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Category: Christianity (page 2 of 2)

God-Dependent

“To become a [true] servant is to become radically strong spiritually”<
[Be] God-dependent rather than spouse-dependent”

During one of my mornings with God last week, reading from a book called “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas, these phrases popped out at me and got me thinking…

What does it mean to be “God-dependent”? How does that come through in every day life?

I know that most of us, growing up in Christian homes and churches, have been taught at a young age to put our trust in Christ, to have our happiness depend on God rather than our family or friends. To a young girl, that seems easier said than done.

My happiness depends on a God I can’t even see? How does that work? He can’t make silly faces that get me to laugh, He can’t tell me a joke or take me somewhere fun or sit for hours to just talk and catch up.

But as I got older, I began to realize what being “God-dependent” really means.

Throughout high school I got excited whenever one of the older guys happened to smile at me or when one of my friends invited me out to a girls’ night. Then college came, I got a boyfriend and felt like I was on cloud nine because I finally had someone who seemed to value me for who I was and who I enjoyed spending time with.

And what happened?

I broke my heart multiple times because those high school boys were just being nice and had no interest in me whatsoever. Most of those girls’ nights ended up being gossip-fests that I couldn’t share in because I was homeschooled and didn’t know anyone outside of church. Half of the guys in college, including my then-boyfriend, weren’t interested in a long-term relationship and eventually started to push me away.

The bottom line is that people will let you down, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s just the way we are with the sin nature in our lives… and that’s why we’re encouraged to allow God to become the source of our joy and happiness.

David realized this when he wrote Psalm 28:7:

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him and I am helped;
therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song I will praise Him.”

What does he do in this verse?

David owns the truth by saying “my strength” and “my shield.”DSCN7730

By claiming that truth as his own and striving each day to place his dependence on God alone, David was able to “greatly rejoice” and “praise” the God of joy and peace!

So, how would that apply in real life?

The verse that popped in my head was Ephesians 5:21, which says:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

As we start to turn our focus toward Christ and work to base our joy off of our relationship with Him, everything else will fall into place.

It’s just like Thomas says:

“If [you] are faithfully serving [your spouse] when [they’re] in a surely mood and [they’re] not exactly falling over [themselves] to show [their] appreciation, [you] still receive an inner affirmation and sense of fulfillment from God. [You] have that inner witness that tells [you] that [your] Creator is pleased with [you]…”

When we place our identity in the One who is the source of joy and happiness, it won’t matter so much what other people do to us, as long as we’re faithfully striving to serve our heavenly Father and do His will by loving on those He created…

… because He will be pleased with us.

“There is true joy when true service is offered up with a true heart”

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To love like Christ

Your hatred is for individuals, whereas mine is for certain actions and ideas.”
Matt Walsh.

Recently, one of my favorite bloggers, Matt Walsh, wrote a response to all of the hate mail that he has been receiving for voicing his opinions on some of society’s issues.
Whenever a breaking news story comes out or an issue gets heavily debated on social media sites, you can almost guarantee that Walsh will have something to say on the matter… and it’s refreshing to read a Christian viewpoint on what’s happening in the world.
He doesn’t blatantly shove the Bible in his readers’ faces or act as if he’s superior to them. He states the facts and explains why he thinks the way he does (with plenty resources to back up his viewpoint).
So, my question is, why do we, as Christians, get so much hate for voicing our opinions or not agreeing with the way society thinks?
 Some people claim that Christians are just out to condemn others for their sinful ways and to bring down judgement upon them. Still others seem to see us as cold-hearted Pharisees that follow a strict set of rules and look down upon those who don’t believe the way we do.

“They laugh hysterically when a Christian suggests that it’s possible to condemn the homosexual act without hating the homosexual person. I’ve attempted to make this
clarification so many times, and, on every occasion, I’m told that such a distinction is impossible. Hate what a person does, hate the person. It’s that simple.”
Walsh

But that’s not it at all!
As Walsh says in his post: “I hate attacks on marriage, on the family, on my faith, on liberty, on truth, on reason, on the constitution, but I don’t hate the attackers. I hate what they stand for, I hate their agenda, I hate their lies, but I do not hate the individuals.”
Why?
Because, as children of the Most High God, we are called to love one another; as God has loved us, that we also love one another. By this all will know that we are Christ’s disciples, if we have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
That’s all there is to it. Since God is love and, as the sons and daughters of God, we have the likeness of Christ, we are called to spread that love to those around us, not hate.
Yes, it is not our place to pass judgement on anyone for God “has committed all judgment to the Son… [whose] judgment is righteous, because [He] does not seek [His] own will but the will of the Father who sent [Him]” (John 5:22, 30) and sometimes it might seem as if Christians are judging others for their actions left and right (and maybe sometimes we are unintentionally).
But we’re not perfect either. As Christians, we should all be striving to follow in Christ’s footsteps and that’s what grace is all about), and in reality, we are condemning the sin and hoping to reveal the truth to those around us.
 So, in short, yes, I believe it is possible to hate the sin and love the sinner.
I mean, there is a spiritual battle going on all around us all the time. Satan is fighting to claim as many souls as he can and will do all he can to confuse and mislead those who are still stuck in their sin. He will keep leading them in endless circles, away from the Light of the One who is calling out to them in Christ’s name, offering hope and salvation.
As Walsh put it in his blog, if we were really out to get people, we wouldn’t be approaching them about the issues we see in their lives. If we “hated” them, we would just ignore it and let them sink deeper and deeper into the pit of despair until they were overcome and consumed.

But the thing is… we care. The love of Christ drives us to do all we can to save those who haven’t realized the truth.

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10

“So, if you get upset at any of us, get upset at those of us who think we know the truth yet are too lazy and selfish to speak up and share it. Indeed, just because someone voices a disagreement with you doesn’t mean they hate you. Often, it means the exact opposite.”
Walsh

To read the full post that I based this off of, visit http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/06/05/this-person-is-planning-to-kill-me-in-order-to-teach-me-that-shouldnt-be-mean-and-hateful/2/#HvUev1Y8obubj19i.99

 

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