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Archive for October, 2013

After being in the organized church for well over 50 years, and seeing all the different denominations, beliefs, interpretations etc., one thing makes me sad. That one major thing is to see so many followers of Christ fight and argue over the different paths we take in our christian walk.

Now that isn’t saying the all roads lead to God, but while trusting in God and following Christ, we are going to take many different paths during our life here on earth. They are going to be different from other followers of Christ, but we are following the same Christ.

Those of us outside the institutional church should not divide and separate ourselves into the ‘in church’ and ‘out of church’ groups. In the same manner, those who are part of the modern day church should not look down on and separate from those outside the institution. We need to accept that we both love God and are following Christ along the path he has for us.

I think this is what working out our salvation means. Not that we have to work to earn our salvation, but we continually learn as we follow Christ in our salvation. We, as Christ followers, will take different paths in our walk with God. We shouldn’t expect everyone to walk the same path.

And I hear those of you who even want to argue over the phrase ‘Christ follower’. I’ve had people correct me for using that phrase. By using it I mean Christ is living within each of us, and we walk with him and let him live through us. We are following along with him and not out doing our own thing.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to love one another, encourage and build up one another. We aren’t to be continually expecting everyone to act like us and walk in the same way we do.

We are to be accepting, loving and kind to all we have contact with each day, and especially to those who are fellow believers. It seems we are more concerned about acting and believing the exact same things, and when we don’t, we want to fight, argue and separate ourselves rather than accept that God works in each of us in different ways. He made each of us differently, and he leads us along different paths as we walk toward a common destination.

Rather than expect everyone to be just like us, let’s start loving one another the way Christ loved people while he walked the earth. Let’s not let different interpretations and ways of walking with God be a stumbling block to a loving fellowship with one another.

Besides, we aren’t going to lead anyone to a relationship with Christ when all they see is arguing and disagreements among brothers. We aren’t going to draw people insisting they conform to our way of thinking and following our rules and interpretations. The only way people will know we have something worth checking out, is when they see brothers and sisters in Christ loving one another, caring for one another and building each other up.

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Isn’t it amazing how much we focus on food? We get up and think about breakfast, we go through the morning wondering what to eat for lunch, we look forward to eating dinner. So much emphasis, thought and money are devoted to food. Obviously we need food to survive. Our body needs food for energy.

If only we would put that much thought into our spiritual food. Our spirits need nourishment to survive. That can come from many ways. We can feed on the words that were inspired by God in his written word. We can feed on words that come to our spirit through the living, inerrant word of God which is Jesus. We can be fed from circumstances, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. God can and does speak to us in many ways, and his words are spiritual food to our souls.

There is nothing wrong with food and the importance we place on it for our bodies. More importantly, we should be just as concerned about the spiritual food that is needed for our spirits to function as God intended.

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John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

We’ve read this verse many times, but it is so easy to pass over how important this verse is. Jesus is our life source. It is in Him that we live, move and have our being. He supplies all we need. He provides us daily with the requirements for life and what we need to truly live. We cannot do anything worth doing or that makes a real difference apart from Him.

AbideinChrist

Jesus has done all the work that is needed for us to be forgiven, made new and have a loving relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. All the spiritual things we think we need to do to put us in right standing are so unnecessary. Jesus is the one who has done everything needed to fulfill the Old Covenant and put us in right standing with the Father. All we need to do is accept his work and rest in Him.

Our main focus should be on Christ not on things about Him. He is our life, He is to be our all in all. We need to give Christ the preeminence in all things. He is the Vine, we are the branches; apart from Him we can do nothing.

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