The forgiving Christian

Our roadblock from getting complete victory in our Christian life is our inability to forgive. I do not believe in psychology (man being God) but I do know that not being able to forgive does open up the Christian to things of the world. How can that be? When a Christian feels they don’t have to forgive, it opens up a thought process that leads a Christian to think of worldly things such as vengeance and hate.

Christians choose to ‘walk’ in unforgiveness instead of pardoning the transgressor. If a Christian were to look inward they would see that unforgiveness starts in their own heart. We are very good at pointing fingers at those that have done wrong to us but we can’t seem to forgive ourselves. If you can’t forgive yourself, how can you forgive another?

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

At Calvary, YOU were pardoned for YOUR transgressions, no one else’s.

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.”

Forgiveness is part of the unselfishness of the Believer. I have better days than others just like everyone else. But I notice my stinkin’ thinkin’ gets worse toward others that have transgressed against me when I am not studying and praying like I should.

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”

Being Christ-like is tough, I know. Forgiving AND pardoning the transgressor is harder. But it is what we are all called to do. And learn to forgive yourself; Jesus forgave you so why do you hold it against yourself when He doesn’t?

Forgive. It will set you free.

The Giving Christian

What about ME, the local Church says.

It’s been bitter cold outside and recently snowed. I wonder about who is on the streets with nowhere to go and hungry. The local Church and other charities are funded by their local members to help supply a warm place to sleep and have a meal. Jesus said we would have the poor with us always but He did not say to ignore them.

‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

I know a man that gave many thousands of dollars to a ministry that is not in his home town. I saw this man turn around when one of his $5000 gifts was received and looked right into the camera. I was ill with disgust and grief. This man would rather give to be seen than to give to his local church for local outreaches that actually help clothe, house, and feed the helpless, hopeless and homeless in the city that he lives. I wonder how his $15,000 could have really helped real people in the worst time of their lives. He has received his reward for man to see here on earth.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

One Christmas Day a couple of years ago, our daughter made sandwiches and took them to people that was on the street and hungry…“but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Great will be her reward in Heaven.

We need to take our Salvation and give back to those that really need the Brethren instead of sitting idly by thinking someone else will do it. Are we so lazy? Are we so haughty?

What about ME, the local Church says….what about me?

The Bible is like….a car.

No, really.

Besides being ministers, my husband and I are car salespeople. We have sold many different makes and models over the years and every one of them have tons of features. You know this if you’ve ever bought a new car; the salesperson shows you the manual and takes you through a final ‘walk around’ so that you can hopefully operate it at its optimum. Have you ever actually read the manual that the manufacturer took the time to print so that you can enjoy your new car? No, instead you’ll call your salesperson and ask questions instead.

Much is like what Christians do instead of what they should.

The Bible was inspired and thoughtfully prepared by God for us to read completely, understand completely, and live our lives as Christians completely. But precious few will pick up their Bible to read and study, instead they desire to be entertained either by their church or by church media. The preacher will do his brief ‘walk around’ in his teachings but it is up to the person sitting in the pew to open their Bible to continue what the preacher taught so that a relationship can build with God.

The Bible is a complete work. In other words, picking and choosing bits and pieces is not pleasing to God nor does it teach you His complete message; it will leave a Christian with some of the story instead of all of the facts to live a victorious life.

There is no way you can get the victory in just one or two books of the Bible. Again, it’s much like a car; you cannot operate a new car properly if you don’t know everything about it. Assumption is the shortest way to failure; believe-ism is the fastest way to defeat.

Intellectualizing Christianity

All the rah-rah ‘preached’ solves nothing but pats the back of the person in the pulpit. There is nothing more pitiful and unfruitful than a bunch of bible college students stretching their evangelizing muscles with each other rather than going out into ALL the world to preach the Gospel. But just as ridiculous are pastors that glaze over major issues that the Church as a whole faces, and does nothing about. So, what do you do about that?

There is too much personal conjecture in the pulpit. I find that followers of Paul tend to talk of their own way of how they got there instead of getting back to the Words in Red. I appreciate that the Apostle Paul took the Gospel outside of Jerusalem, but we seemed to be much more interested in what Paul said than what Jesus taught.

Paul never capitalized on how he got to where he was in his ministry but the scriptures make mention of his conversion and his persecution. Particularly, Paul’s writings to the Romans were clear, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Simply, even the Apostle Paul knew what was important – Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; His story will never change and His way is perfect. However, we are not perfect and our way is not like His. The best thing a pastor or preacher can do is expound on the Words in Red in the pulpit and leave conjecture, religion and speculation to the devil.

The Compromised Christian

Today’s ‘church’ has given a wide berth to compromise the sinner and the saint. There hasn’t just been a dumbing down of the Christian, but a numbing of the sinner. Churches are getting bigger and bigger with people that are in a world of self-help and psychology. It was psychology that kept me from understanding salvation; making myself equal to God, and Jesus just a lowly prophet that lived and died a couple of thousand years ago. It was the dumbing down that kept me in the bar thinking that God is going to forgive me anyway.

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

I recently went to a service that was intended for their youth group. Yes, they professed Jesus. But what I SAW was dimmed lights (if they were on at all), dyed black hair, expletive from the pulpit and screaming loud music (and don’t get me started on the exploitation of the Word of God being abused by their endorsement of the Message Bible). I was wondering where the jello-shots were. I felt like I was in a bar, not a church. If that’s what it takes to get young people to church is to emulate parties and bars then they were lied to from the onset.

Ministers, preachers and pastors don’t make friends telling the compromised Christian that they aren’t living the crucified life that Christ meant for us, that He died for. No one is living Christianity OUTLOUD because their church doesn’t show them how. Pastors are to lead by example, do as I say not as I do? Pastors, you are not in the ministry to make friends. It makes you wonder who or what the Church serves.

Joshua 24:15 says, “…And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Pastors gloss over that Jesus also lived a daily life on earth during his 33 years; He woke in the morning, He slept, He ate, He drank, He got tired, He got angry, He loved, He learned a trade – He lived everyday as we do. His daily life was meant as an example of how to live for God every day. Jesus was making disciples, not friends. He was creating a family to take His Word to the world, waiting by the narrow gate.

Cafeteria Christianity

And how to save the Church.

You know what a cafeteria is! It’s a place where you can buy what you want ala carte, whenever and whatever you want. Christianity has become a cafeteria, picking and choosing what you believe instead of believing the entire canon of scripture and abiding with it. It is causing division among the Church pitting us one against another when we are supposed to be banding together as a community lifting up the Word of God.

The fast food way of life has put its foot in the door of the Church. And we’ve allowed it. Everything is running faster than we can catch up and the Church is following suit thinking that if it emulates the world just enough, we’ll stop and listen for a minute. The problem is the message the Church is giving is not one of Salvation through Jesus but an easy believe-ism to slow us down enough to catch us unaware.

The original texts are a faded memory to a lot of churches today. Bibles aren’t taken seriously and studying to be approved takes up too much time in the busy schedules of today’s pastors and preachers; they lip-sync downloaded messages from who-knows-where instead. In effect, the Church has just about destroyed Christianity with psychology with a dash of secularism and Christians are ruining the Church body with gossip and pride. All members of the ‘body’ have to be present and healthy for the Church community to work as a whole and grow. Sacrificing bits and pieces and expecting 100% is not realistic.

James 1:27 says simply, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world”.

Abortion has a face.

You can call it choice all you want but in the end abortion has a face. Is that face yours? It was mine.

Since Roe v. Wade, over 50 million children have died due to abortion, surgical abortions only…that’s a lot of hurting women in the world and in the Church. Over 35% of post abortive women are classified as Christian. I always thought it was bad enough that secular women would choose to abort, but Christian women?

We have preconceived notions that only really bad women would choose to kill their unborn child but the world catches up with all of us when we rely on anything or anyone else but Jesus Christ.

We have to put Jesus first in everything and take all of our requests to the altar and not the secular world…no matter how much that guy says says he loves you.

Social Materialism in the search for Religion

Are we all going to the same place? If all religions were standing at the base of the mountain on a journey to the top, will they all see the same thing?

All denominations, all religions, all sects seek to be the one…the one truth. So people window shop religions looking for the right fit which is just as materialistic as buying a designer bag instead of the purse that fits the need.

A priest, a rabbi and a Baptist pastor (I swear this is not a joke) are on a prominent news show talking about how equal we all are in the search for the same thing – however, no one actually said what that is but my suspicion is their quest for nirvana….‘everybody get together, try to love one another right now…’, you know the rest.

How has tolerance become so forefront? But to be fair, I want to share with you what the priest, rabbi and Baptist pastor actually said, to give them credibility:

  • The priest said that instead of burning books, perhaps we should read them; we might learn something. I say that it would be very beneficial if the priest would actually read the Bible.
  • The rabbi believes yoga should be in every synagogue.
  • The Baptist pastor thinks Jesus was a comedian; she couldn’t quite get the revelation of the camel and the eye of the needle but thought it was darned funny.

Their remarks are not credible, they don’t have the revelation that Christ died that they could be saved and they are leading their congregations off the plank in the middle of the ocean left to be shark bait. But hey, welcome to moral evolution and designer religion! It’s to die for!

The Church forgot all about Jesus.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Co-exist? Not in my House.

More from the Nothing Pit.

Your Nothing Pit is nothing until revelation finally shows up.

Where would we be without divine purpose? How would we know where to go without revelation from God? How horrible is it to know you are out of the Will of God:

“For many are called, but few are chosen.*” NOPE. How many times are Christians going to take this out of context? This bit of scripture is about salvation, not the Call of God for your ministry. This is a perfect example of how scripture is not studied and translated correctly from the original text as it should be.

Round and round she goes; where she stops, nobody knows. WRONG. The Christian Jews got it right and went right back. Why? Instead of doing a work for the Lord they wanted to work as the Lord because they had no faith in Christ:

“…and I will show you my faith by my works.**” Okay, at least you think you want to do something but somehow Grace has been misunderstood as being complacent instead of loving God enough to do what He has placed on your heart – your calling and ministry.

Do you really think you’re here just to hold the couch down…in the name of Jesus?

Sometimes the Nothing Pit is for a short period of time when you’re feeling down and out, can’t seem to pray, God seems a million miles away, etc, etc, etc. However, some Christians have been in the Pit the entire time because they’ve been taught GRACE GRACE GRACE and the rest is GLORY GLORY GLORY when we are supposed to pick up the ball and run HARD to the finish line with the specific work He has us.

We are not here on Earth sucking up free air while other Christians are doing what has been laid upon their heart by the Lord.

Can you get off the couch and quit justifying lousy behavior in the name of Jesus?? Don’t you have something to do?

*Matthew 22:14; **James 2:18

Momentary glimpse of Glory from the Nothing Pit

Who said this Christian Life is a bed of roses? This is when the fight of your life goes full swing. You made the devil MAD. The Word of God has the answers especially when we don’t want them. Groan all you want to, but it’s true. Right now the last thing you want is anything that’s holy. God knows this.

I love knowing that no matter what, Jesus continues to make intercession for us even in times such as this when we are in the Nothing Pit (Heb 7:24-24, 9:24).

When you don’t forsake the assembling of like-minded believers you will see joy even when life is being tossed around as if it means nothing. The funk we get into (I SAID WE) gets so distorted that we do NOTHING. Is doing nothing better than falling away? I know you think that but being in a pit of nothing can lead to tendencies to backslide and if gone far enough, apostatize (Heb 10:24-25).

Heb 6:9-12 says this about the Nothing Pit:  “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Be the light in the room; darkness hates the light even in a room full of proclaimed Christians. Haven’t you noticed that darkness wraps around you, keeps you in subjection of not seeing the light even with your eyes wide open? The Light radiates through you, you very nearly beam with the Joy of the Lord without trying. Darkness hates the Light because when the Light comes near darkness, it’s no longer dark. Even in the earliest part of the dawn of morning you can see the streams of sunlight just before the sun comes over the horizon.

Love the world that is dark and broken with Light everlasting.

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46)