Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Week

Thinking My Way Through the Week

 I had a little trouble getting an article going for this week.  I usually start on something early in the week and have it ready by the next Monday.  Nothing really came to mind, so I put down my thoughts through the week.  It turned into this article.

Real Christianity is to turn away from the path you are on or have chosen and choose to follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ.  In a life that loves God and His ways more than the ways of self, there is help, hope, direction, peace that passes understanding, and more good than can be numbered.  It does not ward off evil, or guarantee that hard times will not come.  It does guarantee that Jesus will be with you.  He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.  Actually what you get as a Christian is:

A guarantee of that perfect life in heaven.

A friend who will never leave you nor forsake you.

A guide book that will help you in making decisions and encourage you during stress.

Direct access to God the Father through Christ the Son when you pray.

 All these things are guaranteed by the Word of God.  And, within these things you will find help and answers whatever the need.  But you MUST enter in the way provided in order to partake of these blessings.  Christianity is not a worldly philosophy.  There are some who take the things of the Bible and mingle them with the philosophies of man.  Ultimately, it may appear that ‘it works’ for whatever the need may be at the time.  However, the long term eternal effects are without value unless it is done through Jesus Christ.

 Therapeutic Christianity – Christianity used as therapy to cope with a particular situation, trauma, or event.  This is seen often in people who don’t have much to do with God until they face a crisis of one sort or another.  Then they run to God for the help and comfort they need.  It is just a therapy used to get them through the tough times in their lives.  If the people are true Christians, they are certainly of the milk toast variety.  You cannot count on them to be of assistance to the church or you personally in times of crisis.  You can count on them to come around whining when they need help. 

 You could also call this ‘nest egg Christianity’ because people save it for a rainy day.  They don’t use it until they absolutely have to.  A major reason people are willing to treat the teachings of God so casually is they are often unwilling to do the things Christ says to do.  They may only cheat on the smaller things.  They just resent God telling them what to do and how to behave.  Whatever the reason, a rebellious heart is the root of therapeutic or nest egg Christianity.  Whatever you call it, it will lead those who live that way into deeper trouble, and they will be farther from help than those who make a closer walk with the Lord a way of life.

 For a true Christian, there is nothing more satisfying, beneficial, helpful, curative, or restorative than crying out to God during a time of trial.  But that is only part of the story.  God is more than a ‘therapy’ used during trouble.  It is a way of life than encompasses one’s world view, daily habits, moral character, and thoughts throughout the day.

 Fooled into thinking you are a Christian – There are quite few, possibly millions and millions of people who have been taken in by the ‘watered-down’ ‘seeker-friendly’ ‘costs-you-nothing’ gospel. Unlike the ‘Nest-egg’ Christians, these people have made Christianity a central part of t their lives.  They attend church regularly and pray often.  They have been ‘properly processed’ onto the church roles through some sort of salvation prayer and probably baptism.  But, they have never really understood that full surrender to Jesus Christ is the way into heaven. 

 Faith treated like a game – There seems to be an increasing number of people who having rejected Christianity in its entirety feel compelled to ‘choose’ another religion, or make one up entirely.  Again, internet comments on articles are where I am getting this information.  But the trend is definite, at least to me it is.  One woman posted that she has rejected Christianity but feels that the god’s of the Greeks seem to fit her lifestyle better.  Can you believe that?  God’s who hate you and love to make fun of you and torment you are better than the God of the Bible to this woman.  I realize they are rejecting God because they don’t want to bend to His authority.  They are instead choosing gods they can put in various cubby-holes.  But ultimately, are they taking any of it seriously?  Is it just a game?  Only the Spirit of God can cause them to see their choice as a life or death situation – as in ‘eternal’ life or death.  It makes me so sad. 

 Acting like the Christian you claim to be – What does God expect from those who have been saved from hell by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?  He expects Christians to do the things He says to do.  Christians are supposed to love others and treat others the way they want to be treated.  Christians are supposed to be known by the fruit they bear.  This means the fruit they bear in their own lives in growing kinder, more patient, more helpful.

 Evangelism as a lifestyle – Christians are supposed to love God enough to follow His instructions in how they live their lives.  When the life a Christian is different people do notice.  They also notice when it is the same as the rest of the world.

 Evangelism as a life’s work – Christians do have a responsibility to speak to the lost when the opportunity arises.  It is likely the Christian who has consciously engaged in lifestyle evangelism will be more likely to have better results than a Christian who lives like the unsaved and the un-churched.

Prayer as work – Prayer seems to be something the Christian has to ‘go the extra mile’ to actually do.  People are always too tired or too busy.  We start in prayer, and we either go to sleep or our minds wander onto something else.  Try prayer as a cure for insomnia and see what happens.  You will probably be asleep within ten minutes.  Seriously, what’s a Christian to do?  Pray whenever a thought crosses your mind throughout the day.  Make giving thanks, asking forgiveness, and making a request part of your entire day.  This also helps specific time set aside for prayer as well.

 Sunday is a new beginning.  Actually, every day is a new beginning, but Sundays are the first day of a new week.  We have a chance to do a little better than we did last week. 

 Rest in the Lord so you don’t get too tired to go on.  It is definitely disappointing and even frightening to see what is happening all around us.  Families are suffering.  Churches are suffering.  The world is so filled with hatred that there is no place its effects are not seen or felt.  Thieves are more common than dirt.  And by the way, thieves are always with us.  They may be better able to excuse themselves when times are hard, but they don’t stop stealing when the economy is booming.  They always have an excuse to steal.  Liars are always with us.  Hatred is always in the world.  Everyone has to deal with it.

 The Bible gives us two scriptures with instructions to help those who are weary.

Galatians 6:9 says, ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

 We are told not to let ourselves get weary because we will eventually reap if we keep on going.  Christians have to keep doing what is right.  They never have an excuse to do something the Bible calls sin.

 Hebrews chapter 4 gives us the ‘success factor’ that will allow a Christian to rest in the Lord.  It will prevent weariness that stops that believer dead in his tracks.  It is a very straightforward scripture passage.  Every Christian needs to read this passage daily until they have it memorized.  A very simple condensation of the passage is that the way to overcome weariness is through resting in the Lord.  The Bible tells us to rest one day a week.  That is a physical rest.  The Bible also tells us about a mental rest that is constant.  Do what you can do and leave the outcome to God.  Don’t beat yourself up worrying about things over which you have no control.  Rest in the Lord.

 Hebrews 4:1-1

1. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

5. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7. Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

8. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

I love the hymn ‘Are Your Weary; Are You Hearted?’.  Follow the instructions in this hymn when you need help entering into God’s rest.  Tell it to Jesus.  And remember the verse that says, ‘My God will hear me.’  (Micah 7:7)

 Are You Weary; Are You Heavy Hearted?

Are you weary, are you heavy hearted
 Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
 Are you grieving over joys departed?
 Tell it to Jesus alone.


Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
 He is a friend that’s well known.
 You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
 Tell it to Jesus alone.

Do the tears flow down your cheeks unbidden?
 Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
 Have you sins that to men’s eyes are hidden?
 Tell it to Jesus alone.


Do you fear the gathering clouds of sorrow
 Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
 Are you anxious what shall be tomorrow?
 Tell it to Jesus alone 


Are you troubled at the thought of dying?
Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus.
 For Christ’s coming kingdom are you sighing?
 Tell it to Jesus alone.