Ugh. This week has been rough and good all at the same time. In some ways I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done. *cough* Reading. *cough* In other ways, I have done less than I hoped. *cough* Writing. *cough* I haven’t shown my best side for many of these days. I wish I could say that this wasn’t true, but…that would be a lie. At some points, I’ve felt like giving up on the whole life thing. I know that I wouldn’t, but there are times when I just feel it. There are those times when I feel like I don’t care about anything in that moment, though I do.Read More »
Let’s just say it.
We all want people to be honest to us. We all want people to love us. We all want people to respect us. We all want people to appreciate us. We all want people to care about us.Read More »
Sorry about missing last Friday’s post! I will say that this time it wasn’t my own laziness or procrastinator-ness (That’s a word, right?). It was because power went out on the WHOLE island of Puerto Rico. There was an explosion at the power plant and then everyone’s power went out. That happened Wednesday afternoon. We didn’t get power until Friday morning. Then it cut out for like four hours in the afternoon until it finally came on for good. Though because of what’s happened, I’ve heard reports that Puerto Rico will have random blackouts for the next THREE months. So, yeah, I didn’t skip a post purposely.
This is a question that has been on my mind a lot. Not so much now as when I was younger, but it is still a question that I struggle with at times. I have let my fear and insecurities get ahold of me and I wonder, “Am I really truly a Christian? Or am I just some sort of fake?” It scares me how my mind can think that way, but I believe many other people struggle with it too.
So, knowing if you’re a Christian is not as easy other…life commitments (that’s what we’ll call it). It’s not like signing a contract where once you put your signature down, you’re in. For most people, when you become a Christian, you don’t feel God entering into your heart. It’s not like a “pop” and then boom, you’re life is changed. Now maybe it’s like that for some people, but that’s quite rare.
For me, and probably for many people, I don’t know the exact moment I was saved. I know I made the decision at church when I was six, but it could’ve happened before that or, more likely, after that.
But how do you know that you’re a Christian? How do you know?
One way is by your works. You really can’t believe in Jesus and then not have the works to prove it.
Works, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to do things for God, or that it is like a chore: something you never want to do. No, if you’re a Christian, you’ll want everything you do to be for God. As a Christian, you’ll love God and you’ll want to serve. Why? Because He gave everything, even His only son’s life, for you. And we can’t ever thank him enough.
Works also doesn’t mean that you need to sell all your possessions and go live in a hut in Africa, teaching God’s Word. Now, maybe that is some people’s calling, but it’s not everyone’s. You can do what God calls you to do right where you are. You wouldn’t be where you are if God didn’t want you there.
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
But you can’t be a Christian just by good works. That, is not what makes you a Christian.
So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
Faith in God, is what makes a Christian, a Christian. But if you have faith, good works will follow along with it. So one does not come without the other.
While you can’t necessarily “see” faith, you can see good works. So look back on your life, what do you see? If you’re not sure what you see, ask people who know you (like family). What do they see in you?
You may say, “But people can do good works and still not be Christians.” Yes, that’s true. So if you are doing good works, you need to ask the question, “Why? Why are you doing good works?” Is it for selfish reasons? Or is it for God?
An even more important question to ask is:
Do you love Him?
These are hard questions. And sometimes we can’t see the answer clearly. Sometimes we just have to have faith in our faith in God.
Trust in God. Have faith that you are in His hands. Know that if you love Him, He will always be with you.
So I was listening to a bit of Not a fan. by Kyle Idleman yesterday while driving (No. I wasn’t driving. My dad was. I have not yet learned that skill.). Well, right at the beginning Mr. Idleman made a major point that I thought I’d like to talk about. A point that I hadn’t really thought about, but it struck me at how true it was.
You see, to become Christians, we’re told to believe in Christ. Believe that Christ is who he says he is. Believe that he died on a cross. Believe that he rose again in three days.
Believe that Christ’s death paid for your sins.
I took that step of faith around six years old. Now who knows when I really believed. Not everyone knows the exact moment when they believed. I just know that at one time I didn’t and at one time I did. I was later taught the ABC method to becoming a Christian. Do you know what that is?
- A-Admit that you are a sinner.
- B-Believe that Christ died and rose again. That the Bible is absolutely true.
- C-Confess your sins to God and you will be forgiven.
That was great and all. Especially for such a young kid like me at that time. I’m not saying that any of this is bad. But those are not the only things that make us a Christian. There’s another part, one that is even bigger than believing Jesus, and that’s following Him.
Believing and following Christ go hand in hand with being a Christian.
But we separate them, because the reality is that many people who believe in Jesus (who say they’re Christians), don’t actually follow him. When really the meaning of being a Christian is not just believing, it’s following.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
You must follow him, if you’re to be his follower, a Christian.
Now that’s hard.
It’s one thing to just believe in Christ. It takes faith; it is not that easy. But it is a lot easier than actually following Christ. Following Christ takes more sacrifice. It costs more.
And that is what turns people away. They, we, don’t want to sacrifice anything. We don’t want to do anything that costs us anything.
But that verse above says that you must give up your own way. Another version says, “you must deny yourself”. You have to give up your own desires and take on God’s desires as your own. But when you love Jesus, taking on his desires is what you want to do.
Then you must take up your cross. Your cross. Just like Jesus took up his cross and sacrificed so much for us. He sacrificed even his own life so that we might live in Heaven for eternity. Now we must take up our own crosses.
We may not want to, but if we’re to be true Christians, we need to do more than just believe in him. We need to follow him.