Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Walk the Walk

But I have this against you,

that you have left your first love.

Therefore remember from where you have fallen,

and repent and do the deeds you did at first. Revelation 2:4

We all have high and low points in our life. 

Some of these would include successes or failures; winning or losing; wise or foolish decisions; a promotion or loss of job; marriage or divorce; the birth of your children and grandchildren; and people who build you up, or tear you down. In many ways these events shape our lives.

I can easily name my high and low points. Can you? 

My low point came in 1978 at the peak of my success in life. Looking back I had become disillusioned with life and what I believed to be the Great American Dream. In the middle of tremendous success from the world’s perspective, I became bored, confused, and discouraged. I had everything that was supposed to bring me happiness; but in reality my life was empty. I began to question if there was more to life than just my daily routine. What is the meaning and purpose of everything? Does life matter … or does it just begin, happen, and then end?

In the midst of several years of this discouragement, I found the truth and met my first love on October 20, 1980. When I told my wife I had become a Christian, she looked at me in confusion and said: "I've been a Christian since 7th grade" and ... “you’re not going to become a fanatic like your sister, are you?” After watching me change overnight … within a month, she prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior as well. My walk became my witness.

Jesus Christ was and is my First Love. Those first years were exciting, enlightening, and growing times. So what can happen between then and now that can make things seem different? Jesus, the Truth of His Word, and the Holy Spirit never change. Life  happens and life brings failures and discouragements.

And the world forces of darkness never sleep. The enemy has a thousand ways to attack, and come between each of us and Christ. Our failures and our successes, our flesh, and our pride can quickly cause us to unconsciously lose our focus and take our eyes away from God’s purpose and plan. This is often accomplished by atheistic thinkers in our life; or atheistic thinkers in the media, friends, and our public educational system. The desire by most is to get along and not make waves is a danger.

Tolerance and politically correct are the words of the day. But Jesus was not politically correct. He stood against the teachers of the world and their false teachings. To be intolerant to false teachings will quickly result in your rejection and persecution by the world. Jesus clearly explained this truth. John 15: 18-20

A most dangerous weapon used by atheists against God is evolution. Once Christians accept this heresy, they are horribly compromised and likely to become a walking contradiction. There is always the danger that we could begin to drift, and eventually become lukewarm and a hypocritical witness for Christ.

But there are many other false teachings that are also leading Christians away from Christ. Moral Relativism and values clarification is another great example. The teaching that there are no moral absolutes is another evil lie. This is the notion that morality is described by one's own personal feelings, ideas, beliefs, and values … whatever they may be.

A friend once told me Bob, that is your truth and I have my truth. And I replied; “our beliefs are the opposite of each other. We can both be wrong; or one right and the other wrong; but we cannot both have the truth.”

Spiritual pride can also be very deceptive. The more we learn, the more we can become prideful and tempted to twist our understanding of spiritual things. The more we know … what we know can become the stumbling block. God’s Truth never changes … it is eternal, regardless of our feelings, logic, or circumstances. God’s eternal Truth is the anchor of our souls … where hope, confidence, meaning, and purpose are discovered. Once grounded in God’s eternal truth … His Truth forever becomes the foundation of our belief system.

Without God’s Truth, there is only chaos, confusion, hopelessness, and death. Without the hope, peace, and rest that only Christ provides us; discouragement is a natural result. Once discouraged, the next logical step is to neglect or disregard God’s Truth, and the seeking of His daily guidance by the power of the Holy Spirit.

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ … And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual, but as to carnal, even as to babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for till now you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able.  For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as (mere) men?  1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3

30 years ago, Dr. Bill Bright taught me … There are three types of people in the world.

The Natural Man – he does not understand the things of God, they are foolishness to him. This man has rejected Christ and as a result has been judged by God and stands condemned. There is nothing worse than being a natural man with a closed mind to the Truth of Jesus Christ.

The Spiritual Man – he judges all things in relation to God’s Word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This man has believed and trusted his eternal life to Jesus Christ. Since God has already judged this man forgiven, he is judged by no man. He stands here and now secure eternally by the blood of Jesus Christ. All men have the option to choose to be a Spiritual Man.

The Carnal Man – he has believed in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation; but he has chosen to allow the teachings of the world; and his lust and his pride to guide him rather than God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. This man is saved eternally (because of his faith in Christ) but his loss is great … compared to “a man running from a burning house.”

Dr Bright explained further that when Christians were asked which man best described them; that more than 80% of Christians … identified themselves as Carnal Man. It seems that millions trust Christ as their Savior but then never move on from the milk to the meat of the word. They only want the food that is easy to swallow … that which allows them to remain acceptable and to fit in with the false teachings of the world.

The questions we are left with are:

Which person best describes you?
Which person would you like to be?
What steps do you need to take to get from A to B?

The Spiritual Man is the one who  … Walks the Walk.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of the Lord is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

God bless you my friends, Bob

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