Christian

Why What You Believe Matters

What you believe will dramatically affect your life forever and those around you, too. As human beings, we like to go along with the crowd and just get along with everyone. We tend to believe what the people around us believe and that can be good, or bad.

Take, for example, a student who is surrounded by highly intelligent professors who are atheists. He might become an atheist, too. Why? Because intelligence is impressive and subconsciously he thinks that to believe in God would make him look less intelligent, so he doesn’t even search out the truth. Instead, he believes what is most comfortable.

In the same way, Christians might believe what those around them believe, even when it isn’t Biblically correct.

Why? Because religious beliefs that conform to cultural norms make life easier. In the Apostle Paul’s day, Judaism pressured Christians to conform to the law. Today, political correctness pressures us to conform to secular thought.

For example, some say, “I believe people of all faiths worship the same God.”

That sounds nice, and is very ecumenical, but it isn’t true. And truth is important because people’s eternity depends on it.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Another example is abortion. Being pro-life is unpopular in many circles. (Just ask a politician.) To say, “I think it’s a woman’s choice” may get you off the hook. It’s the easy way out. But is it true? If we don’t do it, but we condone it, are we still innocent?

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. Psalm 139:13&15 NLT

There are preachers today who teach false doctrines and many people follow them. The Bible warns us over and over about it.( If you don’t believe me, search the Scriptures for yourself.) My intention is not to tell you what is false and what is true, but to highlight the need to carefully and prayerfully examine what we hear to see if it’s true.

The Apostle Paul chided the Church at Corinth:

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.  I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”   I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-6

Paul insinuates that these false teachers were trained speakers. (Probably very entertaining and popular!) Are we drawn to a preacher by his charisma and personality?

Loving the truth is vital to living a life that brings glory to God. Therefore the importance of studying God’s Word and knowing it well cannot be overstated. If we serve a “Jesus” that we have designed to fit our wants and needs, one who serves our purposes and selfish ambitions, that is idolatry. That is another “Jesus”, not the one who said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to human greed, would I blindly accept it?

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my pride and self-interests, would I blindly accept it?

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my fleshly desires, would I blindly accept it?

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15

The more I study God’s Word, the more I understand that this life is but a whisper. It’s not about me, it’s about the Savior. My purpose is to bring glory to God. The message is simple. It’s not about new revelations and hidden symbolic meanings to make our life here on Earth free of trials and hardships. Jesus sumed up the message of God’s Word like this:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (and) Love your neighbor as yourself.Mark 12:28-31

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by madeleine ragsdale on Unsplash

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

realchristianwomen.blog 



Christian

What I Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Me, Or Can it?

In spite of what people think, ignorance is not bliss!

People like to think it is – when the truth is too hard to face. Selah* (Pause and calmly think of that.)

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” Romans 16:17-18

This topic is heavy on my heart because many devout Christians are being led astray because they are naive. When I listen to various popular Bible teachers on YouTube, I’m shocked at how ignorant the audience is of Biblical Truth. I’m shocked at how blind they are to a spirit of pride from the pulpit.

Well, I guess I’m not really shocked since I was taken in by it myself once. Yes, in fact, I had to “unlearn” a lot of teaching, and that is not easy to do.

You’re probably thinking, “What did you have to unlearn? What false teaching did you buy into?

Well, I’m not going to tell you.

Why? Because you must identify false teaching yourself through studying the Word of God. If I told you that a Bible teacher you liked taught false doctrine, I know what you would think because it’s what I used to think: “They don’t understand because they’re in a dead church.” OR “They don’t have revelation.” OR, my favorite: “They’re religious.”

I assure you, I am not dead or religious! (Isn’t that judging someone’s heart?)

All this stems from pride – the false assumption that I have revelation of the Scripture others don’t have. Selah

I would venture to say that all those “old, religious people at the church down the street” have more experience walking through trials with the Lord at their side than some of us ever will.

How I wish I could talk to my grandmother about God, again. She would be about 130 years old now. If only I would have known to seek her wisdom when I was a youth and she was still around.

But, alas, when we’re young we think we know it all. I know this because I teach in a middle school! Students will argue about anything, even how to do a math problem! (Are you kidding me?)

Why just today, a student tried to prove to me that you didn’t have to start a 2-digit plus 2-digit addition problem in the ones column. He thought he proved it to me by getting the right answer even when he started in the tens column. You guessed it! There was no regrouping involved. (No carrying.) He hadn’t thought of that!

You can think you’re right “til the cows come home”, but that doesn’t make you right.

My point is, if you are learning about God from a Bible teacher, instead of from the Bible, be careful. Check the Scriptures given to see if they have been taken out of context. (That happens a lot and is the basis of much of the false teaching accepted today!)

Respect those “old Christians” you think are dead or religious. It’s wise to listen to the elderly with respect.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”? Selah

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12

Did my journey with false teachers and prophets affect my life?

Yes! It almost shipwrecked my faith. It took many years for me to recover. (That’s a story for another time.)

 “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.  They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT

Lord, Guide us and teach us to walk with you in truth and humility. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

 *The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and calmly think of that.”

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Spiritual Warfare: Are You Alert or Asleep?

During the Viet Nam War, the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and quickly dissapear.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers. Then, when least expected, they would launch a surprise attack on U.S. troops.

When you’re in a war, you must be alert. The enemy does not announce his arrival. And he often pretends to be someone he’s not.

Are you prepared to stand against your enemy, Satan? Do you know how to stand?

It is critical that you know God’s Word. Ephesians 6 says,“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (vs. 11) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist …” (vs. 14)

What is the “belt of truth”?

Jesus said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17 The Belt of Truth is clearly God’s Word, the Bible. It is an essential part of the “Armor of God”.

Do you think it’s possible that Satan could be attacking someone, when they don’t even know it? The Bible says,

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

That verse tells me a lot. In a battle, it is important for soldiers to be alert. If not, they may walk right into a trap. Can you imagine walking through a jungle during war and not being alert? Of course not!

There is only one place to find truth and that is in the Bible, in God’s Holy Word. We need to know what it says. If you don’t know God’s Word you will be an easy target. Why? The Bible tells us,

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

This can be more subtle than you might think. False teaching may not be that obvious, unless of course, you know God’s Word.

Does it really matter what you believe, as long as you love Jesus?

Yes! False teachers can take Scripture verses out of context and convince people of almost anything. This is how good people are deceived. But verses are not meant to be taken out of context. Instead, we should always study the context to correctly understand every verse.

For example, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Let’s say I told you, “ All things means all things! You can perform healings and miracles. You can be a great athlete, make a lot of money, whatever you want can be yours – if you believe. If you have faith in God’s Word!”

Well that may sound good, but that’s not what that verse is saying.

Paul wrote these words while in prison, and the full context says, ” I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul is saying, whatever your circumstances, no matter how bad they are, Christ will give you strength.

In verse 11, he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul is talking about being in prison. Roman prisons were known to be cold and cruel, prisoners were not provided adequate food or blankets, and they were kept in chains.

But in all this, Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

That’s a lot different than the first interpretation!

You say, “Oh, I would recognize false teaching right away.”

Really? Because it won’t be obvious. It will be hidden in truth and love. The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets,

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

To masquerade means to pretend to be something else, to disguise oneself, to impersonate. Please understand, people will be easily fooled. But there is one way to stand firm.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. … With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 10-18 

As you read and study this passage, understand the important role God’s Word plays in your life. Take this passage at face value. Know God’s Word. Read your Bible so that you can stand.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Jesus “Sound Bites”

If you can suffer through the news these days, you will be familiar with the term “sound bite”. A sound bite is a short extract from a recorded interview, chosen for its pungency or appropriateness. Why not listen to (or read) some Jesus “sound bites”?

For the whole “speech”, go to the passage referenced. Let us consider how Jesus’ words apply to us today.

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”John 8:7

 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.John 10:27-28

“My Father will honor the one who serves me.” John 12:26

“When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.” John 12: 44-45

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13: 13-16

(Jesus’ prayer to the Father) “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:26

“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21

These are a few of the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we meditate on them and ask ourselves how we can apply them to our lives today.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Nilton Oliveira on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Daily Scripture, 3/13/19

“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Daily Scripture, 2/21/19

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog