I get a fascination with Bible characters and think about what their take on today’s society. What would they think of social media? What would they think of the modern churches? Would our services be any thing close to theirs? If they sat in our house on a Tuesday night and viewed firsthand what we did and watched, what do you think they’d teach on, on Wednesday night?
I watch people with a curiosity much the same. How can a Christian so boldly speak foul language and mock sin, and then profess their faith as if it’s a girl scout badge?
Apostle Paul is a character that I cannot wait to meet! He was so bold. He didn’t play church! He died for it and his letters reflect that when he taught the church the manner in which we should live our lives and the degree of dedication. That is my personal biggest issue with the modern church. Their commitment and dedication is ridiculous in comparison to the scripture.
I don’t fair very well either, so I’m not throwing anyone under the bus alone. I’m getting scuffed by the tires too! But this is check list of just a few of Paul’s model ideas for the church.
1 Thessalonians 1: 4-5
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power; and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance: as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Paul and the other Apostles and Disciples that traveled with him set an example for not only those of their time but of our day too. But I know from my own life that I’m not following their examples any where close to the biblical standard.
Most of the world doesn’t have a clue what the biblical standard is. Christianity is far more than a title. It’s a position.
Not to an office, as President of the United States, but rather the fact that each of us who accept so great a salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ are elected to an everlasting life and happiness. It is the effect of His pure love and favor that we are given this position. We were elected by the majority vote. God’s. And yet we live like the underdog. Some of us live like strays. Like we don’t even belong to the church.
Paul calls the elect “beloved.” He has a deep devotion to the churches that God called him to work with. For me this is the bell ringer for whether or not a child of God is taking their election seriously. Do they show up for the meetings? That time that should by all means be set aside to not only fellowship with the brethren but to study God’s word together and receive our messages for the week.
It’s a time that many Pastor’s across America have failed to take seriously. Perhaps because their congregation stopped showing up, or perhaps they need to examine their own commitment.
If the doors are open and the body is able, we should be there. Sunday morning, Sunday Night and Wednesday and any other opportunity! Why? Because this world wants to take us out and we need the Armor.
It’s why Christians aren’t living as they should. They’re not putting on the armor of God. They’re just letting their flesh be exposed the ideals of the world, which Satan loves. Once a person is saved, he’s lost them. He cannot have a child of God. But he can influence them until they’re of no effect to the world around them because their standards are no different and they’ve forgotten that they even hold a position in Heaven.
Paul mentions that they not only taught the word of God they lived the word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit and in much assurance.
Because the world lives so far from the biblical standards their assurance suffers immensely. Paul had the assurance because his eyes were on Jesus and the mission that He have him. Paul didn’t dabble in the world Monday-Saturday and attempt to show up with a message on Sunday.
Yes, I’m preaching to myself! No, I’m not at bars or destroying my testimony with foul language, but I can turn on Netflix, a magazine story or any of the number of other things that garner my attention away from God and get wrapped up in Hollywood which takes my armor and lays it aside for a sparkly cape and cute boots. I am fickle with the world.
I must question myself. What kind of encounter am I creating for those who come into my home on any given day? Mainly the grand kids, but there are others and it could be the people I meet on the street. Do they see Jesus, or do they see worldly adorations?
The main question is what effect does my encounter have with the people I meet?
When I was in New Mexico, I had a different boldness that I do not have here. It was obvious to my soul. I do not speak with the same power there that I spoke with there. Because I know the people here, I let the flesh intimidate me into saying less than I’d like.
Being less of an influence. My encounters are not up to standard because they are influenced by location.
In New Mexico I felt the power of Satan fighting against me from the day I agreed to go. When I got there, I knew it was because God had given me that assignment and I didn’t want to fail. Even though I often felt like I did. But I fought on to give the song and message to the people for which I’d been called to serve. At home I slump into a routine and the boldness digresses and I become the Jesus Chick. Not near so bold. Not near so focused.
I just really scared myself there. I know that I’m under the bus with skid marks going up my backside and a yellow stripe. Because I don’t have the bravery that I desire to have. I allow the world to beat me down and convince me that I’m not called to do what I know I’ve been called to do. Speak Boldly!
Life is our mission field. I need to stop forgetting.