Avoid the temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval

Are we scared to speak out?  Are there times where someone says something about Christianity and we try and merge into the background, not wanting to comment for fear of judgment or ridicule?  Are there times we avoid those conversations altogether, steering the conversation away from anything challenging?

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats refuses to answer directly the question, does he think homosexuality is a sin.  Tim is a Christian politician and avoids the direct question by answering that we are all sinners, which is indeed the truth.  But how much stronger would his message be if he spoke out about his beliefs and the word of God.  God tells us it is a sin and if we are followers of God then we are called to be obedient to his word.  More important than calling out people’s sin is the message that we should not judge, God calls us to love others as we love ourselves, to forgive others as God forgives us and to be salt and light in this frail world.

I’m not condemning Tim, indeed he has been open about his faith, I’m just maybe a tad frustrated that we are so beaten down by the secular world we seek to fit in with their views rather than shout out God’s message of love and salvation from the rooftops!

2 Timothy 1:8 – So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God

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

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

RUFFLE SOME FEATHERS

Don’t conform, born into this world not to fit in but to ruffle feathers, not born simply to indulge in earthly pleasures, born to fulfil a plan, born of man but a citizen of heaven, stand firm in your faith, avoid temptation to trade fundamental truths for approval, renewal of the mind is liberating,  negotiating life’s potholes not a problem when moving in the right direction, swimming against the tide it’s better to abide in God’s truth alone than stand with a crowd who will never know him, I have absolutely no desire to fit, refusing to let the world corrupt me, God didn’t make me different to be indifferent, he didn’t give me freedom so that I would join those beaten down by the need to conform, harmony with the enemy not part of my story, I will never influence the world by trying to be like it, never effect change if I remain silent, I won’t be compliant or anxious to match my opinions to earthly dominions, I am a Christian, proud of the Gospel, stand with me in truth for the fight is colossal.

What will it take for you to hear me? 

A group of us were looking at Ephesians 1 last night and I still had it in my head about people hearing the gospel but not responding.  I think the truth of God’s word being veiled to some takes a long time to understand.  Reading about Moses and Pharaoh this morning it struck me even more how often people saw signs and wonders yet chose to ignore that this was from God. Even those who saw Jesus after he was raised from the dead didn’t all believe.

  • Ephesians 1:9 – he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ
  • Ephesians 1:13 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
  • Ephesians 1:17 – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better

WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

What will it take for you to hear me?  What will it take for your eyes to see the beauty of the King?  What will it take for you to see that God is offering you freedom, he doesn’t force his opinions on you, free to choose, free to listen, free to hear, your fears and insecurities revealed when you appeal against the truth, when you deny the words that say he laid down his life for you, for that is love, real love that cannot be denied, Jesus laid down his life and even then the scoffers and mockers didn’t truly believe, asking to see his scars, to see his wounds, and even though the risen Saviour appeared in the room after his resurrection, many still chose to reject him, what will it take for you to elect him King of your heart, to elevate him, to set him apart, to worship the Lord who gives you his word, included in Christ as soon as you hear the message of truth and believe, you will receive salvation, marked with a seal, ransomed, healed and forgiven, risen again with Christ, living in the light, what will it take for you to hear him?  What will it take for you to receive him?

Let our lives showcase the faith we have in Jesus

2 Corinthians 9:22-23 – …..I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.

Been thinking about how we witness and to be honest there are so many opportunities daily that we probably just let pass us by.  Witnessing isn’t just about evangelising or talking directly to someone about God, it’s so much more.  In Corinthians It says “by all possible means”.  To me that could be through our behaviour, through one random act of kindness, through how we talk to someone, walk away from gossip or non-Christian conversations, what we post on social media and what we don’t post, making ourselves stand out for all the right reasons so on the day one of our friends really hits rock bottom they know who they can turn to, or when they need someone to confide in someone they know who they can rely on they know where we are.  That then paves the way for further witness.  Of course when the obvious God given opportunities arise to offer to pray for someone we should not be shy in coming forward, let’s win some people for his Kingdom.

WITNESSING

Witnessing, bringing God’s love to every situation in every location by all possible means, I mean it’s not about forcing the gospel on those unable to interpret its relevance to their predicament, but through love and persistence trickling the message of the gospel into their hearts, standing apart from the crowd, the message becoming louder as our lives showcase the faith we have in Jesus, as our behaviour mirrors that of our Saviour as his love shines through our actions, our satisfaction seen as desirable, as God turns around the impossible we can show others that his love is unstoppable, unchangeable and whatever label they put on their lives it’s nothing he cannot forgive, nothing he hasn’t already forgiven and through us being so committed our witness will speak for itself, share in the blessing of the gospel, become a modern day apostle.

He has loved us with an everlasting love

I saw this 60 second gospel today and thought it was a great reminder of all God has done for us.  It inspired me to look up all the bible references and I wrote this:

LOVED WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE

He has loved us with an everlasting love, a love that is more than love from a God who hates our sin, he loves us as sinners but there’s a difference he hates the sin that we get mixed up in and even if you think you are a good person the truth is you have not lived a perfect life, you may think your ways are right but God, well he sees the heart, he sees the deceit and if you think you are perfect you only deceive yourself and the truth, well the truth is a lie if you deny any wrongdoing, and that lie will be your undoing, we are all a bunch of different looking sinners in need of the one Cross, we are all lost cos all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory and that’s not me being inflammatory all have sinned and God turned his face away, the price we pay for our sin is death, but the good news is that God has addressed this through sending Jesus to die for us sinners, the perfect substitute, a man of repute, a sinless man who could turn our punishment upside down, this is how much God loved man, he sent his only Son down so that any one of us who believed in him would not die for our sin but live eternally with him, God made him who had no sin become sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God, Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and risen to life for our justification, Jesus is perfection, the resurrection and the life, the one who believes in him will live, even though they die and this gift is freely given, we are saved through grace, it would be a waste of time to try and earn it all you need is faith, you are not justified through the things you do, you just need to call on the name of the Lord to be saved and your sins will be forgiven and forgotten, removed as far as east from west and the best part is you are reconciled with God, nothing you have ever done can separate you now from his love, and we will live with him forever in heaven, you have crossed from death to life because of one man’s sacrifice, praise to the God of love and compassion in him alone we find satisfaction.

Satan’s arrows are focused on you

I read the following quote today:

The price of gullibility is the adulteration of the gospel for which Christ gave his life.

So this is a topic I have blogged about before and is close to my heart.  How long before we see through those who are false teachers and false prophets, those who are adulterating the word of God and twisting it to suit their cause?  The enemy is using people from within our own churches and our own communities to help his cause and we, as servants of the Living God must be active in countering the work of the enemy to protect ourselves, our church members and to stand firm with our Christian brothers and sisters to teach God’s word to all. And when I say God’s word I mean his word as it was written and ordained not as man translates it in this modern world to suit our modern lifestyles and sin.

  • Romans 16:18 – For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.
  • Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
  • Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
  • Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures for ever.

 

TARGETED

Satan’s target is your mind, his weapon is lies, his purpose to lead you away from God’s will, but you have a weapon and that is the unadulterated word of God, do not follow the ways of man, majority rule does not mean the majority are right, the bright lights may be attractive but the fact is the way to heaven is narrow, Satan’s arrows are focused on you, he sends wolves in sheep’s clothing to entice you but here’s some advice to adhere to, divisive people are self-serving and use their word and speech to influence others, they seek to smother your thoughts and beliefs with lies and deceit, Satan’s greatest weapon is our ignorance, neutralising the gospel through addition, subtraction or substitution, he tries to detour our destiny, carefully chipping away at the truth, fragile man who so often is gullible  believing anything so long as it’s not in the Bible, to be a good disciple you need to know the truth to discern a lie, God cries out for you to return to the gospel that demands our all, he calls us to righteousness, repentance and change, exchanging ignorance for wisdom, receiving the keys to God’s eternal Kingdom, draw closer to the flawless word of God that endures forever, spend time with God reading his word, guard that time jealously removed from all influence of human flattery, let no word of the enemy take us captive we must keep proactive in our walk with Jesus and no word or deed will ever deceive us.

Holy Spirit gives you the courage and substance to share your testimony

One strong message I got from church today was that my anointing, my job as such is to live my life in a way that preaches the good news, a way that draws people to God, perhaps in a way that makes them question their beliefs and question mine in a way that makes them curious to learn more.  I know I can do more and I know it’s not necessarily about preaching with my voice, it’s also preaching through my actions and behaviours.

The other message I have got strongly from God is the need to really listen and let his word sink in and change us, this links with my anointing, I have to listen and allow him to change me – a quote I saw prior to church this morning was:

“Help us take our fingers out of our ears and let the truth penetrate our heart, soul and mind”

MY ANOINTING

He gives us one job, one task, all he asks is for us to preach the gospel at all times, so go out, tell someone what great things Jesus has done for you and do not be ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God, it is salvation for everyone who believes, take the blindfold from your eyes, your fingers out of your ears, let the truth penetrate your heart, your soul, your mind and you know it’s not just about speaking the truth, the way you live your life can be proof of a life changed, when people listen to you or see how you behave, when they read your Facebook page or see your Twitter feed, would they bring their needs to you, would they see your light shining from the screen or would it all seem a bit superficial, an artificial religion that means nothing to them and not much to you?  Walk the walk don’t just talk the talk, let Jesus shine through you, his Spirit leading you, open up your heart, ask God for an understanding of the implications of your behaviour, not just for your salvation but for those he has put in your path, those who depend on you to shine the light on their life, praise God for the everyday encounters that he gifts to you so freely, encounters that you really need to grasp and own, encounters that you can turn to times of witness, draw on all the Holy Spirit gives to you, the chance to share of God’s greatness waits around every corner and his Spirit gives you the courage and substance to share your testimony, to tell others the story of what Jesus has done for you, for we were not saved to stay silent and through the grace of our Heavenly Father we have been saved, ask God to show you the way, ask him to open up chances for you to witness, to give you the words and quickness of thought to answer their questions, to let your life be an expression of a life lived with Jesus at the centre, enter into a partnership with the Holy Spirit and your witness for God will know no limits.