Subscribe in a reader
Where are we headed? It is easy to observe that the increasing immorality of our day is not isolated to the secular community. No, the church is struggling with confusion and shifting views on divorce, abortion, sexuality, relationships, marriage, family and sin . . . just to name a few. Right now, I’m afraid the church is largely seen by our culture as hypocritical and relegated to the margin. The message of the Gospel and the transforming power of Jesus Christ appear hollow when the culture measures themselves against church goers whose marriages and families seem little different than their own! We must stop defaming the name of our God by life-choices that are contrary to the Holy Scriptures. We need to confront our casual Christianity.
First, we need to RE-FOCUS on the Gospel by being godly. Growing in Christ-likeness is not optional. Listen to the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8) Our daily living must display a “heart” change in the context of family first, then friends and other relationships. “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love . .” (Ephesians 4:1-2) If we are not displaying Christ in our relationships, then the proper question would be: “Am I truly saved?”
Second, we need to RE-EXAMINE AND MEASURE the quality of our daily thought life and deeds against the truths of the Gospel: i.e., the principles of God and the Character of Christ. The passion of every believer should be to live according to the fundamental truths found in the Bible which provide instruction on how we should live, speak, think and act. “ . . . to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24) A helpful question could be: Is my thought life and daily conduct more Christ-like than 6 months ago?
Third, we need to be intentional at RE-CONNECTING to God’s provision for community. If your family is committed to Christ, you should view it as a place for you to practice being like Christ, pursuing discussion about the gospel and how it relates to daily living. If your family is not committed to Christ, it should still be for you a place to practice being like Christ, while you pray for the salvation of those who are not yet believers.
And you should be practicing being involved in the body of Christ—a community of believers studying the Word, spurring one another along in the faith, being under the well-preached Gospel of Jesus and together reaching out to love the lost in Jesus’ name. A good question to help us would be: where am I in community with a body of fruit-producing believers?
The message of the Gospel and the transforming power of Jesus Christ is not hollow. It will bear fruit unto Christ. If you aren’t bearing fruit that is pleasing to God, you need to stop and take a fresh look at your life. Over time, you should be looking more and more like Jesus and less like yourself. The reality of the Gospel changes everything . . . beginning with you.
Thu, December 16, 2010
by Ray McPherson