It’s not complicated…

As Christians, it seems that we tend to make living a fulfilling christian life a deep, and unobtainable theological mystery. This seems to cause people to act like someone they are not, try to modify their behavior, and measure up to the standard status quo.

I would like to make this argument….It’s not complicated.

I think it can be simplified down to the two commands of Christ…Love God with every aspect of your being, and love others as Christ has loved you.

Out of the first command we love God with all of our being. We follow Jesus, we are transformed by Jesus, empowered by Jesus, view the world through Jesus, interpret scripture through Jesus, etc, and understand as 1 John 3 says that love was the message from the beginning.

Out of the second command we love others as He loves us. I think this produces 6 primary things we should do to live the Christian life….

Love one another, Encourage one another, humbly serve one another, accept one another, greet one another with love/excitement/joy, and Do not be evil towards one another.

There are no less than 59 “one another” statements in the New Testament.

It’s not complicated……Love God, and love people.

 

Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something?

There have been a lot of things in my life that I have done that someone told me before hand I could not do. With that being said there are still times in my life that I am not confident that I can really succeed in the things that God has told me I will do in His Kingdom. Sometimes I am discouraged by what others say, and sometimes I have an inner struggle about what I can do. I build my confidence in these areas by telling myself that I can do whatever God has called me to do because He is leading me, and empowering me. I remind myself of the things He has already done. Sometimes we get so focused on the gap before us that we forget about the gaps He has already helped us through that are behind us. The road behind us was once full of gulfs that seemed impassable, but now that we are on the other side we forget part of the lesson we learned by making it through. God is always faithful. He was faithful in your past, He is faithful in your present, and He will be faithful in your future.

A simple personal story:

When I was called to help start a new church, I was excited, and ready to see God work through this new church. I was ready to see the Lord build His church, and build a family of believers in this new area. I was ready to take my place in His plan, and do all that He called me to do while I was there. As the church grew, and we implemented structure and culture it was time to do our first set of ministry interviews for our first true church members, and see how we could connect them to what God was doing. One of the first interviews I read (I didn’t personally sit with this particular person) could have been very destructive. To say it simply, this person said that I should be replaced. I would be lying if I said that didn’t sting a little bit, and make me think. However, I didn’t think about it for very long, just a few minutes. It was God that called me there, and His word carries veto power. People can have discouraging words, opinions, and tell you that you can’t do something, or that you should be replaced because they don’t like your style, but none of those things can over rule what God says. God closed that gap, and several years later I am not being replaced, instead I will soon be proud to see a man step up further into the plans the Lord has for him, and I will continue on in the plans He has for me. Seek first His Kingdom, and don’t worry about the naysayers.

My life story is full of this stuff. I grew up on the poor side of town, on the wrong side of the tracks, with the bad family reputation, etc. I have always been told about the things I couldn’t do, but with God all things are possible, and my Father God always tells me about what I CAN do!

Lets look at a little bit different example from 1 Samuel 17. David and Goliath.

Long story short David ends up hearing from the naysayers before he stepped onto the battlefield with Goliath. His brothers, and Saul discouraged him. He was told he couldn’t do it. He was told the gap, or in this case the giant in front of him was too big. David’s response is important. He says I had giants in my past, and the Lord delivered me in my past. I have killed bears, I have killed lions, and with the Lord I will kill this giant too. It is also important to note that David did it from who he was as a person. He didn’t try to be something he wasn’t. He removed the armor that Saul placed on him, and he took the tools of a shepherd on to the battlefield.

The gaps you have crossed, and the giants you have killed in your past are preparation for the ones that are to come. They are reminders that God has delivered you before, He is delivering you now, and He will deliver you in the future. You can do everything He has called you to do because He is limitless, and He never fails you!

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi

 

 

I have to admit, I get frustrated.

It is frustrating to see people you know that call themselves followers of Christ spit venom at their brothers, sisters, and people around them because they don’t support the president that was inaugurated today in the USA. Life long learners, and proclaimers that never apply the words of Jesus in their life. We serve the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. There is no thing ever created that can separate us from Him and His love. He is our source, the current president is not our source. Do we really believe God works everything for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose? Do we really believe there will be no end to the increase of His government or of His peace? Or, are these just things we say to look, and sound the part? Some people are acting as if a person can change these things, people do not over rule our Lord.

So today I want to provide a list of a few scriptures that remind us all how to treat one another if we are going to call ourselves Christ like.

Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace.                       2 Corinthians 13:11

So encourage each other and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
 Hebrews 10:24

This is just a small sample out of the word that tells us these same things repeatedly. Let me reiterate with the words of Jesus himself, the one we say we are following.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. John 15:12

This is My command to you: Love one another. John 15:17

Let us follow the ONE commandment of our Jesus. Even if I get frustrated sometimes, I still love you all.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi