If we claim to be a Christian we should want to try to be like Christ. We need to be on guard to not get sucked into the cultures way of thinking and doing things. This is not to say you can not have fun and have to go sit in a monastery somewhere but in things we say and do we should try to be Christlike.For instance how many of us have hurt someone with things that we have said that you would never think of saying if Jesus were standing right there? News flash...Jesus is always there. Jesus himself would never say hurtful or rude things to people. We are to strive to be like Him so there is your assignment. Be nice!
To be Christlike we need to be approachable and not so 'holier than thou' which turns people off. There are two extremes. The first is the being 'baptized in vinegar' where a person can not even seem to crack a smile and is a pretty self righteous person too thinking their way is best or their church knows it all. Next is the person that just goes right on with the flow of the modern culture and uses no discernment in their activities. The first way is extreme in people trying to act 'religious' and better than people but they are ineffective witnesses for Him because of their attitude The next scenario is when it is hard to really tell the person is a believer at all because they are really no different than the world. There is a balance.
We know 'this world' is not our home and we are to be set apart for holiness. If you claim to be a Christian do people even know you are a Christian? Do you try to hide it? Are your actions any different from those who deny Christ? Do you chime right along cussing,drinking, gossiping and doing things you know would bring dishonor upon the name of Christ or do you seek to be his witness where He has placed you?
You know the kids' game called Simon Says where the person says "Simon Says put your hand on your nose" and we are to put our hand on our nose? This goes on until the part with 'Simon Says' is left out and if you still do it then you lose. Jesus is like Simon except bigger, of course. In His word it has allot to say about following Him and being like Him. 1 Corinthians 4:16 says "Therefore I urge you to imitate me". 1 Corinthians 11:1 says "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." Philippians 3:17 says "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you." Philippians 3:10 says "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."
We are in a battle between heaven and hell. Ephesians 6:12 says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places". If we are not on our guard we will believe deceiving voices and get sucked into the schemes of the enemy. Satan himself appears as an angel of light it says in 2 Corinthians 11:14. He is a trickster out to 'take us out' and make us ineffective for kingdom work. Be alert for we are not ignorant to his tactics. Say "Get thee behind me Satan!"
In Mark 4:18-19 it says pertaining to believers that "Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” The enemy does not want you to read the Bible or imitate Christ. In 1 Peter 1:16 it says "For the scriptures says -Be ye holy for I am holy." Pretty clear cut wouldn't you say? Are you trying to conform to the worlds ways more than God's ways? Satan is an enemy of the cross of Christ and he is trying to mess with our minds and make us think bad is good and good is bad. That is why you have to be grounded in the word of God to clearly know the truth.
If you have messed up and gone your own way and know you have done things that displease God and bring discredit to Him and hurt you and your walk with Christ, the good news is that He is a loving and forgiving God. His arms are wide open waiting for you to come back to Him. He forgives. Psalm 86:5 says "You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you." John 15:18-19 reminds us "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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."
So it is your choice. Do you do as God says or follow the ways of the world and lies of the enemy?
PRAYER: Father in the things I say and do I want to be conformed to your image. Use me Lord to help draw others closer to you and not further away. Help me light up the world around me with the love of Christ. Forgive me Lord when I have let the worlds ways influence me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Happy Sunday! Click on link below for a worship song.