I have two questions for you. I want you to answer them both truthfully.
Are you being a Christian or are you looking like one?
When I heard this question, it took a while for me to understand it. Don’t you need to look like a Christian to be one? The answer is no. Being a Christian is not about how much you cuss/not cuss, what you wear or the things you do. It’s not the music you listen to or how often you are in church. Being a Christian is living your life for Jesus and trying to be like him. Your heart and mind are devoted to him. Being a Christian is how CLOSE you are to Him not how you look. Being spiritually healthy.
1 Timothy 4:7 says, “have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. train yourself in godliness.”
Train yourself in Him. Don’t wait to pursue him, don’t worry about what others think. Chase God and let him change your life in ways that are unimaginable.
Godliness– how we experience His love and how we show it; Closeness and conformity in Him
Godliness is not about how you look, what you do. IT IS NOT a way of thinking that the more you seem like a perfect person, the more he loves or, the more you sin, the less he loves. THIS IS FALSE.
Philippians 3:8 says; “nothing compares to Jesus.”
VICTORY IS GREATER THAN SIN.
Jesus loves you no matter what, even when you sin because He chose the day He died on the cross, to love us and forgive us when we make mistakes. He knows we are going to fail, but He is so so proud that we are trying and that we are walking the paths He has laid out for us.
We must remember that SIN=Death and JESUS=Life. Sin often finds a way to promise us the world and promise life, but in the end, the result is death.
While trying to learn to not look like a Christian, but rather grow and be with him, you must remember that you can not bend yourself into submission. You can not force yourself into doing things, but instead grow and let God melt your heart and teach you that loving Him and following Him has more pleasure than sin. God has given you a pathway to being like him, the commandments. Follow them, and you are doing just great.
Now my last question is, knowing the things I told you is:
If hell were not there, not an option… would you still follow Christ?
To be a Christian; is to let your heart and mind be devoted to Christ even if there is no hell. To follow and to grow in Him. We will talk more about this topic next week.
I have four steps to help you get on your way:
1. Reflect on salvation.
Psalm 51:12 Psalm 27:4
2. Approach spiritual disciplines as channels, NOT checklists. Don’t look at going to church, reading the bible or doing your daily devotional as a checklist. Look at it as ways of growing and becoming the Christian you want to be one day.
3. Set real goals. Read a page a day, say a group prayer every day. Take things slow, set a goal of going to church every Sunday, or finishing one book a month. Don’t make it hard on yourself or plan something unrealistic. People tend to give up when they cannot achieve a goal.
4. STICK WITH IT. If you miss a Sunday, don’t guilt yourself.. go next week. Same goes for daily quiet times, prayers and anyway you get close to God. Train yourself.