Wednesday, July 28, 2010
For the past 5 years, i have been introduced, participated and believing in God; just as simple and naive as how a child would follow what is said to be good. There are times, many times when i wanted to accept Christ openly by saying the Lord's Acceptance Prayer; but not only until yesterday after Andrew gave his last sms, quote:
"FOOTPRINTS.. That's my poem for you... ... If I can, I would do what Jesus do.. But I believe he is more suitbale to carry by the beach.. I would be the one watching from the side.. Being there for you even if I am not the person carrying you..."
I was touched to tears, and have a deep sleep which led me to a dream which i will not disclose here.
The dreamt seemed to woke me up from my reality, ironic as it may sound or is it the post Inception effect; instead of feelig light cuz Jesus is carrying me, i felt burdened and my heart is gasping for air. Then i got the news that 2 friends who were so passionately active in Church decided to quit church. Be it i'm easily influenced or is it a wake up call; I have the urge to unchain the cross necklace as suddenly it felt SO SO HEAVY.
The resposibilities of being a christian,the commandments to abide, the promises,the words; all of those which i previously are proud of to share with others and serve as my life guide, seems 'not healthy' to my soul. It's evil, it shed and ripped my emotions and heart apart. Even the physical bruise and cut i got yesterday felt nothing compared the disappointment and emptiness im enduring.
Therefore, i googled this:
III-2. THE DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A CHRISTIAN(John 15:19; 16:2,4).
We talk about the joys of salvation. We talk about the blessings of discipleship. We talk about the advantages of being a Christian. There is another side to this, however, and to be absolutely honest, we must present it. There are limitations in salvation. There are demands in discipleship. There are disadvantages in being a Christian.
This may sound like a sacrilegious paradox, but it's not! Christ, himself, emphasized the requirements more than he did the benefits. He said devotion costs. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up His cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34).
As Christians, we have to be better than average. As Christians, we must outlive the ordinary person. As Christians, we can't just continue doing what feels good. As Christians, we've moved beyond the natural realm. We're in the "spiritual" realm and thus more is expected of us. Jesus said, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:48b, NIV).
So, what are the disadvantages of being a Christian?
I. FIRST, SELFISHNESS IS OUT.
You see, it's "natural" to be selfish, but as Christians, we no longer have that option. Jesus said, "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me" (John 5:30).
Looking out for "Number One" may be human nature. Self-preservation may be based on instinct. Nevertheless, as Christians we must have higher ideals. John said, "Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" (I John 3:16).
1. We can't be egotistical. Paul said, "Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves" (Rom. 15:1).
2. We can't be insensitive. John said, "But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?" (I John 3:17).
3. We can't be unconcerned. Paul said, "Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil. 2:4).
4. We can't be greedy. Paul said, "Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor" (I Cor. 10:24).
5. We can't be envious. Paul said, "Love is . . . not jealous . . ." (I Cor. 13:4).
6. We can't be self-righteous. John said, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us . . ." (I John 1:8).
7. We can't always be popular. Jesus said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets" (Luke 6:26).
So you see, as Christians we can't choose our occupations by income alone. We can't vote our pocketbooks. We can't feather our own nests at the expense of others. Selfishness is out. That's one of the disadvantages of being a Christian.
II. SECOND, DEFENSIVENESS IS OUT.
Now, it's "natural" to be defensive, but as Christians we no longer have that option. Jesus said, "Do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:39).
Paul said, "See that no one repays another with evil for evil . . ." (I Thess
Being reactionary is sinful. Some people are unbelievably touchy. They're like the rhinoceros. They say this belligerent animal can smell and hear quite well, but it can't see clearly. Therefore it takes no chances and immediately charges anything that comes near, be it human, animal or tank. Some people are like that.
The porcupine is another defensive animal. It has needle sharp quills and it uses them. It may be true that the porcupine is never kicked, but then again, it's never hugged either!
Yes, it's "natural" to be defensive. Lashing out and hitting back may be automatic responses. Protecting ourselves and blaming others may be normal behavior. Nevertheless, as Christians, we must be different:
1. We can't be negative. Paul said, "Whatever is true . . . whatever is of good repute . . . let your mind dwell on these things" (Phil. 4:8).
2. We can't be critical. "Malign no one . . . be uncontentious, gentle . . ." (Titus 3:2).
If you were given a dollar for every kind word, and charged a dollar for every critical word, would you be rich or poor? Think about it!
3. We can't gossip. "Do not speak against one another . . ." (James 4:11).
4. We can't be judgmental. "Do not judge lest you be judged" (Matt. 7:1).
None of us are qualified to judge. Only God knows all the circumstances.
5. We can't hate. "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).
6. We can't retaliate. "Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit" (I Peter 3:8-9).
7. We can't get even. "Never pay back evil for evil to anyone" (Rom. 12:17).
You've heard, "Don't get mad, get even!" Well that's impossible and totally unproductive. An eye for an eye doesn't restore sight. It simply blinds two men. Revenge never makes things better. It always makes things worse.
We can't justify our actions by saying, "Well, he had it coming." We must operate by the principle of mercy.
A native accompanied a missionary on a trip, but he totally refused to accept the Gospel. On the way, they had car trouble and tried frantically to wave down a passing truck, but to no avail. Finally, the missionary got the car started, and they had not gone far when they came upon the stalled truck with the two men who had failed to help them. The native was ecstatic, "Now, we can pay those fellows back. They passed us up and we'll pass them up." "Oh, no," the missionary said. "We must stop and help them."
After they had given aid and were on their way again, the native said to the missionary, "Sir, I begin to understand. Your Gospel is about a Christ who came to help not just his friends, but his enemies."
Yes, forgiveness is required. Defensiveness is out. That's another disadvantage of being a Christian.
III. THIRD, MEDIOCRITY IS OUT.
It's "natural" to be mediocre; but as Christians we no longer have that option. Paul said, "Be devoted . . . not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord" (Rom. 12:10-11).
John said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; . . . I will (spew) you out of My mouth" (Rev. 3:15, 16).
Being only fair or "so-so" is sinful. Once, some of Teddy Roosevelt's supporters called him a great, extra-ordinary man. He objected, "Oh, no! I'm not a great extra-ordinary man. I'm just a plain, ordinary man, highly motivated."
Yes, it's natural to be mediocre. Inertia is a principle of the physical world. Even water runs downhill. Laziness is a constant temptation of mankind. Nevertheless, as Christians we must overcome these tendencies.
1. We can't be complacent. "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27).
2. We can't be half-hearted. "No servant can serve two masters; . . . he will hate the one, and love the other . . ." (Luke 16:13).
3. We can't be apathetic. Paul said, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men" (Col. 3:23).
We can't just look the other way.
4. We can't be uninvolved. Paul said, "For we are God's fellow workers . . ." (I Cor. 3:9).
5. We can't, just go along. Paul said, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . ." (Rom. 12:2).
6. We can't be careless. John said, "The one who says, `I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar . . ." (I John 2:4).
7. We can't be unethical. John said, "Anyone who . . . does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God" (II John 9).
So, you see, as Christians, we can't be clock watchers. We can't give the least effort for the most returns. The needs are great. Excellence is in. Mediocrity is out. That's another disadvantage of being a Christian.
Yes, indeed, being a Christian can really put a cramp in your style. Jesus said, "But I say to you . . . love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If you just love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. But love your enemies, and do good . . . and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned" (Luke 6:27-37).
We constantly emphasize the blessings of salivation and the rewards of discipleship; but in fact, Jesus actually emphasized the opposite. He never promised the proverbial "Rose Garden." Instead, he warned of hardships and obligations. He was honest about the disadvantages of being a Christian. Listen: "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you . . ." (John 15:19, and 16:2,4).
There is no "easy believism." Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).
God expects great things of us. We have enormous responsibilities. We are here for a purpose. Paul said, "Do you not know that . . . you are not your own? . . . therefore glorify God . . ." (I Cor. 6:19-20).
A Japanese missionary was going home one night when he saw a would-be-suicide climb up on a bridge and jump into the river. The missionary dived in, dragged him out, took him home, nursed him back to health, fed him and found him a job.
Then, he said, "You can stay here or you can live elsewhere; but remember this, from now on your life no longer belongs to you. I saved it, so it belongs to me. Therefore, you must report to me regularly on what you've been doing with `my life.' " Surprisingly, the man made good. He became a successful professional. Years later, he finally got up the courage to ask his benefactor a question. "I know you saved me from death and helped me tremendously; but where did you get the notion that my life no longer belongs to me?" "That's not a notion," the Japanese missionary replied. "That's the truth. In fact, my life doesn't really belong to me. It was given to me by God and I must stand before him and tell him what I've done with it!" Paul said, "He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf" (II Cor. 5:15).
So, what are you doing with the life God has given you? Are you using all of your time, talents, energy and opportunities in His service?
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This issue of NEW PERSPECTIVES is from an unpublished manuscript © copyrighted 2005 by Miles and Maralene Wesner, Idabel, OK. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO USE THEM IN ANY WAY YOU THINK IS APPROPRIATE. The only thing we ask is that you give credit for original material in PUBLISHED works.
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