Friday, April 24, 2015

What a Believer's Life Looks Like!

So often we find ourselves judging so many people based on our preconceived notions of what WE think they should say, think and act like. Don't believe me? We all judge "books" by their cover without getting to know the real person inside. I know I have done this so many times based on what someone wears, how they talk and the people or places they hang out. I make assessments and until I get to know them. these are what I see based on the evidence being presented to me on what I see or hear.

I know the Bible speaks of not judging others lest you be judged, a favorite line used by so many non-believers when followers of Jesus try to point out the life they are living wouldn't be pleasing to God. We leave the judging up to God but we can still point out a few things. Yet I would caution you to be prepared for a hard look at your own life, before taking on the task of pointing things out in the life of someone else. You'd better be walking with God and you better make sure your motives are in the right place. Otherwise, stop and say nothing.

The Bible points out in Romans 3:10 , "As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one;"

Sometimes the Christian life is beyond challenging. Not only is our own walk difficult in trying to stay in the will of God, but those who know us, are always looking for any fault they can find, to magnify it and bring it to our attention. It used to bug me. Now I welcome it, because I want to be setting an example not of a perfect life, but a life lived in perfect submission to God. I will be so far from perfect, and I am so blessed by God's mercy and grace, that He takes me as I am right now. The difference between a non believer and believer is when we get knocked down, we get back up. We don't stay there for long. We have a purpose and a hope for a brighter future.

There is no way, I would want to be in the world today, without Jesus. I can't imagine how people cope with life, without having Jesus to turn to. There is a sense of peace that can't be explained. Our problems don't vanish into thin air, but we have a strength that doesn't come from us, but through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

When we gave our lives and hearts willingly to Jesus, a change began to happen on the inside. A seed took root and began to grow. The thoughts we used to entertain before now really bother us. It might be the music we used to listen to, things we used to watch, or even the words we say, but we want everything now to glorify God. We know longer live for the things of this world but for the things of heaven. We look to do the things of God, to bring Him glory and honor.

Just like we can't "see" the wind because it is invisible, we can see the effects or evidence of the wind, on how the trees move as the wind blows. Being born again as a believer in Jesus isn't something you can see happening, but you should be able to see evidence of a marked change in the life of the person who has accepted God.

The things of God begin to concern us. We will begin to detest the things of the world, our old life. Our old life however will still attempt to speak to us. But those thoughts won't have power over us anymore. Sin won't have dominion in our lives anymore. The battle will always be there for the Christian.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV) " As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath."

You are spiritually dead when you refuse to believe God.

Galatians 5:16-23 (NIV) ~"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each others, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 (NIV) ~ " Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves not the greedy not drunkards not slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Notice the bold text, I emphasized for understanding. It means were, not that you continue to do. We should as believers in Jesus Christ, be constantly repenting of our sins, our thoughts that don't fall in line with God. If we are truly saved then our lifestyle should be vastly different from our sinful old nature. It won't mean we won't have struggles in our old life styles, but instead of entertaining those thoughts our internal spiritual prompting from the Holy Spirit now tells us to RUN!!

Only God can judge any one person's heart when they say they have given their life to God. If they continue living a sinful life however it makes you wonder if they truly gave their life to Jesus. They would have a different role in dealing with their sinful life, instead of continuing in it. One thing is for sure, only if you are born again, will you have the assurance of heaven.

Jesus said in John 3:7, "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'"

To be born again, is to receive a spiritual birth from above. It is to change your eternal address to a heavenly one. It is to give up the life you had before and take a new one through your own personal belief in Jesus Christ, and Him, alone. There is NO OTHER way, but through Jesus.

Jesus said in John 14:6 (NIV) ~ "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

But once you are saved, you are sealed by God. You can't lose your salvation unless you never truly had it to begin with.

John 10: 27-29. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Fathers hand."

The best advice I remember getting on what a believers life should look like, is a fruit tree. We can be fruit inspectors and make our beliefs based on what fruit we see growing. There should be some fruit of the Spirit otherwise, either you're not growing or perhaps a seed was never planted. Don't wait until its too late to decide where you will spend your eternal life.

No comments: