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Archive for January, 2015

Have you ever felt frustrated with the Christian world today? Obviously the church today is not what God intended and in America, the church has become a big corporation more than anything.

On the other hand, no matter what church or Christian group you belong to, it seems we just can’t accept each other as we are. We always have groups that say one thing and then along comes someone else who says something completely different. Then one group gets mad and argues their point and it just seems fruitless to continue debating one another. One groups says this is the way to do it, the other says no, your way is wrong but our way is the way to do it.

I’m at a point where I’m pretty well frustrated with Christianity as a whole and just ready to say forget it. God loves me. There is nothing I have to do or stop doing to receive God’s love. I am saved through faith in Jesus Christ and I have the Holy Spirit living within me. I don’t have to listen to this group or that group, this speaker or that preacher. God can guide me in the way He wants me to go and I no longer have to worry about my reputation or what others think. Does anyone else feel this way too?

I really think we just need to accept God’s love for us the way we are, follow Him, be willing to do what He wants us to do, and listen to the guiding of the Holy Spirit within us. We no longer have to be tossed to and fro by listening to all the different voices in Christianity today. We just need to listen and trust God and enjoy the fellowship we have with Him through Christ.

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It’s hard accepting the fact that God lives within us. We’ve been taught to live our lives trying to follow the commandments and do good things, and one day we will go to heaven and live with God face to face. We have an image of God sitting on a throne way up in heaven, and here we are, far, far away down on earth.

We talk about going to a meeting and the Spirit showing up, or being at a specific place because God is there. We pray and talk with God, yet we wonder if our prayers are even getting to Him.

The more I read, I’m finding that we really have the whole thing backwards.

The Old Covenant has been fulfilled in Christ and we are living under a New Covenant. We no longer have to try to be good enough. The law was a tutor that led us to Christ, but now that Christ has come, we no longer need a tutor. We are free from the law, and children of God through the gift of his grace.

Jesus came to live among us and show us the love of God. When Jesus left, he said he would send us the Spirit. God has now come to live within us. Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have the mind of Christ. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one with God, just as he and the Father are one.

Sounds to me that we are missing the main point. We do not have to wait to die and go to heaven to enjoy kingdom living. We do not have to wait to be united with the Father. We no longer need to look to a human guide, teacher or preacher. We have the living, powerful, perfect Word of God living inside us, the Spirit of Jesus.

There is nothing wrong with listening to others, getting their thoughts and ideas, and being encouraged by other believers, but we do not need to rely on other humans. We have the Spirit within us, teaching us and guiding us in the way he has for us.

We do not have to look up in the sky to some far-away place and wonder if God is listening. We can turn our thoughts inward and realize the Spirit is right there within us, listening, loving us and ready to teach us as we begin to hear his voice from within.

We are all at different stages along the path we walk with him, and we need to remember none of us have it all figured out. We so often want to fight and argue from the understanding we currently have without realizing that we have not reached completion. There is more the Spirit wants to teach us as we become ready to accept it.

For my wife and me, we have changed a lot over the past few years, but we realize we have not come to perfection. We will change over the few next years also. So why argue over doctrine, interpretations and beliefs, as if we had it all figured out and everyone else is wrong. We all have a lot more to learn as we walk with the Spirit each day.

We should come to accept each other where we are currently, realizing what we know and believe today will more likely be different a little further down the road. We can love each other, learn from one another and accept each other as we are, just like Jesus loves and accepts us just as we are.

We should be looking deep within ourselves, listening for the voice and guidance of the Spirit, rather than putting all hope in others, and to those we think are more spiritual because they have been trained, educated and paid to do so. Remember, we are all kings and priests and have the same Spirit within us. Each of us are equal and important parts of the body, with Christ as the head. His Church is not a building, not a denomination, but a people.

This is not saying we are all God, but the Spirit lives within us and we are one with our Father. It would do us all good to start focusing on this fact rather than what we have been taught in the past, that being one with God is a future event after we die. Kingdom living is now. Listening to the Spirit, being taught by him and living day by day in communion with the Father is a reality that we all need to realize.

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Kindness is something you don’t find much in our world today.

The Bible speaks about kindness many times. Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22.

The dictionary says kindness is being considerate, or helpful. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone treated each other with kindness?

It usually doesn’t take a lot to be kind. Sometimes I think we make it to hard, when something so simple and easy as a genuine smile can brighten someone’s day. Being polite and kind to others can sometimes be just what they need to make their day. Holding the door for someone, letting them go ahead of you in line, smiling and saying hello, you never know.

The little, everyday things we can do to show others kindness can be a seed planted in their lives that will one day grow and help lead them to Christ.

These days it seems we even have a hard time with Christians treating each other with kindness. We want to fight and argue over our views and interpretations and forget that as Christians, we all have the common ground of faith in Christ.

A friend of mine recently talked about relationships and how they seem to come to an end. He said it was based on what the relationship was about. If it is based on some thing or activity, once we get tired of that particular thing and move on, all the relationships based on that activity usually come to an end. Only the common ground of faith in Christ and His grace is what doesn’t change and the one thing that can hold together a friendship.

Let’s see if we can make a point to do one act of kindness each day. You never know where it may lead.

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Matthew 23:10 – Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ….

Do you notice how we christians get so caught up on which pastor, evangelist or leader becomes our focal point? We listen to this one, or that one, read books from this guy, or listen to tapes by that woman. We attend a fellowship because we like the pastor, or we will drive miles to listen to a popular TV or radio evangelist. But wait a minute, doesn’t God’s word say that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, all fellow-servants. We are not to be called leaders, no one is higher up than anyone else. We don’t need anyone to teach us because we have the Spirit of Christ within us, the true living Word lives in each of us (1 John 2:27). In Christ, we are all His servants, no one should be looked up to or revered more than anyone else. True, we can learn from one another by the way Christ works in each of our lives, but we should stop putting our hope in other people and start listening to the Holy Spirit that is within us for truth and guidance.

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It is a good thing to take a look back sometimes. Looking back can bring encouragement, but it can also bring remorse and guilt.

When looking back, we need to remember the past is forgiven and over. We can learn from the past, we can see where we’ve been and how far we’ve come, but we need to leave it there.

For my wife and me, looking back certainly shows us how much has changed. For many years, we were feeling something was wrong with us and our ‘church’ life. We had an inner stirring that there was more than attending a weekly service, listening to a few others doing all the talking.

We read about the first century church and many verses about everyone having a voice, everyone being a necessary part of the church. We read how Jesus is the head of the church and how each of us are equal parts he is using to build his Church.

We became so frustrated seeing such a difference in the modern-day church from what we felt church was to be, that we felt it best to move on. We are now outside the four walls; we are now being Church rather than going to church.

Looking back, there have been many changes in thoughts, interpretations and beliefs. Even though we aren’t in a church, we feel we are learning to depend more on our Father for guidance and truth. We are ready to show God’s love to everyone we come across during our day.

We no longer ask people where they go to church, we no longer worry about what denomination they belong to, or if they go to church at all. We want God to live through us daily and love people, without thought or concern of who they are or what they believe.

During this time, we’ve had more fellowship with other believers than we ever had attending a weekly service. Whether it involves meeting for coffee or dinner, or just sitting and talking, we learn more about people and are encouraged hearing how God is working in their lives.

Obviously, moving forward is the main goal. As Philippians 3:13, 14 says, ‘brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (NASB)

Looking back 2

Looking back can be a real encouragement to us when we look at it in regard to what God has done and where he has brought us. It we look at the past negatively, or with shame and guilt, then we need to forget it and realize that our past is done and forgiven. We need to move forward following the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit which is within us.

 

Synchroblog Bloggers looking back and looking forward this month:

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Uzzah's Fall

My trip to atheism

Comfort & Challenge

a positive charge every day

The Will to be Onesself

A search for authentic faith drawing from psychology, religion, philosophy and life

iamchrisgilmore.

in pursuit of reasonableness, thoughtfulness, & faithfulness.

Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy

What I bought before, I just can't sell

To the Saints Radio

...let us press on to maturity...

Christianity 201

Digging a little deeper each day

Hope for you, Jesus loves you, and He offers you forgiveness & life

I don't have all of the answers to the mysteries of the bible, but I'm havin fun as God is teaching me. And I want to reflect the love of God to others. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:6,7

Un-Travesty.

Diplomacy is the remedy to Tyranny.

Intermission

Reflections in the midst of life.

A Grace Vagabond

Roamer, wanderer, nomad, vagabond; call me what you will

The Closet Atheist

At college, a Christian. At home, a Lutheran. At heart, an atheist.

hugely loved

"And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” - Matthew 14:31

The Wild Frontier

The Truth will set you free.

Emma Higgs

Ponderings on Christian spirituality, church, the messiness of life and the reality of hope

Melissa Pereira

Spoken truths, Unfiltered and Unplugged

chicagojan

My Journey

Chris Kratzer

Grace // Jesus // Life

Writer Dylan Morrison

Fascinated by the Nazarene but unimpressed by religion!

Social Anemia

An Introverts Perspective on Faith, Relationships, & Life

rainbowfaithblog

Exploring the dynamic between religion, spirituality, and the LGBTQ+ community.

A New & Living Way

With the Father. In Christ. By the Spirit.

Faith, Philosophy, and Science

Is Christianity true?

Social Anemia

An Introvert's Perspective on Faith, Marriage, Parenting, & Life

Unicorns and Rainbows

Being different is normal!

Finally Megan

Just a girl facing the world!

"Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God..." -Jesus

Following the path of Truth, establishing the Kingdom, debasing religion.

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