Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Do you know where you are going?

Strange question I guess since you’re currently reading this blog, but just to clarify, I’m not really asking about a location or a place you are travelling to, but rather, where you are going in your Christian experience or journey.

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading ~ Oswald Chambers

Just as this quote reminds us, we don’t need to know where we’re going as long as we have faith that God will take us where He needs us to be.

So have faith in His leading, because he will lead you to where He needs you to be, to do what He wants you to do.

Are you a ‘real’ Christian or are you just going through the motions?

If you hold back any part of your life from God, you haven’t given Him your all. So give God your all, your hurts, your heartaches, your memories and dreams, your plans and your desires, but most of all, give Him your heart.

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. ~ William Penn

The project I’m responsible for at work just now, involves designing and developing a new website to provide our customers with a simple, and easy to understand way of communicating with us. This includes ensuring that the information/text the customer will be presented with is written in Plain English. i.e. It is written with the reader in mind, using non-technical terms that are clear and concise in meaning.

To give us the best chance of ensuring that what we are developing is written in way our customers will understand, we’ve held several customer forums, and have completed some online training provided by the Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk). For those who have not heard of the Plain English Campaign, here’s an extract from their website explaining their purpose:

Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications. We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.

From the customer forums we held, we quickly realised that some of the words/terms we frequently use when we communicate with our customers, are either unclear or meaningless to our customer. This got me thinking about how we as Christians, and Salvationists, communicate God’s message to the people we come into contact with.

Do we use words that others won’t understand?

Do we use abbreviations or jargon that those unfamiliar with the Salvation Army will not know or understand?

I think most of us, if we’re honest, would answer ‘Yes’ to both those questions. But we’re not alone, even Jesus found at times he had to simplify his language so that the disciples understood what he was trying to tell them!

In John 16:25-29, we read:

“I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”

There are many people all around us: in our church; in our communities; our school; places of employment etc, who all need Christ. So just as Jesus had to speak plainly so the disciples understood and believed He was the Son of God, maybe we too need to review how we communicate God’s message to others, so they will believe in God.

There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

I know when I’m told to do something, it depends who tells me, and how they tell, whether I’m likely to do what they’ve asked or not. Likewise I’m sure just like everyone else,  I was probably more likely not to do what my parents asked me to do when I was young.

I grew up being taken to the Salvation Army, being taught right from wrong, learning about God and reading the bible. So how come I didn’t rebel against the things I was being told about God?

I know the answer to that one! It’s because while initially I just went along with what I was being told as that was what was expected of me, I did experience God working in my life.

When I was uncertain and felt God wasn’t there, God showed me the way. When I turned away from Him, He waited for me to realise I was lost and then turned back to Him. When I needed comfort, He was always there to comfort me.

I’m not a Christian because anyone ever told me too, I’m a Christian because I’ve experienced God’s presence in my life. I am grateful for all those who taught me about God and started me on my Christian journey when I was a young child.

Out of sight, out of mind.

For some things this is definitely true, but when it comes to those we love, they are definitely not out of our mind when they are not around.

Whether we have loved ones who are working far from home or moved to another country, they are in our mind, even if we don’t speak to them as often as we used to do.

For those loved ones who have passed away, they too are definitely not far from our mind even although they are no longer here. If anything they are on our mind more, because we miss them, and wish we could have more time with them.

Do we feel the same when it comes to our friends, neighbours, colleagues and fellow christians? In other words, if we don’t see any of these people one day, do we just ignore that and carry  on, not bothering to check they are ok, or do we keep them in our mind, check up on them, and pray for them?

Don’t let anyone you know fall out of your thoughts just because you don’t see them as regularly as you used to.

Do you go to church each week?

If so, do you go because you want to go, or do you go out of habit?

Do you go to church to worship or to receive from God?

Church is not a one day a week thing. It also is not for one reason in isolation. I read the following description of church somewhere recently, which seems to sum up what church should be about:

Church is not just about the weekly gathering to worship and hear the Word. Church is 7 days a week because the people are the true Church. The Sunday thing is to gather, empower and send out. Then we need to go and ‘be’ Church in our community.

Are you ‘being’ church in your community, or are you lives just as a Sunday christian?

Be the church for God.

When you face choices in your life, do you:

  1. Think things through on your own before making a decision
  2. Talk the choices though with your family and make a joint decision
  3. Take the situation to God, and wait for Him to direct you

We probably all try to do a bit of all these options if we’re honest, but as Christians we must always go for option 3. Remember God will never ask you to do something you’re not capable of – You may just not realise you are capable of it before you start!

So leave your life choices to God, and He will do the best for you.

In days when there seems to be almost daily reports of man deliberately killing their fellow-man, it can be difficult to remember that in amongst all these events, God is still here.

It’s therefore our responsibility of those of us who confess to being Christians, to continue to remind the world that God is still here, and that despite the evil that man continues to inflict on others, good can still overcome evil.

There is still hope!

Ten thousand years may pass away
And bring the dawning of a cosmic day;
Age after age, time after time hold its sway:
Man walks alone, amidst uncertainty,
Only one thing can still make him strong;
In the pain, in the doubt, in the loneliness.
In the struggle of right against wrong:
Somewhere amidst the confusion,
There will be hope, there will be love, there will be God

All time will pass into eternity
And man must venture on a life unknown:
Journey alone, each to his own destiny:
In life or death, amidst uncertainty,
Only one thing can still make him strong:
In the pain, in the doubt, in the loneliness,
In the struggle of right against wrong:
Somewhere amidst the confusion,
There will be hope, there will be love, there will be God

Do you think there will ever be a time again when we can feel safe and secure in this world? Sadly I’m not sure there will ever be.

All we hear about these days is physical or emotional violence against someone or something all around the world. Are we living in the beginning of ‘end times’?

The bible tells us of many signs of end times, and the persecution of Christians around the world, is just one such sign. Personally it scares me that we may be living in end times, but at the same time it’s also quite exciting. Exciting because I believe Jesus is coming again, and that means He will judge each of us based on how we’ve lived our lives.

So at the end of time, if Jesus will judge each of us, isn’t it the case that we don’t have to judge any of our fellow human beings, no matter how what they may have done in their life.

 

It’s down to us as Christians to remind the world that Jesus loves all of us unconditionally, and spread his message of love and hope. God wants us to live in peace so let us each show love, compassion and mercy to everyone.

Do you ever feel spiritually drained?

Have you ever feel that the “spirit” has just been exhausted in your life?

We all feel this way from time to time; but an energetic Christian knows the cure!

It’s time to recharge your spiritual batteries today, before your they run our completely!

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

~ 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV)

It’s time to remember that God is working in you and through you. Because of that you can feel a renewed enthusiasm in your spiritual life.