We're Called to Lead the Charge
I see things on social media expressing views about God, Jesus, and Christianity that I'm sure the posters believe with all their hearts to be true. A lot of them relate to their interpretations of Jesus' instruction as to how we, the believers, should strive to live our lives.
The problem is, I'm certain that they're skewed.
If you know me, you know I wouldn't press if I didn't feel it was important. I hope that gives you pause and you rethink any impulse to click out.
Ultimately, what you decide is what you decide.
I'll respect that.
If you don't know me and you oppose what I'm saying, I'm asking that you push through any urge to bail and keep reading too.
It's usually when I see posts from believers putting a politically correct spin on scripture that I feel compelled to express my viewpoint. I'll confess that to date the poster has ever so politely put me in my archaic place and listed why my beliefs aren't aligned with those of Jesus.
Sometimes, people that I don't even know chime in—and, they haven't always tried to express what they think of my response in a kind manner.
Just sayin' 😉
I determined years ago that social media isn't the best place to try and change someone's mind outright. In short, when everyone in the "discussion" becomes focused on making sure everyone else realizes THEY are RIGHT, things can go downhill pretty quickly—even when you're topic is God and the Bible.
So, I'll be honest and tell you that while I voice my thoughts if I am moved to do so— and if I don't, rest assured I'm asking God to put someone right in front of that person who can help them with their thought process—after that, I just throw a "Lord use my words to stir their hearts if it be your will" prayer at it and move on.
That's served me well. Up until the last few months anyway.
Lately, things that I've seen on social media keep swirling around in my soul causing unrest. Perhaps, it's because I'm seeing it more frequently.
I mean, let's face it, there's a lot of push from the world to get with its program. The pressure to conform is growing stronger. We hear things like "If your god is really all about love, he won't cast you into the pits of hell—Baha!—if there even is one. Come on! Live and let live!"
Sadly, even some religious leaders are putting that type of spin on things.
That's not good.
I've learned a thing or two on my walk with Christ these past few decades or so. One of them is that I know when there's a little more expected of me...
I have to do more than pray this time.
So... here goes everything.
I'm putting it out there
I have a favor to ask first though.
Before you read any further, will you pause a moment, please, and ask God for discernment?
If you really want to know the truth about a situation, I believe with all my heart that God will show it to you if you ask sincerely.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
I've been praying about this post for weeks now. Take a minute to pray too, will you? Ask that you are able to judge for yourself if the words you read here are true.
I've prayed, and still pray, for discernment a lot and it's worked every time.
God's awesome like that.
I get where you're coming from
I had a skewed view of God's word too.
I realize now that my views were misconstrued, but in the interest of time, I won't break it all down. I will say, though, that God opened my mind and my heart to his truth when I decided I wanted to know him more and sought a one-on-one relationship with him.
When I learned something new about how God would have us live our lives, I'd do my best to practice it. It was—and still is—amazing when I'd see Him fulfill the promises made to us in scripture over and over again.
Suffice it to say that I believed God and Jesus were real at a very young age, but for the first half of my life—back before I learned the need to pray for discernment 😉—I thought:
Once we had accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, we were supposed to try as hard as we could to be a good person and when we died, we'd go to heaven. This belief was formed during childhood.
Rules God gave the people during the days of the Old Testament did not always apply in the here and now. This belief was formed in my early teens.
All religions pointed to God... he was just called different names. I remember sharing that "revelation" with my Mom in my twenties. She tried her best to gently set me straight...
The devil couldn't infiltrate the church. This, too, was a core belief formed at a very young age. I assumed God would not allow it. Little did I know—literally. I rarely cracked open the book.
I'll admit that it was my own audacity that led to my taking so long to discover that my beliefs weren't hitting the mark. If you can believe it, I honestly didn't think that I had to study God's Word.
Seriously. I thought the Bible was just to teach people about their need for Jesus so they'd make it into heaven one day.
Well—I'm "hah'ing" on my fingernails and polishing them on my shoulder—I had known that my entire life.
Just close the book. I'm done, thanks.
*Hanging my head*
See what I mean? Audacious!
I did a pretty good job at "being a good person." despite my ignorance. Still, because I hadn't taken the time to study the play book, there was plenty of room for error in my life. I made a few doozies, but I, at least, knew enough about God to cry out to him for help! It was during those times that I felt a stirring in my soul...
Did I begin my quest to know him more because of it?
In the meantime, I kept up the "be as good as you can be" theory and I know God knew how much I love Him. I'd made that clear a long, long time ago. Teaching the children in my childcare about God and Jesus was a natural part of our day. And, of course, I shared my love for God and Jesus with my own children and let them know how much they were loved too.
Over the years, God did his level best to get through... more than once. There was, obviously, more for me to learn.
I'm so glad he didn't give up.
It was my love for children—and the persistence of Ms. Faye who consistently asked me to help her with her class—that drew me to answer God's call to work with the preschoolers at my church.
God used those basic Bible truths to awaken my spirit in ways you may find hard to believe. Week after week, the lessons acted as the catalysts that caused me to grow past the baby Christian phase and on to a mature believer who was eager to devour the "meat" of his Word.
Oftentimes, God would use a life experience to illustrate the truth of his word. That was nothing short of amazing and totally blew me away every single time! It still does.
I was eventually led to work with the teens in our church and together, we learned much. They're in their 30's now!
I remain in contact with a few but carry all of them in my heart. I'm not sure where many of them stand in their walk of faith—I don't even know where most of them are—but God does. I pray the seeds planted during that time were buried deep in their hearts and God uses them at the perfect moment to reach out and draw them ever closer wherever they are on the path.
He never changes.
I understand that it's hard to imagine that God, our Creator, could ever bear to condemn even one of us. After all, God is love. He's quick to forgive us and set our path straight when we sincerely ask but at the same time, he's God, Almighty.
You got that, right? He doesn't change.
There are at least 16 references in the Bible that attest to that fact. God is the same as he ever was. He doesn't change his mind. He will never deviate from his original plan.
No matter how we, mortals, choose to spin the Bible. We're duping ourselves. We're kissing the frog.
Jesus' coming didn't null and void the laws and commandments that God, the Father, established for his people in the Old Testament. Jesus adhered to them every single day that he walked the earth.
He expects us to do the same.
The difference is that we're going to fail from time to time. That's why God planned for Jesus to come and establish the new covenant from the beginning. That's why Jesus agreed—without hesitation, I'm sure—to become our sacrifice.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
"You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is My command to you: Love one another." ~Jesus
The Old Testament is filled with story after story of God's chosen people turning away from Him, often because of the lure of temptation presented by the Gentiles who surrounded them. Sometimes, the stories focus on the people as a whole and other stories tell of an individual's short comings. In both cases, it was God's intent to establish the fact that we all fall short and that he planned to send a savior.
The scenario played out over and over. I think He got his point across, don't you?
Little by little, the people got farther and farther from God—so much so that he'd eventually take a step back and leave them to their own devices entirely.
Of course, they found themselves in a huge mess because of their choices and realized the error of their ways.
They'd whole heartedly cry out to God for forgiveness—and, sometimes, just one person, alone, would intercede for the people. God, in his great mercy, would forgive and rescue them.
The people would praise and worship him for his forgiveness, mighty strength, and loving nature for a time. But, before you know it, you're reading of the next time the lure of sin led them away from God.
There's Nothing New Under the Sun
God's rules for us didn't change when forgiveness for our sin was given once for all when Jesus died on the cross.
Jesus' command for us to love one another is a reiteration of the command given to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:5. It was followed by God's command to keep his word in our hearts and to teach it to our children.
Jesus' second command was to love your neighbor as yourself.
Not as a loophole giving everyone the right to live and let live from that point on.
We're called to set an example, not hide behind the illusion that loving everyone means letting them do whatever they want because God is a loving God and won't hold it against them.
We were called to be set apart and set the right example.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ~1 Peter 2:9
Our light can't cast a shadow
There are three things I need to tell you.
Just because Jesus didn't specifically call out the LGBTQ community, doesn't mean same sex marriage is okay. If you will click the link, you will see the proof I have that backs that up. And, you will find that I do not condemn those who believe they are attracted to the same sex. You're right when you tout a sin is a sin.
God's views on homosexuality didn't change between the time of the Old Testament and the new age that began when Jesus entered the world. Paul wrote on the topic in Romans, 1 Timothy, and 1 Corinthians. Jude 1:7 mentions sexual immorality and perversion as well citing Sodom and Gomorrah and surrounding towns as an example of "those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." Don't start sputtering at me. I'm not saying they're the only ones getting punished—we all need Jesus or we're suffering the same fate.
Think hard on the verses listed above from John 15 before you call someone out with a "What Would Jesus Do?" (WWJD) slam. They may be telling you the truth about the matter after all. "...everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain...
This is a plea for some to rethink where they stand in relation to God's word and what they believe to be true. Don't let the world's view sway you from the truth.
God needs us to lead the charge against Satan's ever increasing attempt to steal souls away from the Father for eternity. We need to be fighting for His Truth to be known rather than spreading false hope.
I'm praying, oh, so fervently that you discover things here that will strengthen—or cause you to seek—your own personal relationships with God, His Only Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
I won't stop either. We need you fighting for our side! :)
See you next time~