Are there consequences to the way we live from God's standpoint? Take the example of King David in the Old Testament. He had some whopper sins and yet he was described as a "man after God's own heart" and God loved and blessed him. How does that work with us today?
What has happened to us? We live in an age where ego and emotion are more important than virtue and values. An age where personal preference outweighs personal worth and “I want it now” trumps integrity. We live in an age where absolutes aren’t (unless we decide they fit into our personal plan) and standards are only something to customize and remodel to our personal satisfaction. Ours is an age where the ancient principles of sin and objective morality are being relegated to the trash heap of history. So, what are we supposed to do? Should we go along with the flow of thoughts and emotions that are reshaping our social structure? Should we abandon what is considered to be the old and worn out moral thinking of the past and embrace the new and vibrant personally-based principles of the present?
In many ways we are daily in a fight for our lives. There are so many choices that present themselves to us each and every day, many of which can distract and derail us from what is most important. The biggest factor that determines whether we stay on track with life or go down some rabbit hole of distraction and disruption is simply...me. Yup, I am the decision maker - the gatekeeper of my own mind and body - and I alone have final say as to what kind of victory or what kind of defeat I will experience. Now, wait a minute! As a Christian shouldn’t I be subject to the will of God through Christ? Absolutely! Then why am I saying that I am in control? It’s simple! I decide how much influence the will of God will exercise in my life at any given moment and that makes ME my worst enemy! Great! Now what do we do? What do we do? We learn how to identify, fight and win the battle!
Have you noticed how easy it is to offend people these days? There seems to be such an overt need to accept and to be accepted that we go overboard with the “correctness” of our words and behavior lest we hurt anyone’s feelings at any time. Now, being accepting of others is a good thing, but is it the most important thing? Should we willingly lay all other principles and standards upon the altar of mutual acceptance? Are we compelled to accept the world the way it is without regard to the good we have gleaned from the way it was? How did Jesus do it? He certainly spent time with the sinners of his day but was it at the cost of higher principles? Did Jesus actually “hang out” with sinners? Was his time with them to make them feel good or accepted? What is God’s role in all of this? If we want a relationship with God, does He accept us as we are or is there more to it?
Did you ever notice that there never seems to be enough time? For some reason or other, we are always rushing around to do the things we need to do and we seem to scarcely be able to even take a breath in between this and that. Our lives are often harried, and as a result we tend to feel unfulfilled and empty at the end of a day. So, how are we spending our time? What are we doing – or not doing - with that precious commodity of time to either fulfill or fritter away our lives? As Christians, are there different and specific guidelines for spending and investing our time than for others? Are there ways to simply and efficiently reorder and reclaim our time? Where do we start? What do we do?
The Bible tells us to stand fight and be courageous for our faith. It also sometimes tells us to run away from some things and some people. What is the difference? How do we know when to plant our feet solidly on the foundation of Christ and truth or when to lace up the running shoes of righteousness and run away? Is it always an obvious answer? Is there ever a time that we would do both? Wait – how would you do THAT?
To be a Christian is perhaps the most amazing privilege in the history of mankind. After all, you are called to walk in the footsteps of the master, to sacrifice your will, your time and your energy for one short lifetime. In exchange, you will be given an eternity of godly power and wisdom and be used of God Himself to rehabilitate the world from sin and rule along with our Lord Jesus in righteousness! Such privilege certainly comes with guidelines and requirements - well, what are they? How specifically does God through Jesus guide our relationships?
The very definition of “Christian” is one who follows Christ. As Christians, we all know this and we all agree that it is of paramount importance. The big question is, what exactly does it mean to follow Christ? What is our life supposed to look like? What does God want FROM us through Christ and what does God want FOR us through Christ? Is it different for everyone? How do we know if we are on track? What role does trouble play? Do we really have to suffer for Christ?