A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

Home » Posts tagged 'born-again follower of Jesus'

Tag Archives: born-again follower of Jesus

A CALL TO SPIRITUAL ARMS: PREPARING FOR PASSOVER

When I started this blog several years ago, it was not my intention to form a ministry. This was never meant to be an outreach or evangelical site. It was just intended to be a place where born-again believers could touch base, see their views reflected, get some guidance, and maybe get a spiritual spanking, if one was warranted. There are few places like that left in the world, even online, and even fewer among those spaces designated as Christian.

My intentions for this blog have not changed over the years. This is still not a ministry and still not an outreach or evangelical site. If anything, I work hard to push people away by constantly challenging them. It’s more a boot camp than anything else and I’m the drill sergeant. I play the role willingly and well. That’s why God put me here.

If you’re not DAILY examining your conscience before God, comparing your thoughts and actions with those of Jesus and adjusting them accordingly, then you’re falling short of your duties as a born-again believer and you’re getting spiritually flabby. Those who are spiritually flabby won’t make it home. I don’t care what your worldly pastor or some donation-grubbing, feel-good “Christian” on YouTube tells you – being born-again is not a guaranteed ticket to Heaven. Being born-again is a pass that gets you into the Kingdom and a blank check that pays for the services of God’s Holy Spirit to guide and protect you as you make your way through the temptations of this world. But born-again believers can still lose their grace. That is scriptural. “Once saved, always saved” is a lie to keep you spiritually flabby.

In the Bible, every major transition to a higher spiritual state is preceded by a fast or some form of significant separation from the world that lasts 40 days and 40 nights. We see it with Noah during the flood. We see it with Moses on Mount Sinai. We see it with Jesus in the wilderness and again after his resurrection, when he appeared to his followers off and on for 40 days and nights before his ascension. The 40-day-and-night time span is clearly important in God’s economy, so we need to pay attention to it. We should be constantly striving to evolve to a higher spiritual level by following ever closer behind Jesus and drawing ever closer to God.

Over the next seven weeks leading up to Passover, we have the opportunity to do a 40-day fast of some kind. How you choose to fast is between you and God, but I strongly suggest that you do it. A reminder is in order here that Jesus says God requires mercy not sacrifice, and that Isaiah 58 gives a very clear explanation of the kind of fast required by God and the rewards that come from doing it. Again, I’m not telling you how to fast (that’s between you and God); I’m just saying that you should fast in the weeks leading up to Passover.

For us born-again believers, Passover is the annual commemoration and celebration of our freedom from physical, political and spiritual slavery. It also commemorates and celebrates our reconciliation with God. Through Moses, God told us we should always celebrate Passover while we’re on Earth, and through Jesus, God showed us the new way to do it – with wine and bread, rather than with blood and a slaughtered lamb.

We should be constantly challenging ourselves as born-again believers. We should never be satisfied to remain where we are spiritually; we should always be striving to be better than we were yesterday, with our ultimate goal to “be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect”. No, we’ll never attain that goal while we’re in our imperfect bodies, but we still need to strive for it to our dying breath.

To do this, we need to be constantly comparing ourselves with Jesus, not with the world. Our standard should be Jesus, not the world. If we have problems, we turn to God, not to the world. If we need guidance and healing, we look to God, not to the world. If we’re angry and frustrated, we go to God, not to the world. Jesus always went to God, and we need to do that, too. But we can’t do it if we’re too attached to the world and its ways. The world has a way of coming between us and God. We need to prevent that from happening.

Separating ourselves from the world through a 40-day fast is a good way to refocus everything on God.

You have your marching orders.

Passover starts at sundown on April 15th, 2022.

ENEMIES AND FRIENDS

Jesus tells his followers to love their enemies, and as born-again followers of Jesus, we do what he tells us to do: We love our enemies.

We pray for them, bless them, and do good to them, regardless of what they do to us.

But in loving our enemies, we must also stay aware that they are our enemies. They are not our friends. Enemies can’t and shouldn’t be trusted. Enemies can’t and shouldn’t be entrusted with anything of value. They are enemies.

Yes, we can spend time with them and interact with them, showing them love, but all the while we should still remain aware that they are our enemies. We need constantly to be on our guard.

If, on the other hand, our enemies turn and become followers of Jesus, as witnessed by genuine spiritual rebirth, then they’ve become our friends. We were once enemies of Jesus, but when we were born-again, we became his friends. We need to extend the same friendship to our enemies who turn. We need to test them first to see if they are genuinely turned (as Paul was tested by the disciples), but if we find them to be so, then we need to embrace them as friends the way Jesus has embraced us. No ifs, ands, or buts.

At the same time, don’t be fooled. Many people claim to turn to Jesus, only to be found later to have turned to something other than Jesus, some other Jesus-like gospel that is not Jesus. Most of these people take on leadership positions in the worldly denominational church. They are the gatekeepers Jesus describes as not entering the Kingdom and preventing others from entering, as fishing for converts only to make them more fit for hell than they are themselves. During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the leadership of the synagogues and temple was like this. Today, the leadership of all denominational churches is like this. No exceptions.

When you’re a born-again believer, your enemies – both seen and unseen – are all around you all the time. Your friends – both seen and unseen – are also all around you, and they’re closer to you than your enemies, even if they’re physically far away, and even if you don’t know who they are. They form a spiritual force field around you that cannot be breached. Think of David (when he was on the run from Saul) and his band of outcasts who protected him with their lives. In this case, we are all David while at the same time being all his outcasts. We are both David and those who protected him. However, unlike David and his men, we don’t use physical weapons to protect each other; we use spiritual ones. We pray for each other, just as we pray for our enemies. Our prayers contribute to our protection, because our prayers give God permission to intervene supernaturally over and above what he would normally do.

The more we pray and bless others, whether friend or foe, the more we receive prayers and are blessed in return. It’s a beautiful thing. Never be swayed by those who try to get you to hate anyone for any reason, or you will lose your blessings. We love and bless and pray for our enemies, we love and bless and pray for our friends. This is how we aim to be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, as Jesus advised us to be. Don’t let anyone persuade you to be otherwise.

FOUNDATIONAL TUTORIAL: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: Preamble to Lesson One

Whether you’re living under a medical dictatorship (as I am now) or in relative freedom, the Ten Commandments don’t change. God doesn’t give you permission to kill and steal just because the government does. The Ten Commandments don’t change any more than your requirement to abide by them changes, regardless of the circumstances.

Regardless of the circumstances.

That’s why it’s so important that you first and foremost know precisely what the Ten Commandments are – not the politically correct version that’s presented in the worldly denominational churches, but the pure version as taught by Jesus. It’s possible that you might be breaking one or more of the Commandments without even knowing it. And if that’s the case, and you’re genuinely a follower of Jesus, you’ll want to know you’re breaking the Commandments so you can stop doing it.

The main purpose of this foundational tutorial is to reacquaint you with the Law. At the same time, we’ll be digging deeper into the meaning of each Commandment, based on Jesus’ teachings. As we know from the Gospels, Jesus was a huge fan of the Ten Commandments, so he talked about them a lot. But I warn you – the tutorial is very likely going to put some spiritual noses out of joint. I won’t be watering down the Gospel message any more than I do at any other time. The Commandments will be taught as Jesus taught them – straight up, with no chaser.

If you’re willing to come along for the ride, I’d suggest doing a little background reading before starting the tutorial. At the very least, reread the Commandments as presented by Moses in the Old Testament. Even better, reread the Commandments and then reread the Gospels, with an eye to how Jesus taught the Commandments. They’re interwoven with his other teachings; sometimes he mentions them by name, and sometimes he doesn’t, so doing a quick reread of the Gospels is the best way to approach these lessons.

As I mentioned in my first announcement a few days ago, we’ll be doing the Commandments as a count-down, starting with the tenth. So along with prepping by rereading the Ten Commandments and the Gospels, it would also be a good idea to spend some timing thinking about the concept of coveting and how it plays out in the world today. If you don’t have time to do any background reading as preparation for the tutorial, that’s OK too, but keep in mind that the more you put into learning Jesus’ teachings, the more you’ll get out of them.

Finally, it’s critically important to understand that the Commandments were written for you. They’re meant for you, so you need to take them personally. When God commands not to covet, he’s talking directly to each one of us by name. I hear the Command as: “Charlotte, don’t covet”. I make it personal because God meant it to be personal. The Commandments are not so much decrees as they are pleas and strong advice and reminders and wise words of caution. God has imprinted them on our hearts, and every time we call the Commandments to mind, we retrace them and imprint them deeper.

I’m reminded of old tombstones that after a while can’t be read anymore because the stone around the words has been worn away. We don’t want our hearts to be like those tombstones; we want God’s Commandments to remain vivid and legible for the rest of our time on Earth. To accomplish this, we not only need to know God’s Commandments, we need to keep them, and we need to teach them, as Jesus taught us.

**********

O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

Psalm 119: 97-98

TO WHOM IT CONCERNS: I AM NOT AN ANTI-VAXXER

I have been called an “anti-vaxxer”, but that label is inaccurate. I’m against all chemical drug-based medicines, with very few exceptions. I believe that some medically-applied chemicals have palliative value, mostly as pain-killers, but even those should be rarely used, and only at nominal levels that do not impede the ability of the person taking them to make informed free will decisions. I do not believe that people should be forcefully medicated or prescribed medicine that will make them do things they would otherwise not do.

God is my physician. I go to God for healing, and he heals me through the power of his Holy Spirit. Healing that comes through the power of God’s Holy Spirit is miraculous, not earthly. There are no chemicals involved. This option to be freely healed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit is the God-given right and inheritance of all God’s children, who today are known as born-again followers of Jesus.

So, no, I am not an anti-vaxxer. I’m a born-again follower of Jesus. If you need to put a medically-related worldly label on me, then call me an anti-drugger. I’m also anti-coercion, including when it comes to forcing medical advice or interventions on people. I do not force others to go to God for healing, so I do not expect them to force me to go to a state-sanctioned drug-pusher for healing.

This is what I believe, and I express my beliefs as my opinion. I do not expect you to share my opinion or even to respect my opinion. However, I do expect you to respect my right to hold an opinion, just as I respect your right to hold an opinion. These rights – both yours and mine – are inviolable, as they’re God-given. No law is above God’s law. This is what I believe.

I will not be coerced into taking drugs. That doesn’t make me an anti-vaxxer; if anything, it makes me an anti-drugger. The root of my opposition to taking drugs is that God is my physician. God heals exclusively by the power of his Holy Spirit, not by drugs.

God is my physician. He is also my Father. He advises me against taking drugs, and I abide by his advice. This doesn’t make me an anti-vaxxer. I am not an anti-vaxxer: I am a child of God and a born-again follower of Jesus.

Amen and yours truly,

Charlotte