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The core characteristic that many people might find least sexy about Jesus is the same core characteristic that made him the Messiah: his willing obedience to God. Note that Jesus wasn’t just obedient – he was willingly obedient. It was this willful obedience of Jesus that God commended on a few occasions, saying: “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” God didn’t say “This is my beloved son, whose strong faith I admire” or “This is my beloved son, who is always so nice to people”. No, God didn’t commend Jesus for his faith or his works – he commended him for his obedience in doing what “pleased” him. If God places such emphasis on willful obedience, then we should, too.
But what does it mean to be willingly obedient to God? And why is it so important? (more…)
No matter how old you are spiritually, you still need to eat your spiritual veggies.
They’re not something you just eat when you’re spiritually young; you need to keep on eating them until the day you die. In fact, when you come before God on Judgment Day, you should still have a little piece of spiritual spinach stuck between your front teeth. When he sees that, God will have a good laugh and he’ll also know you took his Word to heart to the very end.
So what are your spiritual veggies?
They’re what you learned when you first came to believe in God and follow Jesus, and they’re also the core tenets of what it means to be a Christian.
Here are the five main ones: (more…)
We live in the world, but we’re not supposed to be OF the world.
Whatever does that mean?
When I was checking out my local Reddit forum to see if I could find any “insider” scoops on the latest approaching storm, I noticed a thread about a small anti-abortion protest. The protest has been ongoing for years outside a regional hospital where the abortions take place, but it’s mostly a silent protest, made up mostly of Christians.
The video accompanying the thread showed a nun and others being verbally harassed by passers-by. The nearly 200 comments on the thread were pro-abortion.
Two thoughts came to mind as I watched as much of the clip as I could: “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”, and “my town is turning into Sodom”.
Sodom was not Sodom because the men had a sexual preference for men over women; that was just one of many manifestations of the deep sin on the souls of Sodom residents. The “sin of Sodom” extended to all aspects of life and devoured nearly everyone living there. Sodomites were so deeply entrenched in sin, it became their default position and they couldn’t see or think or feel beyond it. (more…)
I listen to a lot of sermons in my job. I read a lot of blogs. And almost without exception, the main message I hear coming from the pulpit today – whether spoken or written – is PROSPERITY. Many Christian teachers and preachers are working overtime to get us to see God as the eternal ATM of blessings and our professed belief in Jesus as the security PIN to access those blessings.
But it doesn’t work that way. You don’t just stumble through life, treating people like crap, and then show up in church on Sunday with your hands out, expecting God to fill them with goodies. (more…)
I don’t follow celebrity news, but sometimes celebrity news follows me when I log onto my various email accounts. Because of my Internet searches for “abornagainbeliever” (my website with WordPress), I am bombarded with “recommended for you” suggestions that include “born again”. Recently, as some of you might know, some high-profile celebrities have claimed to have become born-again Christians or to have had a “spiritual experience” that they attribute to God. Whether or not these experiences are genuine spiritual rebirths is for God to know. However, for your edification, and with a nod to celebrity cultural norms, I’ve compiled a “Top 10″ (plus 1) list of the main characteristics of a newly born-again follower of Jesus. You can compare these characteristics against the celebrity reports and draw your own conclusions. (more…)
I think the question should rather be: “How can I NOT know if I’m born again?” When a soul undergoes spiritual rebirth (healing, is made whole), it’s such a revolution that there is zero doubt what has taken place. It affects every part of your being, and the impression it makes on you is so primal and so deeply entrenched that you’re more certain of your rebirth than you are of your name and date of birth. (more…)
Do you put God first?
When someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, he said:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.
Do you do that? Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, more than you love anyone or anything else?
Do you put God first in everything?
What does it even mean to put God first? (more…)