I’m a Christian.

“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:6

In today’s world, it’s easy for the phrase, “I’m a Christian,” to be confused with, “I think I’m perfect,” when really it’s supposed to be something more along the lines of, “I’ve accepted how broken I am and have chosen to live for God rather than myself.” Not to mention so many people who have grown up in families that attend church out of habit rather than desire so we’ve got people walking around claiming to be Christian who really just create their own gods in order to fit the lifestyle they want.

“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”” John 6:40-41

This tells us that our first job is to share the Christ with the world and doing that is going to shake things up. Christ came to save a world that doesn’t like to admit that it needed to be saved in the first place. Now be clear, this says share the Gospel. This does not say, tell everyone around you exactly what sins you’ve found them to be guilty of.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

Christ was prosecuted. If you’re following His path that means you’re going to be prosecuted too. I spent all of 7th grade with a group of six kids following me around “cursing me,” calling me names, and anything else that might offend a 12-year-old. It gets easy to just stop trying so that you can get some peace. Stay strong.

“for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28

Jesus came for the sole purpose of sacrificing Himself for the world. The key is “sacrifice,” and while we don’t have the ability to save the world with our blood, there are countless sacrifices we will be called to make in order to serve God more fully. This is not all being a Christian means of course, but I think these are some pillars we should all remember. Feel free to share any thoughts or opinions.

Thanks for reading,
God Bless

P.S.
I’ve made a twitter account for this blog, https://twitter.com/solomonbound so feel free to stop by whenever

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Just Kids in Strollers.

I’m doing a Bible study and yesterday the chapter talked about when Eli’s sons lost a battle so they took the Arc of the Covenant with them into their next battle, assuming that would be enough to secure the victory for them. Not only did they lose, but the Philistines ended up capturing the Arc. The study goes on to warn against falling into a pattern of using God as a good luck charm. We’ve all done it at some point. When I was in 5th grade I very vividly remember clenching the cross around my neck and praying for knowledge I didn’t have in order to win a spelling bee. I didn’t. Not to say we shouldn’t ask God for things, but there’s always the chance of God saying no, and that’s something we need to accept and learn to be okay with.

“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”” Psalm 31:14

Every once in a while when I’ve got my daughter out in her stroller, she’ll get a little spooked when we go up an incline. There’s no reason for it of course, but sometimes her mind just screams, “This is wrong. I’m not level. I’m supposed to be level, I must be falling.” So she wants me to save her, but before she even has a chance to get truly scared we level out again and she’s just fine. This is kind of how we are with God. When things are fine we’re enjoying the ride, but the moment we aren’t level anymore we want God to provide a magic way out, flatten the ground before our feet, and make the ride comfortable again.

So that’s where you have the choice; you can let God push you up those uncomfortable inclines or you can tell Him to go away and try to push your own stroller.

The problem with that last option is my daughter tries pushing her own stroller too. She doesn’t do that bad, but she can’t see over the stroller and really can’t reach very well so she doesn’t have much control over where it goes and it’s not long before she’s weaving her way right off the sidewalk and I have to intervene. (disclosure: never done beside the street… just in the park) What’s really funny though is that when she’s decided it’s her job to push the stroller, if she notices me helping her guide it, she’ll actually push my hand away. Sound familiar?? I know it does for me.

Can you just imagine though? If the entire world was made up of kids either strapped in strollers or pushing ones too big for them. Some are stretching down to push themselves along with a foot, some might have managed to snag a stick to push with. All of these kids obviously sticking close to the comfortable paths because we can’t do those inclines alone. We just can’t. I don’t have an example where my daughter tried that one because I don’t want to see the stroller flip back on her. Then you have the few actually getting somewhere because they’re letting God push. Yeah, it gets uncomfortable from time to time and most of the time you won’t know what’s at the top of that incline, but that’s okay, because God can see it and He wouldn’t be taking you there if it was somewhere you didn’t need to be.

So if you’re stuck on that incline today and you really wish God would step in and make things comfortable again, just try to accept the chaos for a moment. He’s still there and if you trust in Him, you’ll level out again soon and you’ll be better for it.

Thanks for reading everyone, share any thoughts in the comments.

God Bless

Happy Easter!

I want to wish all of you a very happy Easter, (which it still is by my clock) I hope you all had a great Sunday. I won’t be posting a long rant today, only to say that this is a day of triumph for us and I pray you all remember that. This is the day the game truly changed. He is risen!

“And He said to them, “Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

These are the instructions Christ gave His disciples after He rose from the grave. Today we should all take some time to reflect on how we can obey this just a little bit better than yesterday.

God Bless

Seek, Wait and Repeat.

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

I don’t have a meditation today so much as a word of encouragement. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’re in the middle of God’s works. You’re a part of His plan although sometimes it may be hard to see that. We live in an age where we can talk to someone on the other side of the planet in an instant so it’s only natural that waiting on a word from God can get frustrating.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

He works in His own time which is usually exactly what we need but the last thing we want. Hannah had to endure taunts for years because she couldn’t bear a child. Finally, when she poured her heart out to God, He reached out to her. It’s not that He was trying to make up His mind, He was waiting for her to seek Him more deeply.

“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” Psalm 119:10

I hope whatever you’re going through you have the peace that only Christ can give as you go through the process of finding direction. Thanks for reading,

God Bless

Leave the Dead.

“And Jesus said to him, “Follow me and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”” Matthew 8:22

We’re all busy. I once worked for a man who worked seven days a week year round except for a grand total of two weeks. I’m sure this verse can mean a lot of things to each individual, but to me what it’s saying now is, what’s holding you back? If Jesus was at your door right now what would you ask Him to wait for? No I get it, let’s go save the world, but first I’d really like to finish mowing the yard, or could you wait until October maybe? That’s when I get my vacation time. Something we all need to remember is that we aren’t ever going to achieve “perfect” or “good enough” without God. If we could do that Jesus would not have had to die for us.

What’s stopping you today? Has God been calling you only to hear about all the things you need to do first? Maybe you need to make the choice to just do it. Step out in faith, let God handle what matters and what doesn’t matter will handle itself.

Hope you guys enjoyed the thought,
God Bless

 

Homosexuality.

I wasn’t going to post this or talk about this or go near this, but I saw a verse and so here I am.

“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7

Recently I’ve been seeing little red equal signs all over the internet and honestly I have no idea what’s been causing this rise in gay rights outcries. What does it mean as a Christian though? Once I was a Christian who very deeply detested homosexuality but that might have been because “gay” was a fairly regularly used term to describe me in fifth grade as I was the “new kid from Texas” and that just seemed fun I guess. Now one of my best friends in the world is a homosexual, not to mention a close family member, so my views are a little different.

It’s hard, as a Christian, to be objective about homosexuality. Why? Because we’re human and we get things wrong pretty much all the time. The Bible very clearly points to homosexuality as a sin. Period. We argue a lot about what the Bible says or how to interpret what it says, but there’s really no wiggle room for that one. But how do we approach it? The same way we handle every other sin in the world.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

Key words to watch for here are, “spirit of gentleness.” That means that if you need to confront someone about homosexuality, you need to remember that homosexuality is a sin, just like lying is a sin, or any other handful of things we all do on a regular basis, by nature. The usual argument is that homosexuality is unnatural, but only in the same way that lying is unnatural. We are born into sin. We are all born into all sin. I heard a pastor describe it once, saying that we all have specific sins that we struggle with most so you may go your whole life without once having a noticeable inclination toward homosexuality, but somewhere within you it’s there, the bottom line is that we are all born into all sins. Again, homosexuality is a sin. Period. That means that while I love my best friend and my family member to no end, I don’t support their lifestyle choice. That doesn’t mean I remind them every time I see them. That doesn’t mean I refuse to meet their partners. That means they know where I stand, I know where they stand and we respect each other.

I usually use Bible verses from the ESV but I really like NLT on this one.

“After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” Hebrews 12:4

The thing about sins is that we are called to turn from them. I know of one homosexual who has chosen to reject that side of himself in order to live fully for God. We need to see this as a more real option. As Jude 1:7 expresses, Sodom and Gomorrah was a very clear example of what happens when people as a nation turns to sexual immorality rather than away from it.

So the bottom line is this, while homosexuality should not be ignored or accepted by any means, it is not our job as Christians to “fix” people of any particular sin. It is our job to love them, to lead by example, and to be a beacon aimed at Christ.

I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this blog. Feel free to share any input in the comments.

God Bless

Where’s Your Paradise?

“Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:21-22

Coming from someone who has never had an abundance of money, being poor stinks. Period. Money is safety, comfort, and status and what could be more important in this life? As children we all dream of the perfect home that we’ll make as adults, then as adults we strive to make that real. I personally want a cabin in the woods on a hill overlooking a lake. Why? To me that would be paradise. I’m living in a place I don’t like (geographically… it’s hot and humid and not at all my version of physically attractive.) and I always imagined I’d be gone the first chance I got, but why? Because I’m seeking my paradise on Earth.

The man mentioned in this verse had that problem too, except that he had achieved his paradise already. If I spend the rest of my life trying to get my cabin in the woods only to have God say, “Move back into your parents house in that hot, humid, ugly city.” Can you imagine? I’m not saying not to aim for that dream, definitely go for it, but remember that your paradise in Heaven will make your paradise on Earth look like the hot, humid, ugly city. Remember that God will put you where He needs you and if you’re too busy struggling to get to your version of perfection you might miss your mission along the way.

The bottom line here is to keep your eye on the true prize. Money is not security and you haven’t seen paradise until God has shown it to you. Where’s your paradise? Is reaching it getting in the way of where God actually wants you to be? Take a moment today to really think about where you are and pray about what you need to do while you’re there.

Thanks for reading,
God Bless