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Archive for October, 2012

We know when the word church is used, we are talking about the modern day, organized religious organization that people attend on Saturday or Sunday, with the many programs, leaders and pastors.

I think an issue today among Christians, especially those of us who are not part of an organized, modern day church, is to feel those who are still involved in church, and those who think differently than us are our enemies.

Even though people attend church for various reasons…obligation, guilt, to meet with God, the thing to do, or for social purposes, we should remember there are many people attending church that truly love God and are trying to follow Him.

Many outside of church start thinking they are more righteous or further along in their walk with God than those who still attend church. In all fairness, we need to accept those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter if they attend church or not, along with those who have different interpretations and understandings. Just as those who faithfully attend church should not look down on those who have left the organized system, looking at them as if they are backsliders. Our Father will lead His own in His way and His timing.

The important thing is our relationship and fellowship with Christ. No matter what we do on Sunday mornings, our goal is to decrease to self, our desires and plans and allow Him to increase and live His life in us.

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What would you tell someone who asked you what a Christian must do to be pleasing to God?

A lot of people would start out by saying we must go to church, we must tithe, we must obey the 10 commandments. They would probably say we have to witness to others and give our money to the poor, and probably even some in the USA would say we must vote republican.

Seems like we Christians are so hung up on works and doing something in our efforts to be pleasing to God. We must do this, we have to do that. If we aren’t going to church we are backsliding. If we don’t tithe to the church we are robbing God. We have all these things we feel we should be doing to be pleasing to God.

I think a lot of the Christian world today has forgotten that Jesus died on the cross to fulfill the Old Covenant. He said “it is finished”, meaning the old covenant had come to an end because Christ, by living a perfect life, became the absolute perfect lamb for a sacrifice that would once and for all provide forgiveness to humans, who in their own efforts, could not live up to the requirements of the law.

I think the real answer to the question what must a Christian do to be pleasing to God is…..nothing! We don’t have to do anything because God provided Grace through Christ. We have become the righteousness of God because after salvation, God sees Christ in us. It isn’t based on what we have done, it is all on what He has done.

We not longer have to try to keep the 10 commandments. Those were a guide, or tutor, to lead us to Christ. We no longer have to go to church because through Christ, we are the Church. We can assemble together with other believers any day, any where. Christ lives in us and the Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide. We don’t need to look to others for guidance and knowledge. We don’t have to tithe our money because the Old covenant has been fulfilled. We can now give our money out of love and to who and where God is leading us to give. We don’t have to force every encounter with someone to witness to them because the Holy Spirit is the one who draws all men to the Father, and since He lives in us, we can be open to allow Him to work in us how He pleases.

So many Christians today don’t realize the freedom we have in Christ. They don’t understand Grace and the fact that we are no longer under condemnation. We don’t have to do things to be pleasing to God. We now live under the guidance of the Spirit and we do things out of love, not out of obligation and trying to keep rules and commands.

The only commands Christ gave under the New Covenant are listed in 1 John 3:23 where it is written: This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

So many of us live day to day under condemnation because we haven’t done enough for God. We feel we don’t measure up because we can’t do something someone else does, or we can’t preach like someone else can. The fact is, God made us all the way we are for a reason. In the true Church, the body of Christ, we all are equal and have equally important qualities that God can use. No one is on a higher level than anyone else. We are all brothers and sisters and we are all under one person, Jesus Christ.

Stop feeling like you aren’t pleasing to God because of something you do or something you don’t do. Christ has provided Grace for all of us, and there is nothing we can do to earn it or pay for it.

We can rest in God’s love. We can enjoy daily fellowship with Him because He loves us. We can be assured that we are now in the Kingdom for eternity because of what Christ has done for us. We can stop listening to others who we think are on a higher level than us, or who we think are closer to God. God loves each of His children equally. We are all capable of hearing and learning from the Holy Spirit, who is within us. We don’t have to wait until Sunday to hear from Him, worship Him, serve Him because we are the Church and every day is the Lord’s day.

Stop condemning yourself and look to God, love Him and love others. Let Him teach you, guide you, live through you day by day. There is nothing more you need to do than accept Him, love Him and love others. We are now new creatures in Him. We now live in His Kingdom. Forget the worldly ways and the rules and regulations of religion. Take up your cross daily and follow Him.

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