Sunday, 22 December 2013

Maturity in Christ Part 4 - Merry Christmas

I have an early memory of being given a  Christmas tree ornament as a very young child. I remember it still, we were headed out the door visiting someone my parents knew, and she handed me a bright red round and shiny Christmas ball ornament.

 I was delighted and straight away bit into it to everyone's horror, and I remember crying....

A couple of years ago I asked my mom about this incident. I asked if she remembered it, and if I had to go to the hospital for cuts to my lips and mouth. She said...

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Maturity in Christ Part 3

Luke 13:6-9 And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?'   And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"(ESV)

Is there a lesson in that parable for you? There was for me, many actually. Others looking onto my life may have been disappointed, for years, in seeing what was lacking in my life. And I may be looking for the right kind of fruit in others, and see none;  yet the Lord shows us what He can do aside from what that person is doing or not doing (because this isn't just talking about trees), and it could take many years.

 Something that I realized lately...

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Maturity in Christ Part 2

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

We all go through difficult times, it is a part of life. Even people "on top of the world" so to speak, who seem to have it all: fame, fortune, universal love and acceptance, etc, etc, etc... have problems, can't hold on to their spouses, go to rehab, or even kill themselves with booze, illegal mind altering substances, or sleeping pills.

Some people blame God for their inability to believe in Him because...

Monday, 16 December 2013

Maturity in Christ Part 1

 This is also part of the "Falling Away" series, so I have "apostasy" in the links below this post.

Since I brought up the topic in the last post, I think now is as good a time as any to dive in a little deeper into this aspect of the Christian's life.

In the scriptures (I'm talking about the Bible) there are many word pictures given (by Jesus and by Paul mainly) of what a Christian's spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father and Redeemer is. Often the analogy that is presented is that of a plant/vine or a tree, and it gives us the understanding that it is living and growing. When we read of the wheat and tares, we see that they look very similar in the beginning, so similar in fact that, well....

Friday, 13 December 2013

Should We All Evangelize?

This has been a dialogue that has gone on with me to Jesus since I was saved in 1988. At first it was "no" for me, because I wasn't ready, I was too immature in the faith and I knew that I would do more damage than good...or at least that is how I felt at the time, also going by the fact that not everyone is gifted with the same spiritual gifts...not everyone is an eye, an ear, or a mouth.

So are we supposed to all evangelize for Jesus? Should we all be shouting the news from the rooftops? Shouldn't we all be uber-concerned about saving people from the fate we all deserve? we just leave it up to God? He is all powerful, after all...isn't He? If He wants to save someone, He will do it. He proved that with the Apostle Paul/Saul of Tarsus. He chooses whomsoever He wills just as He chose Jacob over Esau.......and yet...

Monday, 9 December 2013

What of Christmas?

As a teenager my father "got religion", and his religion of choice was Seventh day Adventism. We were taught that Christmas had Roman Catholic beginnings which were rooted in paganism, and for proof we were taught that the passage in Jeremiah chapter 10 referred to the Christmas tree. Perhaps, perhaps not. It may be referring to how they carved wooden statues of their "gods" and "goddesses" even then, and that they decked them with gold and silver, much like Roman Catholics adorn statues of Mary today.

Last Sunday our pastor talked about his run ins with legalism regarding the Christmas holiday and it's pagan roots, and they seemed to be similar to the kinds of difficulties I had encountered regarding "dos and don'ts" of our worldly involvements. He summed his final thoughts about the subject in a way that I find consistent with the bottom line that the Apostle Paul gives. We shouldn't use our freedom for an occasion to sin, or to trouble our weaker brothers, however, this season can bring some people who otherwise might never think about Jesus, to contemplate the amazing fact that God came to earth to be adorned in flesh, to live like us and among us, to reveal Himself to us. Pastor Clark cautioned us to not "throw out the baby (Jesus) with the bath water". Pastor Clark told us: "I have no use for Christmas trees or Santa Clause, but I love every opportunity to tell others about Jesus". Amen, pastor, amen. :)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Devils also Believe and Tremble...

Is it enough to "believe"? If one falls away did they truly believe to conversion? (see Isaiah 6:10)

It is one thing to "follow Jesus" for a while and even be fed by Him. There were many who did exactly that when Jesus was here in the flesh on earth...and then when He prodded them a little, and searched their heart to see the reason for their "fellowship" the truth came out, and many stopped following Him from that day on (John chapter 6). Does that mean that they were saved, and then became "unsaved"? Then we could blame God for the fact that He let those that "got away" slip through His less than able that what happened? Really?

The Bible gives clear indication that there are many false ones who put on like they really are converted, but the truly converted remain converted. There is no back and forth with God. When He saves you, you stay saved.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The faith that the saved, the truly saved, have is a living and growing faith. It is not a "said faith"...