Christian?


The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.
1 John 2:6 CSB

http://bible.com/1713/1jn.2.6.CSB

If you claim to be a Christian, are you living it out? Are you walking as Jesus walked?

For years I claimed to be a Christian and failed miserably to walk like he walked. I didn’t even really know how he walked because I didn’t read God’s Word. I relied on others to tell me what it said. I think many today are like I was. Don’t take my word for what God wants of you. Don’t take your local churches word for it. Take God’s Word for it.

Gluttony

​One of the great achievements of the last hundred years has been to deaden the human conscience on that subject [gluttony], so that by now you will hardly hear a sermon preached or a conscience troubled by it…

~Screwtape

So sad and true. It hasn’t really improved in the 75 years since C. S. Lewis shared Screwtape’s letters with us either.

Erasing Hell – A Devotional by Francis Chan

Some of the hardest hitting Bible studies/devotionals I read on The Bible App are from Francis Chan. Today, after describing some of the “terrible” things done in the Bible, Chan goes on to say:

The fact is, Scripture is filled with divine actions that don’t fit our human standards of logic or morality. But they don’t need to, because we are the clay and He is the Potter. We need to stop trying to domesticate God and confine Him to tidy categories and compartments that reflect our human sentiments rather than His inexplicable ways.

I wonder if we think we know better than God out of our arrogance, ignorance, or some terrible combination of both. What a wonderful difference would be made in people’s lives if we could stop having such small faith and trust our big God.

A New Year Lesson Learned

I’ve never been a big fan of the whole “Open your Bible and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise” method of Bible study. Perhaps because when I was younger and had no idea how to systematically study the Word that was exactly how I’d approach it. I’d close my eyes, open to a random page and point. It was almost always to a genealogy or some other equally exciting passage.

That of course does not mean that I think God can’t choose to direct one to a specific teaching He wants them to have. I believe that happened to me on January 1, 2017.

2016 was without a doubt, the worst year I’ve had in my entire life. I experienced more turmoil, doubt, and rejection than ever. I found myself questioning both God and my faith numerous times. While not a manly thing to admit to, 2016 probably has claim to more of my tears than the rest of my life combined. Through it, I’d started becoming disobedient. I started 2017 wanting to put 2016 behind me. Burn it up and never think of it again.

That was my mood when I opened my Bible on January 1, 2017. I didn’t intend to randomly read a passage, I was trying to find a specific verse I’d read earlier. I opened it and started reading Hebrews 10. Boy did I need it!

Several of the verses in this chapter spoke to me that morning. Among other things, verse thirty-two…

But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of suffering.” Hebrews 10:32 NASB

A quick bit of background info. I jumped into the race (accepted Christ) for the prize at seventeen. Unfortunately, I sat on the starting line for years. As a matter of fact until a few years ago many people would never have guessed I was a Christian.

I cried out to God in early 2013 to break me and forgive me for wasting so much time. I had three years of amazing change in myself. I felt so in tune with God. That changed at the first part of 2016 and I wanted to completely forget 2016. But here, God’s Word is telling me to remember a “great conflict of sufferings” that were endured “after being enlightened”. None of the versions I read say things like, remember when some of you endured, or you might have endured.

I get the distinct impression that when you experience spiritual enlightenment, you will experience great suffering AND… you need to remember it.

I don’t want to remember it. I want to forget it. But I need to remember it. Chapter 10 closes with comments about endurance and faith. I will not forget. I will endure.