So the last time I updated this was two weeks ago, and as usual, a ton has happened in two weeks. My baby sister, and twin cousins of triplet birth have started college in San Angelo, Texas, the local 6-man football team has started its season off well, and looks to go 3-0 this Friday night. My amazing wife, who also happens to be an extremely talented and gifted photographer, has seen a pretty drastic upswing in business, and that accounts for the lack of blog updating as my fingers are too clumsy and wide to update via the iphone app I have. Our 4-month old son, Levi just had his 4 month checkup today, and is 16lbs 4oz and 26″, pretty much growing a lot, and has broken two teeth through on his bottom gum. So therefore, I am behind on updating this thing. The last blog I wrote was on a subject that is fast approaching becoming one of the top foci of the ministry we are involved in at the church we attend. The topic I will be blogging about today, is a direct descendant of the lack of discipleship in the family and is a product of our sin-filled culture. So here we go!
“Just be true to yourself, and don’t care about what anyone else has to say or think!” “Imma do me, and dat’s dat!” “As long as you stay who you are, it doesn’t matter.” These are some of the phrases I hear a lot from the members of my generation as well as members of the generation after me, with regards to how to live their lives in adverse situations. Every time I hear these statements and those similar to it, I cringe from the glaring lack of wisdom contained in such commonly adhered-to advice. If we measure these up to the standards of scripture, we see where they were, and are destined to fail when put into practice. An example begins in Romans 3:10 where Paul writes “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one;” the next part that follows that is 3:23 of Romans “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Sin is the separation of us from God, He cannot look at sin, and definitely cannot have sin with Him in heaven. When we have the salvation of Christ’s sacrifice and His blood to intercede for us, our sin becomes forgiven, therefore giving us access to the Father. With that said, we are born sinful, no one is born without being capable of sin, nor is there anyone who will be able to live without sin in their lives. So many times I hear people asking “Well, what does your heart tell you?” Keep in mind Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” When we put our trust into our hearts, and into trying to be true to ourselves, what are we putting our faith in? Something that is born to do what is opposite of God’s will. When we are true to ourselves, we are true to our sin. When we trust what our heart is saying, it’s like saying we’re enjoying the show on a TV screen with nothing but white static and fuzzy noise. Chaos seems to be a general way of life for so many people because of this, and impulsive decisions made because of this guidance, end up leading to further confusion, and a lot of times end with an individual asking God “Why?” The first thing to note here, is that if a person is a true believer, there will be no need for them to try and be true to themselves, or seek wisdom from his or her heart, a believer seeks wisdom through prayer. The chaos that a person feels won’t generally be on the outside, a great deal of the time, this person has things together from the outward appearance. Nice house, nice cars, good job, good family, pretty much the American Dream syndrome. While having those things isn’t a bad thing, or even a sin, the condition of that person’s spiritual life may be a huge battlefield, trying to decide whose side to fight on, God’s or the world’s. Lately, by the standards of our culture and the fruits of the “christians” in our culture, it seems as though Satan may have the upper hand in our country. I see so many people claim Christ, but are living that lie that John talks about in 1 John ch. 1-2. We seem to have such a love of what the world has to offer because it is either easier, or makes us feel better when we have tons of stuff. This is contradictory to 1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” This scripture isn’t saying that we will live on this earth forever, but that our lives, when we live for our heavenly Father, we will live eternally with Him after our time here is done. The lack of believers to live against the ways of the world has led to this lifestyle. There is another common theme that I’m seeing more and more every day, and that is the thought that “love wins, and we’ll all go to heaven because God wouldn’t send people to a place like Hell.” This scares me the most, as there are more and more churches starting to conform to the ways that our society thinks they should be. Granted, our churches should never turn someone away from coming into the doors to hear about God and His love for us, but when we water the Gospel down to say that everyone will go to heaven, despite their religious beliefs, their sexual orientation, their desire to live in as much sin as possible, we are sending them to Hell with a house-warming gift. Our society believes that teaching the Gospel of Christ, the standards of God’s Word, are hate crimes, and our churches just shrug their collective shoulders and say “well, I guess we just won’t teach that anymore.” That is where we have gone wrong, because we have let our society dictate which part of the Gospel is shared, and which standards are upheld, based on the opinions of what the world thinks are acceptable. Christ loves sinners, hung out with them throughout scripture, but not once did He say it was okay to continue to live in sin, especially to continue to knowingly pursue selfish fleshly desires. When the world doesn’t like the standards outlined in scripture, and tries to pick and choose what they like to support their views, scripture gets skewed and misunderstood. This is happening more than people ever want to admit, and is not profitable to the sharing of the Gospel of Christ. One area that I personally have had to step away from in my life, is politics. I used to listen to talk radio every day on the way to and from work, watch all the political tickers, catch political shows, and thought I had it all figured out. When I stepped back and thought about it, the world does not have the interests of God in mind when they make decisions, even many of those who say they are running on their “faith.” This fact, combined with the attitude that politics bring on, has led me to step back and away from that particular arena. Maybe one day I’ll find a good balance in things, but as of now, not so much.
In summation, if we truly want to live as Christ did, we have to love, encourage, and share the Gospel of Christ. When we pursue our heart’s desire, we become led astray as a sheep to the slaughter. My encouragement to anyone who reads this, is to sit down and read 1 John, and understand the difference between darkness and light in the spiritual sense, and determine where God is leading you by spending time in prayer and seeking Godly counsel.