For those who know me, you know that what I am writing today is not the norm. Don’t expect it will be in the future either but sometimes some things have to be said, today is one of those days. Please note, if you don’t claim to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, if you don’t claim to be a follower of his, don’t claim to be a Christian, this one isn’t for you, but, if you do, well, as I have said before; “if the shoe fits.” Now also understand, we are all hypocrites so this isn’t a chance to blast away at followers of Jesus! Nope! My desire is that hopefully we can hold each other up to a higher standard so that Jesus really can be lifted up and be seen through those who claim to follow his teachings.
(13) Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears. (14) Behave like obedient children. Don't let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. (15) Always live as God's holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. (16) That's why the Scriptures say, "I am the holy God, and you must be holy too." – 1st Peter 1 13 – 16
You know I can’t help but read this verse, and as loving as I know I am supposed to be, I also know that for those who claim Jesus, we are called to a higher standard. In fact there are consequences for not following the standard. The Bible is clear that we can be called into question as to who is and is not a follower of Jesus.
(21) Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. (22) On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, "We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles." (23) But I will tell them, "I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!" Matthew 7: 21-23
The bottom line is, some things aren’t so clear, for example, what movie you see, if you have a drink of wine or a beer, say a curse word or things of that nature. Then again, there are other things that are clear, if you are sleeping around, backbiting or gossiping, getting drunk, thinking only of yourself, full of pride, don’t care for the poor, honor God, those types of things. It is obvious some are putting themselves above the things that are indications as to who is, and who is not real followers of Jesus.
(3) When we obey God, we are sure that we know him. (4) But if we claim to know him and don't obey him, we are lying and the truth isn't in our hearts. (5) We truly love God only when we obey him as we should, and then we know that we belong to him. (6) If we say we are his, we must follow the example of Christ. 1st John 2: 3-6
(7) Children, don't be fooled. Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself. (8) Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil. He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done. (9) God's children cannot keep on being sinful. His life-giving power lives in them and makes them his children, so that they cannot keep on sinning. (10) You can tell God's children from the devil's children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other. 1st John 3: 7 - 10
There is clear indication as to who is and is not a follower of Christ. We know our old lives will disappear and people will see Jesus in our actions. While we have to be careful, there are clear indications here and our old ways just seem to vanish because Jesus is now living in us.
(16) We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be, though we once judged Christ in that way. (17) Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. (18) God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
One reason I do this is the need to help each other out, of the way we are supposed to live, and the affect of both a positive and a negative example.
(24) and God's servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient.
(25) Be humble when you correct people who oppose you. Maybe God will lead them to turn to him and learn the truth. (26) They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
I know, I know, the truth is, and one reason we have to be careful is we all make mistakes. How we respond to those mistakes once is of critical importance.
(22) even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; Romans 3: 22 - 24
(9) But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 1st John 1:9
I guess the thing I wanted to let a few folks know, is it don’t really matter how many times you have Third Day featured on your profile, or how many times you talk about Jesus in your blog, truth is, you have to live a life where it is obvious that you love Jesus. If it isn’t obvious you love Jesus, even in the mistakes and how you respond to them, it is a perfectly legitimate question as to if you in fact really do love him. A dear friend Glen Kaiser was the first to use the phrase of how Christians or followers of Jesus need to; “walk the talk!” I agree, unfortunately, it seems as if less of those who say they love Jesus are walking the talk.
Like I said, I know different for me to write something like this, but time I did so from what I have seen on the net lately. Again, this isn’t a comment towards those that don’t claim Jesus for whatever reason, but it is certainly a comment towards those who say they do.
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