Tag Archives: Christian

I Know Whom I’ve Believed

I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He has made known. Nor why, when I was so unworthy, Christ, in love, redeemed me for His own. “But I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

If you went to church before the “contemporary” movement decided the old hymns are irrelevant, I bet you have a tune running through your head about now. I find myself singing Daniel W. Whittle’s hymn every time I read 2 Timothy 1:12. If you get a chance I hope you take the time to read all five verses. It is a wonderful hymn of complete confidence in God.

That’s what Paul was talking about to Timothy in his second letter to the young preacher. Paul was in jail, had suffered quite a bit for Jesus’ sake, and he was encouraging Timothy to see Jesus ONLY in every circumstance of life. Paul says, I’ve had a tough time sharing the Gospel, but I’m not ashamed of any of it.

The Apostle wanted Timothy – and me – to have the same attitude. Don’t ever be ashamed of standing up for the Truth of Scripture, of wearing the name Christian according to God’s Word. It might not be a popular or comfortable stand, but knowing Jesus makes everything else dim in comparison.

And God promises to stand with us until we see Him face to face in our eternal home.

I know not when my Lord may come, at night or noonday fair. Or if I walk the vale with Him or meet Him in the air. But I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day!

Being A Christian

Faith may be believing in things you can’t see, but there is nothing unseen about living a Christian life. Paul, in Romans 12, tells us to be transformed by using our minds. He says God gives his people gifts. We need to recognize ours and use them.

The list of things Paul says to do require intention, thought, action. Being a Christian is not praying a prayer, then saying, “Whew! I dodged that bullet! No hell for me,” then continuing life as usual. In fact, if that is your experience I question your salvation according to Scripture.

Being a Christian does begin with faith, and with repentance, with accepting Jesus’ work on the cross on your behalf. But Scripture tells us a natural outcome of your salvation is a changed life, something people can see.

Being a Christian involves radiating Jesus. It’s the person who studies God’s Word to show himself a child of God, one who loves, is kind, diligent, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient, prayerful, giving, humble. The list goes on.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean walking around with a sappy smile on your face and saying, “God bless you.” It’s getting your hands dirty, using your mind by studying God’s Word. It’s about reasonable service to the One who saved you.

I hope you take time to read Romans 12 today and allow Paul to challenge you in your walk with the Lord. Let’s not conform to the world, but be transformed into the people God delights in using to reveal himself to those around us.

And may He find us faithful.

My Sacred Medallion

The New Testament tells us that one of the things Jesus did when he went to the cross is make us a kingdom of priests (or kingdom and priests). He is absolutely our High Priest, but we who know him have the privileges and responsibilities much like Aaron and his sons had in the Old Testament.

I don’t claim to understand all of what that entails. There is so much symbolism in the account we read in Exodus 39. But one thing is clear to me, Aaron and his sons took a great deal of care in following every detail before they went before the Lord. Including what they wore.

As I read about the robe, the ephod, the breastplate, and the rest of the required clothing, I was convicted when I read about the sacred medallion Aaron wore on his turban. It was engraved with the words: HOLY UNTO THE LORD. It was placed in such a way no one could miss it.

I wonder if my spiritual sacred medallion is as visible to the people around me. Does my lifestyle scream that I worship God, that I make choices based on his Word, that I am a sinner saved by grace? Do people see Jesus in me, Holy Unto the Lord?

I pray that the days of my keeping my faith between God and myself are behind me. I pray that I will stand out in every circumstance of life as someone who wears Christ’s name honorably and proudly. I pray that the choices I make today will point others to the Savior.

I pray the same for you. May we be a kingdom of priests, set apart, faithful to God, HOLY UNTO THE LORD.

December 20

Jude 1:17-25; 2 Peter1-3; 2 Timothy 1

People have been talking about the Second Coming since the cross. Jude told the first century church, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” Two thousand years later scoffers still follow ungodly desires. The difference is, those desires lead to actions that go viral in our cyber world and portray their depravity as normal. 

So why doesn’t Jesus just come back and put an end to this seemingly rapid decline of humanity? Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:8&9 that God’s timing is not the same as ours. We live life one second at a time. To God, a day is like a thousand years. He’s not slow in bringing justice to the world. He is, however, patient because he doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing him. 

God is asking me what I’m doing about that. As I read 2 Peter 1:3-10 I am reminded that faith in God is not passive. It’s action, it’s goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love. It’s caring enough for someone to be willing to offend them by calling sin sin and pointing them to our loving God who wants to cleanse them, who died to save them.

How can I wear the name “Christian” and not do what it takes to make it mean something real and vital? Jesus is coming again. Will he find me faithful?

Holy God, I thank you for your promise to come back some day and take us who know you home. I look forward to the moment when I can look you in the eyes and worship you face to face. But, God, while I still walk this earth, may you find me faithful. May I not sit back and relax in the wonder of my salvation. I want to grow, I want to walk with you, I want to be your arms and legs, your voice and your love to people who don’t know you yet. I want to be a soldier in your army with the intent of seeing souls saved for Jesus’ sake. Teach me through your Word and help me to be the woman you would have me be today.

December 1

2 Corinthians 2:5-6:18

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When you hold an infant in your arms, aren’t you struck by his innocence? His complete lack of a past? That child can look at you without a hint of regret or sorrow for something he’s done. He has no memory of disobeying, because he’s never disobeyed. He doesn’t carry guilt because he isn’t guilty.

Dear One, that’s how God looks at us when we are born again. When we confess our sins, he forgives, cleanses, and forgets! The old us is gone and we have a new beginning, just like that infant.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (5:21) 

Jesus did that for us and it is ours for the asking. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Have you repented of sin? If you have, you have a clean slate. Understand that God has forgiven you, has paid the price for your past sins, and has forgotten them.

If you have not accepted the Lord, I pray you will ask Jesus into your life and become that new creation. And if you know the Lord as your Savior, but need to speak to him about some unconfessed sin, I pray you will do that today. Let Jesus do what he came to do and make you the righteousness of God through his blood. 

I’m praying for you today.

November 2

Mark 14:12-21; Matthew 26:17-25; Luke 22:7-14, 21-30; John 13:1-30

Jesus served. He didn’t come into this world to observe, he came to seek and save the lost. He didn’t come to hear the crowds cheer for him, he came to get in our faces and reveal our helpless estate. He had a job to do and he gave it 100% – even though it cost him his life.

I started reading “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman yesterday and it is challenging me to look at my service to my Lord. If I call myself a Christian I cannot be a bystander. I cannot be a fan of Jesus. I have to be a servant.

Jesus washed his disciples feet. Then he told them they needed to do the same for each other. When those same disciples started arguing who was more important, Jesus told them to serve, to be like him who was among them as one who serves.

I am asking myself what my service looks like and why I serve. I challenge you to do the same. Whether you are a pastor of a mega-church or a brand new believer wondering where you fit in, I pray we will all serve our King not for what we get out of it, but because our hearts are broken and we are at that place where serving him is a grateful response to who he is, as natural and as vital as breathing.

Dear Jesus, I thank you for your humble example of what it is to be a Christian. I pray for us who know you. Help us to serve you, to lay aside selfish ambition, to forget we even exist apart from you. May we serve you with every word, with every deed, with every breath. Even in that, we could never do enough to show you how much we love you for who you are… Jesus… God… Savior. At your service, Lord.

July 7

Isaiah 22:1-23:18; 2 Kings 18:7b-8; Micah 1:8-3:12

Don’t God’s words do good to him whose ways are upright? (Micah 2:7b) Isn’t it true that when our hearts are right with the Lord, reading the Bible brings comfort and hope? It’s also true that reading the Word brings conviction and grief when we aren’t obeying him.

The answer to that for some is – so don’t read it. Don’t go to church if the preacher’s sermon on sin makes you feel bad. 

Micah’s words for us today concern those who wear the name ‘Christian’ like a good-luck charm. They think they can live according to their own rules and God will bless them because they say they are Christians.

Micah 3:8-12 says they despise justice, distort what is right, are wicked, accept bribes, “yet they lean upon the Lord and say, ‘Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.'”

Really?

Saying you’re a Christian doesn’t make it so. Going to church, tithing, teaching Sunday School or even pastoring a church doesn’t make you a Christian.

Read God’s Word. His requirements for wearing his Name are there. But be warned. If you read the Bible, the words might convict you and drive you to your knees. Reading the Word just might make you feel bad about yourself. Didn’t Paul call himself a wretched man when face to face with his own sin?

Christianity is not a “feel good” religion. It’s not even a “do good” religion as much as it is a “be holy” relationship with a holy God. The good news is, through Jesus Christ our Lord we can enjoy that relationship! And when we are in that right relationship with God, his blessings include love, joy, peace that passes human understanding.

Are you a Christian? Really? I pray that is true for each of us today. Wear Christ’s name proudly and remember who it is you represent. Remember what it cost Jesus to give you that name. 

Holy God, I pray that we who call ourselves Christian will be Christians from the inside out. Search us today, Lord. Point out those sins we need to confess. May our hearts be yours through Jesus’ blood. Thank you for the privilege of wearing your Name.