Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

This week I’ve provided several descriptions of a Christian, and the qualities you’d expect them to have.

Descriptions are all well and good, but in reality none of us ever truly live up to what is expected of a Christian. In fact none of us ever live up to God’s expectations of us. And this is all because we are human, imperfect.

The good news is God knows we’re not perfect, accepts us as we are, and is willing to help us be the best we can be – It’s simply a learning process.

The last few days I’ve been talking about the definition of a Christian, and the qualities we’d expect to find in a Christian.

When someone is a Christian they hold a firm belief in God’s existence, and that He has planned out their life for them before we were even born. A Christian doesn’t need to wish for things to happen, instead they pray, knowing that God will answer every prayer.

 

Yesterday I gave you a definition of a Christian provided by Frederick Buechner. Today I have another quote for you about what it actually means to be a Christian, this time from C.S. Lewis.

We all do and say things which are wrong. We sin.

Our friends, our family, our colleagues, may forgive us when we say and do things which hurt them. That’s forgiveness.

God goes even further than any friend, family member or colleagues would ever go – He’s prepared to forgive everything we do that is wrong, regardless of how heinous or inexcusable it may be.

It’s because God is prepared to forgive all our inexcusable wrongs, that we too must try to forgive even the inexcusable. It’s hard, I know, but if God can forgive us for all the wrongs we do, surely we can try to forgive everyone else?

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

Have you ever looked for a definition of a Christian? Or maybe wondered why a Christian believes in Christ and in God?

A definition or description of a Christian is very well summed up by this quote by Frederick Buechner:

The cross and what is signifies is ultimately what a Christian lives for, and believes in. If it wasn’t for the cross, we wouldn’t have the reassurance that God carries us through every situation, good or bad.

So we’re nearly at the end of 2018. It’s a time when we look forward to the new year, and also a time when we look back over this last year.

As we look forward to the start of a new year, we often think of it being a time for making changes in our lives, for starting new things to try to build a better future for ourselves and those we love. As we look back over this past year there’s probably been some things we’d all rather forget about, things we wished had never happened, and others that were so amazing they will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

But how was your 2018 from a Christian perspective? Was it a year where you were God was completely at the centre of everything you did, did you keep Him out of your life altogether, or was it somewhere in between those two where you let God into part of your life, but not all of it?

When we accept Christ as our Saviour and friend, we promise to give all our past failures and sins to Him, and ask Him to be at the centre of all we do by giving Him our heart.

So as 2018 comes to a close tomorrow, please consider whether there have been parts of your life that you’ve kept from God this year. Make a commitment now before the new year starts to make God be at the centre of all you do.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ~ Isaiah 41:10-13 (NIV)

These words are ones which I’m sure many of us who are Christians turn to when we face difficult situations or are struggling to cope with life.

Why? Because they remind us and reassure us again that no matter what happens, God is with us, and will help us through, because He has planned our future for us.

You may not think these words can reassure you when you’re going through a tough time, but I can tell you from experience that they do. Even during my darkest days I remind myself that God is with me, and he knows what he’s doing, so I simple need to trust him with my life, and my future, and he will ensure my future.

I’m in His hands, I’m in His hands;
Whate’er the future holds, I’m in His hands;
The days I cannot see have all been planned for me;
His way is best, you see; I’m in His hands.

Is this what other’s think when they look at how you live your life? If it’s not, we’re not living our life in the way God wants us too.

Let’s make sure that we cause unbelievers to question their unbelief when they see how we live our lives.

If I were to ask you what it means to be a Christian, what would your answer be?

Here’s one great description of what it means to be a Christian:

Yes, God has, and continues to, forgive us of every sin we have ever committed, no matter how bad those sins may be. If God can forgive us of anything and everything, how can we possible justify not forgiving others for things they say or do which hurt us?

God loves us and forgives us, therefore we must love other and forgive them when they hurt us or let us down. It’s difficult, but if we ask God to help us, we can do it!

God forgives us no matter what we’ve done. If God can forgive us of anything, why can we not forgive others when they hurt us?

That makes it sound as if it should be really easy to forgive others, doesn’t? But in reality when someone hurts us really badly it can take incredible strength and character to forgive them and move on or that you can trust them again.

How do we gain that strength and character to be that person? By being a true Christian, after all Jesus told us to:

Jesus said, “Forsake the habit of criticizing and judging others, and then you will not be criticized and judged in return. Don’t look at others and pronounce them guilty, and you will not experience guilty accusations yourself. Forgive over and over and you will be forgiven over and over.” ~ Luke 6:37 (The Passion Translation)

I pray today that God will help each of us to do as Jesus told us, to stop judging and criticising others, but instead forgive them.

The other week in our morning worship we were challenged to go outside our church and shine our light in this dark world, so others will know Christ is at the centre of all we do. We were challenged to consider how we could shine our light and this got me thinking…

  1. Do others see Christ in me, or do they see something else?
  2. Am I swinging my light for Christ?
  3. Am I sharing my faith with those I come into contact with?

Some challenging questions there, some that have been going round in my head since we were challenged to shine our light.

I know I’m far from perfect. I know I’m not very good at vocalising my faith. I started the blog a few years ago because I felt it was what I wanted to do – I intended my blog to be about me, the things I did in life, my observations, maybe even my challenges. However God had other ideas, as within a short time of started to blog, I found I was blogging every day, and most of my posts were about my faith, being a Christian, or the challenges we face in life as Christians.

So my blog hasn’t turned out to as I planned it to be, but I pray it has trued out as God wanted it to be, a way for me to shine my light for God through my posts.