Do vs Be

Christianity is about who you are. The idea that Christianity is a long list of rules and regulations is completely false. Christianity isn’t about doing what Christ would do if it doesn’t require becoming like Christ. The rules, the spiritual “chores” of reading your bible and praying and doing good things don’t mean anything by themselves.

John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

Think about that for a moment, God doesn’t give people the power to “do good works” or “go to church on sunday.” He gives them power to become the sons of God. This is an entire transformation. It’s not about following God and pretending to be like Him. It’s about becoming a little more like Him ever day.

Matthew 5:48 says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Again, the idea of being. Outward actions are only the measuring stick of our spiritual development. And yet even that is fallible. The Bible tells us that our Lord knows our hearts.

The real desire of God is to purify our hearts, not simply change our behavior. So remember that the next time you pray. Don’t ask God to help you to not do ____. Ask Him to transform you into a person who would consider such behavior unthinkable.

I would say the sooner we focus on who we are becoming vs what we are doing, the faster we will see our spiritual growth.

What is in thine hand?

Uselessness is something we all feel at some point in time in our lives. We’re humans. Yeah, that’s kinda depressing, but I have some news for you. If you walk in the power of Christ, then you don’t have to ever feel useless. God empowers you to do anything and everything that you need to do.

Our God is awesome.

Let me give you an example. When Moses was commanded by God to bring an entire enslaved nation out of Egyptian bondage, he felt kinda small. He wasn’t sure of himself, or of God for that matter.

He protested and told God that he didn’t think that Israel would believe that he was from God. Exodus 4:2 gives God’s response, “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” God then instructed Moses to cast it down and then God turned the rod into a serpent. He showed Moses that he could use anything.

God knew what was in Moses’ hand. God knows everything. I would imagine, in my own head that is, that God was giving us a vision of how powerful He is. It’s kinda like one of those cheap slight-of-hand tricks when the guy’s like, “Pick a card, any card.”

In a way, God was showing how great he was. But it was no trick. God’s power was and is real.

God was showing how great He was, and He still demonstrates His power today.

God wants to use you for great things. He has a plan in your best interest. All you must do is trust Him and follow His lead. God doesn’t need great skill, talent, riches, fame, or beauty. Don’t forget, He created all that. God wants you. He wants to use you for greatness. He wants to show His power through you.

He doesn’t need much. He needs a willing servant.

Are you willing?

A blessing for a child, a lesson for us all

Remember the time that the people brought the children and the disciples rebuked them? It’s found in Mark 10:13-14. It says,

“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Verse 16 was interesting however, “And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” I never quite realized it, but the people had brought the children to Jesus so He could lay his hands on them and bless them. Why? The idea of desiring someone’s blessing isn’t really found in our culture today. I mean, really? Blessing . . .

Thinking again about the situation, I’m sure some of them knew He was God, but most of them just thought he was a prophet. (Matthew 16:13-14) So what is so special about a blessing from a prophet?

My contemplation ended when I surmised (yes, that’s a fancy word for guess) that these people understood the power of words.

Looking at the lives of the patriarchs, we find that both Isaac and Jacob blessed their descendants before they died. This blessing seemed to carry on beyond their lifetime. The blessing of these great men changed the lives of their children. In another place in the old testament, a king offered a large sum of money to a guy named Balaam (Numbers 22). The king wanted the guy to curse Israel. God intervened, and commanded Balaam to bless Israel instead. Apparently, the patriarchs, an ancient king, new testament Jews, and even God regarded the spoken word as a powerful thing. So, my thought for you today, is that maybe we should value the words that we speak. Maybe what we say is important.

After all Proverbs 18:21a says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue:”

I would like to challenge you, think about the words you speak. Are they encouraging, positive, and loving? Or are they complaining, backbiting, hateful, and cursing? No matter who you are, your words have power, and they cannot be unsaid. I would go so far as to say that you will decide your future by how you govern your mouth. Will you ask God to help you use your speech to His glory?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouths: but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29

Strong like a tree

Ever been in a place where it seems you are faced with a problem that is insurmountable. Your task is so great, your strength so small, and your endurance is running out. I know I have been there before. It would seem like such a time is approaching again. When we find that our strength is not enough, we must look to God alone.

I would like to share a passage with you to demonstrate how God can strengthen us for the task that is before us. In Colossians 2 Paul is admonishing the believers to stand strong against false doctrine. He wants them to realize that faith is all they need to be saved. In a time where most Christians were falling to a works salvation, Paul tell them to stand strong.

In Colossians 2:6 he says, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:" In order to stand we must walk in the power of Jesus Christ. The next verse says, "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith," Think about that. Just like a tree can stand against the storm because it has deep roots, we can stand against the wiles of the devil if we make our foundation Christ. We draw all our sustenance from him, just as a tree builds itself up from the nutrients in the ground. Just like a tree that is mature, we can be strong and mature, and stand despite the trials.

I would like to encourage you, put down roots into Christ. Establish yourself in Him. If you are firmly planted in Christ and his promises found in the Bible, you will not be easily shaken by the storms of life. When false doctrine, or discouragement, or fear comes, you can be strong knowing that God is your foundation, your fortress, strong tower, and your protector. Establish yourself in Christ.

"And ye are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power." – Colossians 2:10