Sunday, September 4, 2011

What does it mean to be a Christian?
I like what Keith Green said:
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger...
In other words... a person who has no spiritual fruits and is just a religious nut.

This week’s blog features wisdom from Judypie and Pastor Jake... and a song by Keith Green.

A Morning Prayer
by Judy Ann

Father, in the name of Jesus, I come boldly unto the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in my time of need. Father, I thank You for a good night’s rest. I laid down in peace, and slept; You made me dwell in safety. Grant me the grace to walk through this day in true godliness with contentment. I bind mercy and truth around my neck, and write them on the table of my heart, and I will find favor in the sight of God and man. With Your grace I will serve my employer and everything I do today I do in singleness of heart as unto the Lord. Amen.

At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.
Psalm 4:8 [MSG]

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:14-16 [MSG]

Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
   Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
   in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.
Proverbs 3:3-4 [MSG]

Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.
Colossians 3:22-25 [MSG]

Christ Likeness
by Pastor Jake

It is impossible for man to rationalize and understand by his own intellect the things of God. Man cannot determine for himself what Christ is like and then imitate Him. His carnal efforts to be like his Savior results in man becoming an imitator of himself. He measures himself by himself. The results are he becomes a wolf in sheep's clothing; he has the appearance of his own estimation of righteousness but inside his cloak of self righteousness and religiosity is a raving wolf working against the will of God. He becomes as a “noisy gong and a clanging symbol;” just another noisy, ritualistic, and empty religious person.

Then you may ask; how are we to be like Jesus? Or you may ask; what is the key to Christ likeness? Of all the wonderful attributes of our Lord the most outstanding was his humbleness. The Apostle Paul sets our Lord's attitude before us as an example; he writes,

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Phiipians 2:5-8 [NASU]

Our Lord saw the need of mankind and humbled Himself that he might fill that need. In the Garden of Gethsemane He totally submitted His will to our Heavenly Father as He prayed, saying,

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Through the total submission of our Lord the Father brought forth a Savior for all mankind. He is the “only begotten” the unique Son of God; in this manner there is and never will no other like Him for there is no other where-by man can be saved.

Each of the original apostles were unique as individuals but yet they had these in common with their Lord----they saw the need, thus, like their Savior before them they humbled themselves before the Father; a humbleness that lead to total submission to the will of the Father. Then the Father created them to be unique vessels of His Spirit and word. If we as true believers will also see the need and become totally submitted to our Creator then He will create us in a uniqueness that serves His purpose.

It is only when man totally surrenders his own will and summits to the will of God that the soul of man is swallowed up by the Soul of God and the Spirit of God performs the word of God in his total being and brings forth a son of God whose thoughts and deeds are like those of his Lord and Savior; he does nothing unless he sees the Father do it and he says nothing unless he hears the Father say it. It is then and only then that he has become like Jesus. It is the work of the Spirit and not by the rationalizing and understanding of the human intellect.

The Apostle Paul writes,

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 [NASB]

God is the Creator, the Potter; we are the clay; the one being created in His image. We are to believe, be humble, pray, have faith, be obedient, prayerfully study His Scripture and trust Him to do His will in our lives.

The Apostle John tells us,

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4).”

Our Lord teaches;

A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
Luke 6:40 [NASB]

Our Lord also tells his pupil,

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;”
Matthew 5:14 [NASB]

In each true believer there is the life and the word (or light) of God that is the message or the gospel that is the “power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16);” the hope for mankind.

Submit to God and He will create you a vessel of His word; a manifestation of the invisible Father; you will be in His image; you will be like Jesus.

James C Sanford

I Want to Be More Like Jesus
by Keith Green

For more, read “Spiritual Nuts or Religious Nuts