Christians do have levels of maturity. But how do we gage maturity ? Is it by how much knowledge and wisdom one have ? The Bible says we have to couple this with love for without love we are nothing. Humility is another trait of maturity but if we say we are humble , is that a sign of pride or what ? If we say that we are better than everybody else, is it not a sign of pride ?
Matthew 23:11-12 says But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled , and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Our Lord Jesus Christ even though He is God came to minister and give His life a ransom for many.
My pastor says we will not outgrow our dependence on God, so as we go to maturity, perhaps or for sure the more we will need to depend on God.
I believe only God can accurately gage our maturity and that one of our goals is to be like Christ and the more we are like Him the better. If the the readers have more insight on Christian maturity please share it with me or us.
I was reading a book about church government and I was learning a lot of things when at the end of the book the author recommended building others up. Wow, this came to me as a surprise, I did not know how to react.I was so used to self improvement that I honestly did not know how to build others up. Probably for the next week or month I will examine ways of building others up without flattering or offending people.
This principle of building others up as I think about it is shown by God Himself, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father glorified the Son, the Son glorified the Father, the Holy Spirit speak what He heard from the Father and the Son. The Father and the Son gave back the honor to the Holy Spirit by warning mankind that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable.
Glory to God in the Highest and goodwill to all men. As of now the best I could think of building others up is through the gift of the Holy Spirit which the gift of being able to help others, in different genuine ways. But as I said I felt that this is somewhat unnatural for me so I hope I can really make progress. Perhaps I will have to look at how others mentored me and learn from those.
As I live in this world the more I realize that each person has a throne.Each person has the sole authority to select who sits on that throne. The one who sits on the throne is usually "self". It is well guarded and very hard to dethrone.
Will self lead to something good ? It can succeed, accumulate wealth, education, friends, followers,fame, achievement. But do they last ? Look at history, men just rise and fall, just like kingdoms and civilizations.
So what is the answer ? Mine is I decided to give my throne to Jesus Christ.He is a very good Ruler. He is also a good Provider, and Protector. He is a Healer, a Refuge, a Fortress, Deliverer, Redeemer,He is my Everything.
Since He is God, He is able to rule the universe and every soul.But He also a God of Love and gave His creation a choice or free will. He knocks at every one's heart and if anyone opens the door, He comes in and fellowship and reside in us.
My fellowmen, do you hear God knocking at your heart ? will you allow God to sit on your throne ? permanently ? eternally ?
According to the Bible God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save man from sins. This presents hope for mankind. The enemy Satan is trying to hide that or ignore that. Some who wants to spread error wants to show that the human race is evil and without hope. The Bible is about God's love, again that is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save His people from their sin and also sent His Holy Spirit to dwell, fill and help His people.
The enemy is defeated at the cross of Calvary and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins.
The enemy reigns only on those who have not truly trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
For those who are in God's side , let us continue to submit to God , resist the devil and he will flee from you.
By the way, who is God's known Messenger, Jesus Christ Himself, the God who became flesh to save His people from their sins.
I was reading a book on church planting or church growth when at the end of the book it was emphasized by the author that churches are in the business of building up others. This caused me to pause or even sort of shocked or stymied because of human tendency to think about self. Yet this concept is simple yet often overlooked even in church government.
Of course this does not mean that we will encourage or support wrong belief or practice. I believe it means we will support our fellow believers in obeying God. This unselfish attitude is a necessary ingredient to a growing church as the author admitted. Normally we think of ourselves first, and if we are willing to admit we become disgruntled when our wish are not satisfied.
I will meditate on this some more and see its wisdom.
There are times in someones life that one has to defend himself or others.Defend against what you may ask ? When one is called self righteous, we know that is serious. As a Christian my or our righteousness comes from Jesus Christ, so to be called self righteous is wrong in the beginning. By means of this initial wrong label, the accuser poured seemingly related items to support the accusation.
What is proper for a Christian to do ? Aside from defending, the Bible even advised to love your enemies. So how do we love our enemies ? I believe one way is to pray for the accuser that he will realize what he is doing and to restudy what he is writing and be truthful and see if his warning the right people or if he is barking at the right or wrong tree.
Some things have to be clarified. Christians' righteousness comes from Jesus Christ yet some will call this as self righteousness.And the distortion continues with allegedly this self righteous people are called by all kinds of names and if I quote them it will become apparent that something is wrong with the accuser more than the accused.
Yet the person will quote a lot of Bible verses that will look like even after the coming of the Lord Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit that no one follows after God. So readers are cautioned against this false condemnation.False condemnation comes when words of hope, forgiveness, love, repentance are omitted or ignored.
I tried to directly settle this accusation with the person but it fell on deaf ear. So I have to write my own blog to clarify things.
This is what the coming of the Lord is liken to.It seems people ignore warnings about the coming of the Lord. Why ? they want to enjoy life on earth. Besides many has predicted dates, so probably they are tired of expecting. But there are lessons we can apply from previous experiences.We do not have to quit jobs or dispose our properties but we do have to prepare our hearts. Is our heart on the Lord or on the things of this world ? Do we have unconfessed sins ? Is there anybody we have not forgiven ?
Are we at peace with God ?
By the way you may ask what is happening in Noah's days, inLot's days ?According to the Bible, people are marrying and giving in marriage. But wait, you may say what is wrong with that ? Yes I agree there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that that should not be first. The first should be loving the Lord, that is what Noah and Lot were doing. The Lord is not against us enjoying our life but first thing must be first. The Bible says seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Here we are 2013, factions still exist within the Christian churches.There seems to be tolerance and acceptance in some groups and unyielding in others.
Even the belief on the rapture is still being debated plus this event is supposed to happen in a twinkling of an eye.
If the rapture happens, could it tell us what pleases God ? I have a sense it will. Why ? I understand millions will disappear, by this alone is not ordinary event. When tallies are made, those who disappear will at least point to a common denominator, that they have true belief in God. Those left behind will be asking why they are left, they will check their Bible and hopefully find out why they are left behind. We have responsibility to check if we really believe what we say we believe.
So to my fellowmen, let us examine ourselves if we are in the faith. Some of us maybe sure and some are not. But the truth could be revealed in an event called the rapture.Let us not get too busy in this world that we forget our most precious possession, which is our soul. Make sure we have Jesus Christ.
The Bible contains messages that pertains to life and death. We need to look at both sides. Sometimes when we focus on the negative side it will bring us to despair and depression. And when we focus on the positive we might think all is ok and we have no accountability.
The Book of Ezekiel contains both. Although it talks about sins and evil it also talk about promise and restoration.
Here is the promise: Ezekiel 11:19-20 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
There is also a warning : Ezekiel 11:21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord."
The promise I believe is fulfilled when we come to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and then God gives the Holy Spirit to us so we can be His people and He will be our God.