Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our own brand of Christianity

Human beings are so fascinating. It is so intriguing to me how we call ourselves Christian yet we have areas of Christianity that we totally dismiss. Do we have some deep seeded, disagreement with portions of the rules for living that Jesus has given us, or do we convince ourselves that our way is the way and therefore we have no need to change or maybe we are simply so blind that we refuse to recognize those, oh so negative traits within ourselves. Whatever it is, this is a wonderful time to do something about it. 2014 has arrived so instead of making rules pertaining to my diet, or exercising, what better time to just say "Here I am Lord, please fix me. You see within me Lord all of the areas that my blinders prevent me from seeing. You know what character traits I have that are holding me back. You see me struggle Lord and although you understand that I sometimes feel violated by others. other times I am doing the violating myself."

I don't mean to violate others, God knows that I feel really awful when it suddenly dawns on me that I have been less than Christ like, those moments are daily, o.k., hourly. I am made aware either by the Holy Spirit or by someone or something else and that awareness jogs my consciousness. When this happens I find myself apologizing to people who didn't even know I had offended them. These offenses range from not allowing someone to merge into my lane in busy traffic to being rude to someone who has no idea why I am cranky or why I have a problem with them. But the good news here is that we are made aware of those offenses if we are paying attention and once we are made aware we need to fix the problem we have created ans we need to never think for even one moment that it is only others who offend...we all offend on a regular basis.
 
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (ESV) says this...8.Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away, as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 1For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

When we see a glimpse of our self in a mirror, a mirror provided by God it is so very humbling. But what about the times when we have no idea we are being offensive? Those moments are sometimes made up of things we do to others that we justify. May Almighty God help us in this area. May we come to recognize things we do that set us apart from Christ. All of us who call ourselves Christian yet make our own rules all the time out of convenience. We do so as if there are areas where God's laws do not even apply to us. This kind of behavior prompts others to ask "Just what Bible do you read?" 
I don't ever want anyone to  ask that about me, yet I am certain that they do. I ask it about others and Jesus says I must pray for them so I do. We can't make people do things they don't want to do and we can't  even make them understand what they are doing that hurts us or hurts themselves but God can. He is the only way. He can heal our hearts and believe me, I have needed mine healed and I need it now and I will need it again and again. He can make impossible things happen within the hearts of people. That is the Bible that I read. That is the Jesus that I know. The Jesus who makes me want to be a better woman. The Jesus who nudges me when I am awful. May he continue to nudge me and nudge all of us when we justify our less than Christ like behavior. May he open our hearts and eyes, may he awaken our brains and our souls and make this the year when we are awakened to the full potential of being a person who calls himself by his Holy name.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 This scripture is really BIG...but it covers all things from abortion to rudeness...from stealing or cheating to selfishness...it covers it all. It is what is needed to change our world, to change our government and to change our relationships with each other and make them really BIG and make make them really important.

Happy New Year! Make this the year we all humble ourselves and seek his face.