Monday, June 24, 2013

What about all the Hypocrites who say they are Christians?  What kind of example are they?
As told by A. Hypocrite

So, if you are looking for a perfect example to follow, know this – there is only one – Jesus.  Follow Him, examine His Word and see.  If you are also willing to realize that all of us, His followers, can ONLY offer imperfect examples, and take a careful, honest look at us you might see that with Jesus, there is a difference, not only for eternity, but in the here and now as well.

One other observation and confession:  following Jesus is actually much more demanding and difficult than following the ways of the world.  For example, 

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell
is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway
to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” 
Matthew 7:13-14 New Living Translation

The founding pastor of our church used to describe the walk of the believer this way.  Picture a crowded sidewalk where everyone else is walking in the same direction, except you.  You are walking against the flow and the other pedestrians are not very happy about the disruption you are causing.  Picture a crowded freeway where you are driving against the flow of traffic (e.g., the wrong direction on a one-way street!).   But as a follower of Jesus, you know you are going the right way, even though the world regards it as the wrong way. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What about all the Hypocrites who say they are Christians?  What kind of example are they?

As told by A. Hypocrite

We still struggle to be obedient to Jesus, but with struggle comes opportunity for growth and strengthening of our faith and resolve in Jesus.  At CBC our mission statement is “Following Christ, by Loving God and Loving Others.”  And as we leave church, there is a reminder over the rear door – “Be Great at the Great Commandment.”  When Jesus was asked to summarize the Law that God had given to Moses, He chose to express it this way….

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your mind.'  "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it,
'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'   Matthew 22:37-39 New American Standard

While admittedly all believers in Jesus can do a better job of representing Him here, consider the instructions that Jesus specifically gave.  He did not say, “Follow my followers.”  He did not say, “Follow my church.”  He did not say, “let a bad example of one my followers give you the excuse you are looking for.”  He simply said, “Follow ME.” 

            Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my
follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
Mark 8:34 New Living Translation

Many followers of Jesus still struggle with addictions, finances, relationships, gossiping, etc.
Using an alcoholic as an example, could God remove their desire to drink when that person believes in Jesus and chooses to follow Him?  Yes, He can and does.  Other times God may choose to allow the struggle with the addiction to continue for the good and growth of the individual who has decided to “follow Jesus.”  Why? God knows what is best for each of us and also who is watching us.  Consider someone who has struggled with abuse, addiction, bad relationships, a cheating spouse, etc.  Who best to describe the difference that Jesus has made in their life, than someone who has shared a common struggle and found the way to freedom and escape?

Monday, June 10, 2013

What about all the Hypocrites who say they are Christians?  What kind of example are they?
Followers of Jesus have been given a job description, but we would be the first to admit how difficult it is to consistently live up to the expectations. Consider the responsibility:

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life
is gone; a new life has begun!  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to
himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For
God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins
against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s
ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead,
“Come back to God!”  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our
sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
            2Corinthians 5:17-21 New Living Translation

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and
forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord
forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in
perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body
you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you
richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns,
and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you
do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
the Father through him.”        Colossians 3:12-17 New Living Translation
Not a single follower of Jesus has fully lived up to the job assignment they have been given.  From the Apostle Peter who denied Jesus three times (see Matthew 26:69-75), the Apostle Paul who shared his frustration with doing what he should not and not what he should (see Romans 7:15-25), the other Apostles, and down to today, all believers in Jesus have and will fail to be perfect examples and representatives.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What about all the Hypocrites who say they are Christians?  What kind of example are they?

As told by A. Hypocrite

A few years ago there was a bumper sticker with the message: “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”  This is the God’s honest truth.  This is the most positive admission a follower of Jesus can make.  The most negative, yet honest admission would simply be “guilty.”  A well-known writer, C. S. Lewis, once remarked, “Christians are the best argument for and against Christianity!”

First, we have to establish what a Christian actually is, because the expression can mean different things to different people.   In using the expression here we are referring to an individual who has found forgiveness for their sins through a personal faith and relationship with Jesus, who is also seeking to live their life by following His example.