This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.

Matthew 10 19-20

And don't you worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words. - Matthew 10 19-20

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are you a first step Christian?

The thing about being a Christian is that people think that it is enough to just accept Jesus as their Lord and saviour and that that means they are saved. They think that by calling themselves Christians attending Church that they are doing enough. Some even pray and read the Bible, they can be very good at this but that is as far as they go. They fill their prayers with self serving requests, their own wants and desires, sometimes they will pray about others, their loved ones, people they know and their church members. The Bible study they do only ever scratches the surface, they read and know the stories in the Bible, but they never stop to think about what they mean or what God is saying through these stories.

So many people are willing to make the first step in to Christianity, to dip their toe into the ocean but never commit to full immersion. They take the first steps into the faith with fire and zeal but never discover what it is to truely follow Christ. These people on the surface may look like good Chrsitians, they may be active in the Church and seem to do everything they should be. But are you truely a Christian if you are still holding back, if you have not given every last part of yourself over to God? Are you truly a Christian if you are not living your life for Jesus every day, if you are not acting in a Christlike way in all things that you do.

But what does it take to be a Christian, what do we have to do to progress from the first step and move towards fully giving over our lives becoming fully immersed in God. How do we move from these first baby steps into the faith and become the modern day disciples and saints that Jesus commanded us to be? What does it take to not just stand on the path that God has given us but to actually walk on it?

Galatians 5
     It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
     Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
     You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
     Life by the Spirit you, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
     So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
     The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
     But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

In the passage above we are told what it is to be a Christian, we are told what the freeedom that comes from Christ actually means. It is not about living by the Law, it is not about following the teachings of some renowned teacher. It is, and has always been about following Jesus and letting Him into your life and walk daily with Him. There is no time off, no sick days, no leave of absence, only constant daily obedience and bearing of our crosses. If you are following the Law you are not placing Christ as your master, you have taken the Law and substituted it for Christ's Grace.

In many modern airports there are now moving walkways, paths that once you step onto them you are whisked away down the route without any effort from yourself. The path to follow Christ however is not like this, one step is not all it takes, your commitment requires more than just an initial effort to place yourself on the route. The path to follow Christ requires that you are always looking for the next step to take, always looking for the signs that Christ has placed on the path directing you to where you need to be. Each day you must try to make progress in the journey to the destination Christ has set us. Remember it is not enough to take just one step, if we do that we will soon find ourselves along way from where Christ wants us to be, one step is not a journey. The path is long and hard, but Christ is our guide and protector, trust in Him to lead you on the path, have courage to follow Him where ever it leads, be prepared to take evry step required to follow Christ to the final destination.

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