of the world in their awesome beauty, God did something very special with us that He did not do in any other of His creations.
God created you, you, you, you and all of us whom are called of Him and have answered that call to bear His very image.
He loves each and every one of you with an everlasting love that is un- measureable to our limited mindset.
He has put within us all His very image and His very image includes the ability if we but grasp it and allow Him to work within us a transformation, a metamorphosis to change us from convicted sinners doomed to eternal death, to everlasting life, made perfect in His image to dwell eternally with Him.
If He can make creatures transform from one stage of life and cause them to be transformed into another awesome beautiful creature, what do you think He wants to do to your life whom He loves more than any other of His creations?
Are you ready to be morphed more and more into His image?
Then if so, take time each and every day to spend more time with him in his Word, in private one on one time with him in prayer, studying and immersing yourself in His love letter to you.
David when he wrote one of His Psalms wrote: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10 King James Version)
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence O Lord
Take not Thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
And renew a right spirit within me.
(Lyrics: Keith Green)
LET US SING Change My Heart O God page 654 in our hymnals:
Change my heart, O God
Make it ever true
Change my heart, O God
May I be like You
You are the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
This is what I pray
(Written by Eddie Espinosa)
Is God making a difference in you? Are you being transformed daily being morphed into His image? If not it could be that you are not spending any quality time with Him, or perhaps you are Grieving the Holy Spirit.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:30-32 King James Version)
Now is the time, the day of salvation of redemption, of transformation. Again,
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence O Lord
Take not Thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;
And renew a right spirit within me.
(Lyrics: Keith Green)
The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through Gods Eyes [Paperback]
Robert S. McGee (Author)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Revised & Updated edition (July 17 2003)