Monthly Archives: January 2012

Misconceptions

I look and I see: … Christians going to church only on Christmas and Easter, other going daily… Christians that are one person on Sunday and another on Monday… Christians, not going to church at all… Christians making war – hating, hurting, harassing … Christians not allowing others to “Be”… Christians thinking a liberal view on what the Bible says is normal and the rest of the people thinking otherwise are radicals… I see… a confused Christianity.

Let us look at it some more. If you are Christian… let’s allow God to correct us… if you are not Christian… perhaps behind all our flaws you will discover of who God is. Let’s read on.

Being a Christian who is living her faith for 12 years now, I have come across many of the above forms of Christianity… some of them were part of my life just as well. However why do I write? Perhaps I am fed up… perhaps only in thought… perhaps full of love. You decide.

Here some of the misconceptions and what the Bible says accordingly:

1. Christians have their faith only as a crutch in times of need.

Well… true that is. Many use their faith like that. However this is a misconception as soon as faith is being used as an excuse for faulty behaviour or lacking reactions. On the contrary: Christians should live up to the highest standards of all…being different…and yes, they do ask God about what to do and what not to do… but whatever they do they WILL be held responsible for it! Many times God asks us to be different (look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 or at 1.Corinthians 13) and even if society would not hold us responsible – God does… even for our thoughts.

2. Christians say one thing but do another

TOO MANY Christians do exactly that. However the Bible clearly states in James 5: 12 ‘But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. ‘  We are called upon to be reliable with the highest degree of reliance. If you commit to do something… DO IT with all your heart and be diligent in it! We should bring BEST RESULTS in everything we do. For we do it not for men… but for God we work and do.

3. Christians are boring

Many are. Sorry to say so… . However a Christians life is as exciting as life can get! We have every genre of music with Christian lyrics… parties of true and pure joy… true friends… love without condition… exciting outreaches where by the grace and power of God people get healed… miraculously… blind see… crippled walk… dead rise… and mute speak… deaf hear… broken hearted become whole…and souls get saved. And all of these not as subjective experiences… but with lasting effects and medical proof. If your life as a Christian doesn’t contain this… speak to God about it. Christ means ‘anointed one’ … as Christians we therefore should carry the anointing Jesus had and signs and wonders should follow us.

4. There are less and less Christians in the world

Not true. Looking at Europe that impression might last. But looking at the world, Christianity is on the rise. Sadly persecution of Christians is on the rise too! In 2009 250 000 Christians died as martyrs for their faith. That is 3 every minute.

5. Being Christian is going to church.

Not true. Being Christian is allowing Jesus Christ to be LORD over every area of your life. Growing in intimacy and relationship to God on a daily basis. i.e. knowing God more today than you did yesterday and more tomorrow than you did today. As Christians we should not go to church, but BE the church. And church goes beyond a building… church is where you come in contact with the people that GOD created and loves… it is at your working place… at home… in school or kindergarden or university… at the market place… at the cashier when going shopping. And when coming together in a church service our mouths should be filled with testimonies of how God influenced the people around us through His presence in our lives… our mouths should be filled with the testimonies of signs and wonders and salvation…full of praise and awe for an almighty God.

These are only a few of many possible points of misconception. Feel free to post other statements and I will write on them as well.

As for you…that read the article and that does not consider himself/herself to be Christian… Perhaps you have become interested in knowing more…getting to know such a personal God.

The Bible tells us in Romans 10:9 ‘if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’

Try it and experience God.

A matter of perspective

Have you ever heard of the statement: ‘the glass is half full/ half empty’?

Well there is truth in this statement and more than you might guess. I’d go as far as to say, that our mood, our reactions, our actions… and eventually our lives are determined by perspective. How you view a situation, a problem, a person, a statement … or to put it simpler… how you see, hear and feel something is determined by your presumptions and therefore makes it a matter of perspective.

This post will be somewhat different from the others in that it will just outline a few interesting perspectives on common situations, that hopefully will invite you to meditate on your own perspectives and on your faith (for even unbelievers have faith – the question is in what).

Ever heard the comment: “Well, you Christians…the Ten Commandments and all the other rules keep you from all the fun in life?” and then thought by yourself… ‘Well, perhaps they are right.’? So here we go… let’s change the perspective. Please allow me to draw a picture to make the point easily understood. Imagine the Ten Commandments and all the rules and laws God gives us Christians to be a circular fence. Then the comment mentioned earlier would suggest, you stand inside the fence and all the fun happens outside of it…i.e. you

you are kept from it. This idea implies that God is a spoil sport, that he hates you to have fun and abundance in life, that true abundance and fun and love and peace and excitement and adventure and everything we call worthwhile living for, happens mostly outside of it.

However the Bible tells us: Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

So allow me to change the perspective on this matter. Guess what, God created you…He is your

maker…the designer…He wrote the manual to how you will function best…He knows what you need. And the above bible verse tells us, He seeks our welfare. So perhaps the fence we spoke about earlier… perhaps you are standing outside of it…holding onto it and facing what lies within it – thinking that that is all there is to a life worthwhile living. How about you turn around… you will realise God entrapped things that will harm you within the boundaries of that fence… namely lawlessness, rebellion, iniquities, sexual desires that will ultimately lead to a broken heart, egoism, idolatry, bitterness, … or causes of these. Then when you look at all the beauty that is outside this fence and that beauty you ARE standing in … you will find what you are truly looking for: unconditional love, peace at heart, joy independent of circumstances, an adventurous life within His will that is anything but boring… . It might be worthwhile a change of perspective… think about it.

Another quote of words often spoken: “The circumstances I am living in ARE just like that… there is no use fooling myself into thinking they are any different from what they are.” Mostly people tend to say these sentences of similar ones, when they are depressed, unmotivated, discouraged and more than just a little despaired. They are frustrated with ever returning circumstances and lost faith of them coming to an end.  They claim it would be lying to themselves if they changed their perspective because they see this change as ignoring the reality of the situation.

However  the closer a source gets to the light, the bigger the shadow behind it becomes. Facing the light doesn’t imply that you ignore the fact that you do through a shadow… but it is choosing to look at the positive even though being aware there IS in fact a shadow side to it. Many Christians feel depressed over their current situations – however…please DO remember… the closer you get to God (the source of light in your life), the bigger the shadow. Only knowing about this fact, it is YOUR CHOICE which way you face.

There are an abundant number of examples of quotes and statements I could list here… however I pray these triggered some thoughts reminding you of your own situations and allowing to draw a parallel… that will break the vicious cycle of having perhaps the wrong perspective and bringing the freedom that God has created you for.

Be abundantly blessed!

My good intentions

Is it possible to keep the New Years resolutions?

Jens takes a pen and a piece of paper and writes down all his bad habits and mistakes.

Determined he adds: This time I will stick to them!

January 1st – „All goes very well: I spent all day thinking about my resolutions“

January 2nd – A lot as going on in school; in one of my conversations a few words slipped my mouth that I didn’t want to use any longer – but it was by accident“

January 3rd – „…today wasn’t as good. I subconciously lied to my best friend and hurt him by doing so.“

January 4th – „I’m too busy today to think about New Years resolutions…“

January 10th – „Resolutions? For what…? I’m not THAT bad!“

Many of us have made that experience before. Ony few days after having made resolutions we notice that it is very difficult keeping them and changing our habits. So we come to the dicision, that we are not THAT bad after all and that we don’t need to change after all. It sems an integral part of human nature to enhance one’s SELF but to fail again and again.

The Bible says: „Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,’ declares the Sovereign Lord. (Jeremia 2:22)

And more so: „Who can understand it (the heart)? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, …“ (Jeremia 17:9b-10a)

Most people like starting anew when they discover their faults, however we tend to look at the wrong person when doing so. As everyone only looks at themselves. We try to enhance our old sinful nature and fail at it. Even God says that we’ll fail if we try it purely out of our own strength. However God has another way of starting us off on a change. God not only enables a new start; HE erases all our sins of the past.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!“(2.Corinthians 5:17)

This year, you can accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, taste the joy of forgiveness and have confirmation of eternal life.

Allow yourself to be lead by the Word of God, speak with God constantly through prayer, remain in the fellowship of brethren and a congregation. This way, the course gets set correctly to experience changes and victories in 2012. Instead of YOU deciding on the resolutions every year, you will look back at the point in history when God gave you new life and a hope for a new starting point.

In John 6:37, Jesus says: “All whom the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.“(C.H.Dennis)

God bless your new start!