Thursday, July 18, 2013

I was getting ready to go to worship last Sunday, and I was looking in the bathroom mirror brushing my teeth, and the song I can only imagine by Mercy Me came on. I tried to imagine what Jesus might look like, does he look like me? Do I look like Him? Then, it was like I got hit with a 2 X 4. Once again I have to be reminded that we as Christians are supposed to live lives that resemble and reflect the life of Jesus Christ. So there is the question, do I resemble Jesus? Does the life I lead reflect Jesus? I guess the point I am trying to make is that we the church are actually the living and breathing body of Jesus. We the church have to reflect Christ to this world. If someone wants to know what Jesus would do, they should be able to look at Christians and know what He would do. If someone wonders what Jesus looks like, they should be able to look at Christians and see Jesus. So I guess that might be a question for everyone, not just me. Do we as young people, or adults, or husbands and wives, or grandparents live a life that reflects Jesus Christ? Act like a Christian in any circumstance. Follow Jesus' greatest commandment: Love God completely and everybody even if they treat you wrongly whether you know them or not. Jesus said "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Jesus says in John 13:15, "I have given you an example, that as I have done, so should you do." In I Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." Ephesians 5:1 says, "Be imitators of God as dear children. Set aside time for meaningful prayer. Make intercession for people who do not pray enough for their own development, i.e.: children, cousins, friends, enemies and family, etc. In Ephesians 1:16 Paul prays for a "Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation" I recommend that you say the prayer in Ephesians 1:16-23 for yourself everyday for one year and God will open up your spirit and develop your understanding. You will have so much spiritual insight that you make a big impact on others. Be patient with people who anger you; work on trying to forgive those who may have hurt you. You must learn to love your enemies. God loves everyone, and we need to, also. Say farewell to selective loving. If you have a hard time loving your enemies, pray to God for help. Treat others kindly as you would like to be treated. Even simple acts of kindness like holding a door open for someone are good deeds that can help. Volunteer to help people. For example, you could take a shift at a soup kitchen near you,visit a person staying in a nursing home. Remain conservative in your ethics, moderate and modest being sure to remember that pride can be dangerous. Pride may imply that you are judging others falsely, and is said to be the mother of all sins, because pride resides in each one of us. The source of all sin is oneself and not considering others. These are just a few examples of how to live like Jesus. I am not claiming to an expert on Jesus, but through my studies this is what I have learned. We all need to live more like Jesus, if we do the world will become a much better place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It is only by God's grace that you have been saved, because of God's great mercy and love, and even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. For He raised us along with Christ from the dead, and seated us with Him in heaven because we are now part of Jesus. When you believed, God saved you by His Grace. You cannot take credit for this, it is solely a gift from God. It is not a reward for some good deed you have done, that way we cannot boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2;1-10) As I read through this scripture, it reminded me how important it is to stay humble. As it says in the scripture, "none of us can boast about it". Salvation is not something to brag about, it is something to praise God and sing about. To stand in awe of this amazing gift, freely given to us by God's grace and love. I hear people all the time say how this person is so nice or good, they must deserve to go to heaven. But, they don't understand the most important point, No one deserves to go to Heaven. We all fall short. It is only by accepting Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, by recognizing that He died on a cross in order to take the punishment for our sins, that we receive salvation. Only by accepting Jesus into our hearts may we enter into God's presence. Not anyone of us will ever deserve this gift. But, anyone may receive this gift of salvation by turning to Christ, accepting Him, and asking Him for forgiveness.