July 22, 2012

Preach What You Practice

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , , , — yalandarose @ 3:34 am

disciple all the nations, (baptizing them — to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age.’ Matthew 28:19

Statistics show that there are over 2 billion Christians worldwide. Considering that less than a dozen men (Matthew 28:16) were originally commissioned, it would seem that today’s mission of spreading of God’s Word would have strength in numbers.  However, modern day disciples face several disadvantages of discipleship compared to the original disciples.

The original disciples received a direct command to spread God’s Word from the very mouth of His Son – Someone they loved, left, mourned and praised. Jesus’s verbal Instructions to begin His Work had not yet been recorded to be read at their leisure, handed down through generations or lost in translation.

Also, Jesus had just recently resurrected from the grave. When He first Appeared to them, the disciples initially thought they had seen a ghost Luke 24:37, (then they probably turned as white as a ghost). After watching Jesus ascend into Heaven, it is probable that the story of Jesus’s Journey to, from, back, and away from the earth again captivated the interests of pagans like a ghost story.

With 11 disciples outnumbered several times over by pagans, the world was an oyster needing to be filled with the pearls of wisdom about God’s Love, His Salvation and His Son.

Fast forward a couple thousand years and 2 billion people later.

Jesus’s verbal command has gone through a grapevine of Bible transliterations. Also, Jesus, now sitting at the right hand of God, is out of sight and out of the minds of many more. Without a single, surviving eyewitness to testify on Jesus’s behalf, sadly, the testimony many Christians give are weak and lack credible evidence in their lives supporting God’s Saving Grace.

However, the biggest disadvantage modern-day disciples have is an oversaturated market filled with Christians who want to preach, but don’t want to practice.  Unlike the current job market, Christianity is over-employed and under-utilized.

It wasn’t until a recent experience that I realized I too was an out-of-practice preacher.

I was in the company of an individual complaining and worrying.  Before long, instead of counting all of my trials joy (James 1:2), I, too, was counting all of my sorrows. How was I going to convince someone to trust God with their problems, when even I wouldn’t.  Do not even the tax-gatherers do that? Matthew 5:46

Before I could tell anyone about God, I have to obey Him.

My disobedience reduces me into a spiritually blind person attempting to lead another blind person to God, whom neither one of us can see.

I have to obey God until it hurts, until I heal, until I die.

With 2 billion people saying that they are a Christian, it is imperative that actions speak louder than words.


July 20, 2012

First thing’s First

Filed under: Faith — Tags: , , , , , , — yalandarose @ 8:05 pm

“But seek ye first the reign of God and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).

For the longest, I wondered and pondered about this verse because there are no helpful, step-by-step preferably illustrated accompanying instructions.  I asked God in prayer to provide insight on how to first seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Over time, I became frustrated and discouraged because God Still Had Not Given me a roadmap, GPS tracker app, or even the slightest clue to begin searching for His Kingdom and Righteousness.

Then, one day it hit me.  If I wanted to first seek God’s Kingdom and Righteousness, just do what He Says.

After lamenting that God Had Not Clearly Explained how to first seek His Kingdom and Righteousness, I realized His Instructions were included before and after this verse – several hundred pages worth.  Why didn’t I see that sooner?

Just do what He Says.

Some of His Instructions are indirectly explained in parables, while some are more direct: “Do not (insert sin)”, for example.

Based on the description of His Kingdom in Revelations 21, I thought seeking God’s Kingdom required some grandiose act, but in reality, seeking God’s Kingdom is not the result of just one act.

It’s the first thing you do before youact, even in the smallest of gestures.

For instance, the Bible says you shouldn’t swear or take oaths, but your word should suffice (Matthew 5:34-37, James 5:12).  Or simply, just do what you said you were going to do – even when you don’t feel like it.

I found myself honoring commitments to people I said I would do the following week – something I said months ago.

Swearing and oath-taking all resulted from sin: people simply did not keep their word.

Regardless of whether you are still caught up in whether or not to take the Bible literally, as a Christian, take it seriously.

Truly seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first prevents us from doing things we know are wrong  “just this once” based on James 4:17 “to him, then, knowing to do good, and not doing, sin it is to him.”

Recently, in the midst of my worrying, I realized I was not seeking God’s Kingdom first.  `Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? (Matthew 6:25)

I was reminded by James 1:6-7, that if I doubted God, how could I expect anything from Him?

I was assured by Matthew 6:33 that my necessities would be added as long as I seek God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness first.

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