What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in.
When I was 27, I met two men who forever changed the way I viewed Christianity. Both were covered in tattoos, occasionally used swear words, and liked beer. All the things I had been told growing up that got you kicked out of Club God they seemed to be doing. And honestly, it confused me. Weren’t they in “sin?”
But that wasn’t why I became a Christian. That would be a stupid reason to join anyway as I could go to the nearest hipster bar and join a tribe like that.
What won me over was the way they loved me and loved people who were hurting and messy. It was the way they shared openly about their hurts and repeated failures. It was the way they loved their wives and spoke so highly about them. It was the joy they had even in the midst of tears and deep suffering. It was the fact they didn’t pretend to have it all together or all the answers. Sometimes they would just say “I don’t know.”
But what they DID know was contagious. Infectious. It was big, bold, and beautiful and I was fascinated by it because I had never heard it.
Growing up I had heard, “Believe in Jesus and live a moral life = go to heaven”. Simple enough.
But what they told me ended up being insanely complex and challenged if I was really down for this whole Christianity thing. What they explained was that as Christians our goal is not to follow a set of rules to earn God’s favor. Often there are people out there who can easily live more moral lives than us. In fact, it seemed most non-Christians were helping more people than those in the pews every Sunday.
To them, the cross where Jesus died was a reminder that as good as we try to be, we still need someone to save us from ourselves because at the end of the day we love to compare ourselves to scoundrels. But Christianity teaches that if anything we realize what a train wreck we are, and so when we see people in this light it humbles us.
I know of no other religion that does that.
Other religions say: “This world is going to hell. It doesn’t matter. It’s not real, but a shadow, so we wait until we die and escape this. We wait until the next life.” However, Christ teaches that his goal within the resurrection is to transform the world. Christ teaches his goal is a new heavens and new earth here on earth. Not that we convert people to our tribe and wait for God to nuke this place, but that we’re in the business of restoration. That we bring hope to the hopeless. That we help the needy, poor, and oppressed. That we give generously, freeing the captives and the addicted. That we transform the world where disease and suffering are alleviated. That we treat others different than us better than ourselves.
So, if I was down for that, it would cost me my life.
What’s funny is when I became a Christian I never asked Jesus into my heart. I never went to the front to of the church to let everyone know I was down with this whole confusing Jesus dies on a cross, resurrects, and is God, but God can’t die because he’s eternal…….Instead one day I had this epiphany that “I’m all in and I guess I’m one of them.”
Because I know I’m a train wreck in a dumpster fire. But I also know that God loves me 100% as is, right now, in the midst of the burning carnage that is often my life. I know that if I were to stack up my cards against most church people, I’d fold every time. I’m not that good at following rules, and I run my mouth a lot. And yet, God loves me and is cheering for me as I get better and especially when I fall down. Where I see failure, he sees opportunity for growth. Where I see addiction, he sees an opportunity to take a step. Where I’ve given up, he whispers, “You can make it”.
So maybe if we can all accept the idea that God’s love is wholly separate from our actions, receive it, and give it to others maybe then we’d have more Christians that look like Christ. Christians that don’t feel it’s important to beat people down with their theology and doctrine, but instead spend their lives in the gutter bleeding alongside other people.
I think maybe then, we might just see Christ’s kingdom here on earth.
Well, you do not need to say much, but still should say something. .. Whatever the patient is Christian or Muslim, religious wishes will work like magic and helps .
Maybe it’s your pastor.
Maybe it’s someone in your Bible study.
Maybe it’s a famous Christian in the news.
They’ve sinned. They’ve said they believe one thing and lived like they believed something else. Their life is messier than you could have imagined and you feel dissapointed, angry, confused, disillusioned, sad...
How are we supposed to feel when other Christians miss God’s mark? How can we cope with the chaos other people’s sin creates? What should we say (if anything?)
Here are nine things to keep in mind when another Christian disappoints you.
1. All have sinned
Romans 3:23 is a gut punch we all need from time to time. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
All have sinned. As in every single one of us.
The fact that every person on earth is a sinner in desperate need of a Savior never stops being a shock to our systems, but it is a constant reminder of how desperately we need grace.
2. Sin exposed is a good thing
Ephesians 5:11-14 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
‘Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’”
Although painful, it is a gift when sin is dragged into the light. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). He calls us to live like bright cities on a hill (Matt. 5:14). We have no business keeping parts of our life in the dark. When God exposes dark parts of a person’s life or heart, it is an act of mercy and an opportunity for us to thank Him for His extravagant grace.
3. The cross was built for heavy loads
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).
From time to time, we need a reminder of what makes us Christians. It isn’t that we have perfect lives. It isn’t that we listen to the right Christian music or say no to certain books or movies. We are Christians because we have put our faith in Jesus and his redemptive work on the cross. The violence of the cross is necessary because of our sin. Jesus did not have to hang on the cross any longer for your disgraced pastor than he did for you. The cross is big enough to carry any sin, “big” or “small.” There’s no sin we can throw at it that the cross is not big enough to handle.
4. Speak the truth (in love)
“So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:14-15).
God’s intention is not that we live our lives in a constant tug of war. We are to protect and guide each other by speaking the truth in love.
I once heard someone say, “Whatever ‘speak the truth in love’ means, it means to speak the truth.” What is the truth, exactly?
John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
We need to remind each other what God’s Word says — often. That’s not the same as blasting someone on your Facebook wall or on Twitter. Which brings me to #5.
5. Gossip about sinners is a sin
Romans 1:29 lists gossips among murderers, slanderers and haters of God. Ephesians 4:29 says unless it builds others up, don’t say it.
Titus 3:2 urges us “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Talking to others about someone else’s sin does nothing to restore their relationship with God or others.
6. Watch out for "plank eye syndrome"
Matthew 7:3-5 says, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”
Responding to other people’s sin with disgust or feelings of self-righteousness is like worrying about a little sawdust in a friend’s eye while a 2x4 sticks out of our own. Our sin has a way of blinding us to the ways we are missing the mark and making us hypersensitive to how others fall short.
While the Bible does teach us to lovingly remind other Christians about how God calls us to live, that’s not our first mission. We must be most concerned with the sin in our own lives.
When you see the impact of sin in the life of someone else, take the opportunity to assess your own life. Repeat the prayer of King David and ask the Lord to root out all sin in your heart.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps. 139: 23-24).
7. Forgive, for real
In the wake of the horrific Charleston shooting, USA Today published an article that said this.
“When Christians are in the news, it's usually because they have done something wrong — they've gotten on the wrong side of a culture war or cheated on their wife, or worse. What the world rarely gets to see is the powerful grace that flows from a deep faith predicated on the belief that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness.”
The article went on to tell the story of a man whose wife and daughter were brutally killed. When asked what he would say to the killer if given the chance, he said, "I would say, 'I forgive you.' If he kissed me on the cheek, I would kiss him back."
These are graphic pictures of forgiveness. Forgiveness often feels so gut wrenching that we want to run in the opposite direction. But the Bible reminds us that we can extend forgiveness because we have been forgiven of so much.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
8. The world is watching
The article quoted above is proof that the world is watching. Yes, they watch when we fall short, but they also watch when we respond to sin like God has called us to.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We are the billboard God wants to use to tell the world about Him. What story are you telling with your response to sin in your own life and in the lives of others?
9. Prayer is a weapon that works
When someone sins, we want to do something. God has given us two-pronged plan of attack.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).
First, go to war with sin in your own life.
Second, pray for others.
If someone in your world is caught in sin, pray like crazy for them. It really is that simple.
The silver lining
As Christians, we will continue to disappoint each other. We will sin in public and in private. We will mess up our lives and hurt each other. We will all fall short of the standard of holiness God has set for us. That’s the cloud, but there is a silver lining.
Jesus died for sinners.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
All sin reminds us of our great need and his great sacrifice. How can you respond to others in light of this earth-shaking truth?
Erin is a speaker, author and blogger who addresses women of all ages nationwide and is passionately committed to sharing God’s Truth with others. She is the mother of three boys and the author of 13 books which can be found on her website.... Read More
From an earthly perspective, things may seem to happen at random, but throughout the whole of Scripture, it is clear God is in control of all His creation and is able to take the random acts of natural law, the free will of both good and evil people and the wicked intent of demons and combine them all to accomplish His good and perfect will (Genesis 50:20; Job chapters 1 and 42; John 9:1-7). Christians, specifically, are given the promise that God works all things, whether seemingly good or bad, together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Spurgeon wrote the following on God’s control of all things:
"I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of . . . leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche."
Because we do not have the curtains drawn back to see what is taking place in heaven, we cannot always determine whether God’s active or passive will is involved in the events of our lives, but we do know from Scripture that all things take place are under the umbrella of His will, whether active or passive, and, therefore, nothing is a matter of mere chance. So it is for any event of life; no matter how small (Matthew 10:29-31) or how large (Daniel 4:35; Proverbs 21:1), God is sovereign over all (Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:9-10), and thus nothing is merely the matter of chance.
Therefore, based on our understanding of Scripture, we recommend a Christian not use the phrase “good luck” but instead make it a practice to say “God bless you." Even when speaking to unbelievers, “God bless you” is much more significant and effective than the phrase “good luck”. Saying "God bless you" to a non-believer will embed that phrase in his mind and possibly open an opportunity to share the Gospel.
A christian and religious birthday wish is a great way to communicate what we But there will be lots of your friends walking with you as well. Remember that in every day of your life there is someone up there that is looking down on you. 29.
Use these wedding wishes and wedding card messages to offer your As long as your wedding congratulations message is heartfelt and offers the couple a positive wish for their marriage, you're good to go. traditional family, you might want to avoid the term altogether and just say "best wishes." . Christian Examples.