Tag Archives: faith

The Truth About A Godly Life

Wooden Christian Cross

I have been on a road to spiritual self-discovery for several years now. This journey began a couple of years back when I realized that I had become lazy and pretty complacent – lacking any real spiritual direction.

I have to admit I was a one-day a week Christian. I attended church on Sunday morning but church or Christ-like living pretty much escaped my notice Monday through Saturday. It wasn’t that I was living a life of deviant behavior but it wasn’t one centered on Christ.

I rationalized it by saying that at least I wasn’t showing up at Easter and Christmas only. But even though it was more frequent, God wanted more of my attention than Sundays only.

My sister and I have been reading Respectable Sins together. We have a set time each Saturday to discuss what we’ve read. This week we learned about the ungodly life.

Jerry Bridges, best selling author of Respectable Sins, tells us that unless you are seeking God in every aspect of your life, you are living an ungodly life. I never thought I was living an ungodly life. But if God isn’t in every aspect of my life, it is ungodly –without God. I am learning to include God in everything – every time.

It feels funny to talk to God about grocery shopping or any kind of shopping. But it has made a difference. He is helping me find good deals and helping me discern if I really need to make a purchase or not.

Would your television watching be different if you consulted God before you turned on the TV? How different would your choices be if you consulted God about what you eat?

“A person may be moral and upright, and even busy in Christian service, yet have little to no desire to develop an (deep) intimate relationship with God,” Jerry Bridges, author of Respectable Sins.

We sing songs about Jesus being a friend. Is He the friend you talk to about your most intimate thoughts?

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Whose Praise Do You Want?

Man Praise

It is a daily task to remind myself that I can’t think like the world or get praise from the world and call myself a child of God at the same time. The two cannot coexist in any peaceful manner within me. One or the other is going to get the short end of the stick.

I was reading John 12 the other day. It is a familiar part of scripture where Jesus is teaching and performing miracles. The time frame was right before the crucifixion. Many people in the land were starting to believe and to follow Christ. The many included some Jewish leaders too. However, they were afraid to openly confess that they were following Christ. They were afraid of being put out of the synagogue.

The scripture says: for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. John 12:43

Have you ever been in that situation? Afraid to speak up for God, afraid to publicly say you follow Christ. I recall a friend saying once, “I believe in Jesus but I’m not some Jesus freak.” I chuckled at that. I never explored fully what the friend meant. My guess is that the friend was worried about what people would say about him. He was more interested in the praise of people.

In my mind, to be totally sold out, wholeheartedly following Jesus, you would be seen as a freak. To live wholeheartedly for Christ means you aren’t following the world. That alone makes you the odd man out. It is an every day, every moment commitment to follow Him wholeheartedly. I don’t know about you but the things of the world have a strong and familiar attraction to them. And as creatures of habit, aren’t we comforted by the things that are familiar? Stepping outside our comfort zone takes work and effort. I have to work at it and I don’t always get it right. But I try.

I have faced the challenge of how I am viewed among friends and acquaintances. I believe right now those who have known me for years – friends and family included – are probably thinking I’ve gone off the deep end. But I have seen and I have experienced His love first hand like no other kind of love. Not even the love from my parents – and I know they loved me. They put up with a bull-headed (my mother’s term for me) child.

So whose praise would you rather have – man’s praise or God’s praise?

Be An Encouragement and You Will Be Encouraged

Illuminated Bible

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend. As we sat over coffee we poured our hearts out to each other – our worries, our cares and our concerns for family, marriages and careers. We sat there in the coffeehouse just shaking our heads. We were nearly in tears several times.

When I left the coffeehouse, I went home with a very heavy heart. It was well into the wee morning hours when I finally settled down to sleep. It is so easy to look at what is wrong in our lives and in the world. Children following the crowds, unfulfilled careers, the pressure in marriages, the reality of the aging body and more can be burdens we all struggle with. And the world is polluted with crime, war, disease, greed and so many despicable things.

But it was good to see my friend. It was good to sit across from her and see another sister in Christ who would be so open with me and someone I could be open with too.

When we ended our time together, I told her that I now know how to pray for her and she knows how to pray for me. We drew strength from each other and strength from our faith.

Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another –and all the more as you see the Day approaching.