I got to do WHAT to be a Christian?!?!

It all started with the reading of Revelation 22:12 in our Thursday night Bible Study at our church…

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

There was immediately emphasis given to the last part of the verse… “I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

It was then i found myself saying in my mind, “oh boy HERE we go!” with the extreme sarcasm i often battle with.  I beat myself up sometimes because I get upset and bothered by legalistic views i find so often in church settings, yet at the same time, as i recently heard a friend share, i too prayed, “Lord remove the log from my own eye so that it doesn’t cause splinters in the eyes of those around me.”

I don’t want to go off on a rant here because that would not do any good. However, i do want whoever may be reading this to understand i can not stand when people try to heap laws and requirements on those who believe. Can i stop there? I’ll try.

So anyway, i thought for sure people were going to go on to talk about what we must do to be saved and show a list of do’s and don’ts and show verse after verse of what people need to be doing in order to ‘be saved’.

I was sure that someone was going to talk about what people need to be doing to go to heaven or even be ready when Jesus comes back.

I braced myself for the load of scriptures that were about to be used to drill home how if we are not doing certain things we are not saved and not going to heaven.

Then the verses came:

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 NIV
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

Jude 1:21-13 NIV
21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt;
23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
John 6:28-29 NIV
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Oh what a relief that although i feel and many others have shared that they feel some church Bible studies, let alone the “church” in generally speaking term takes such a vigorous stance on what people need to do to become a Christian and get to heaven these verse could not be bent or manipulate by anyone. They were simple and beautifully the truth of God’s Word.
I have always gone back to John 3 for my own clarity and when telling others who show an interest or just point blank ask about becoming a Christian.
What better example do we have than The Lord Jesus Christ? When Nicodemus (a prominent religious man) came up to Jesus and admits knowing that Jesus came from God. Jesus replies, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  Then Nicodemus tries to wrap his head around what Jesus means by this and they go back an forth over this a little while (Jesus being patient). Then Jesus says something that to this day many people know by heart but no every one takes to heart. John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It all starts with believing  in, not just of Jesus Christ. When a person sincerely believe in Christ and ‘accepts’ Him it is THEN the The Holy Spirit comes in and changes that person and even then the things they do are not some religious duty but come from a sincere faith and love relationship with Christ.
We know that we can walk away from this relationship at any time. We can get distracted and choose to live according to our own desires and forget about Christ being our Lord and Master. We CAN do that at any point. I think we would like to say we believe one time and boom we are magically heaven bound.
I think the dilemma is that we accept this free gift of salvation when we believe in God,  can’t earn it and yet at the same time come to recognize God is looking to connect with us and have regular fellowship with us. The reality is that in a good relationship the two must be in a two way love affair. So believers are not living only out of obligation but in a love obligation. Not some religious duty or list of do’s and don’ts but an on going faith being built and developed  and it all starts with simple belief.

 IF this is helpful and you want to ‘grow on’
go to: Appearances
and or to the index along these same notes at:

A short conversation With God

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Me: God, can I ask you a question?

God: Sure.

Me: Promise you won’t get mad.

God: I promise.

Me: Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do you mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late.

God: Yes.

Me: My car took forever to start.

God: Okay.

Me: At lunch the 1st person making my sandwich did it all wrong and a second person had to remake it for them and I had to wait.

God: Huummm

Me: On my way home my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call.

God: All right.

Me: And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the angel of death was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of my Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me: (Humbled and surprised) OH.

God: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed and shocked) hmm…

God: The first person making your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me: (Embarrassed) Okay.

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me: (Softly) I see God.

God: Oh, and the foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t want you to be in the dark.

Me: I’m sorry God.

God: I accept you apology but just learn to Trust Me…in All things, the good and the bad.

Me: I will trust you.

God: And don’t doubt that  My  plan for your day is always better than your plan. Go to my Word. Remember what I say. Keep it in your heart and mind.

Me: I will do my best to stop doubting you Lord.  I will go to your word and truly listen, obey, apply. Help me see things the way You see them. And let me just tell You God, Thank You for EVERYTHING today.

In Jesus Name and for His sake, AMEN

LET GO ! ! !

house

(Audio or song below)

The words to this song say so much.

Perhaps you too have heard it said or even read the book ,  “Don’t sweat The Small Stuff and it’s all small stuff.”

Funny how it is the little things that build up and drive us nut but if you think about it it is also the little things, like whispering a prayer for help that become such a BIG help in the name of Jesus and the power of The Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it is as if the people who get under my skin, in my head and mind are so vivid and clear that it is just as if they were sitting in my living room at home while i am watching television.  I can hear their voice nagging me. Although they are not physically there they might as well be because my mind is so fixated on them,

the way they are,

and how i am trying to deal with them!

It is as if they (problems or people) are right there in the kitchen with me, in the car, in the shower.

Here is how i feel at times, just like AL and “his budget” keeping him up at night-

But it is not fingerhut.com that helps me rest easy and leave go of the things that nag me.

I am constantly needing the Lord to teach me how to deal with these thorns in my side.

When my mind is crowded with conversation with myself, other people who did something that gets under my skin, or my biggest pet peeve it makes me want to scream

STOP!

It is then i realize i have to put my mind on other things and the best place to put my mind is on Christ. This doesn’t happen automatically it is something i have to consciously and actively do. Memorizing scripture helps, some times i’ll go over a memory verse. Sometimes I will listen to someone delivering some good Biblical teaching on the radio or listen to some music that will help direct my mind in a different direction off of that person or situation that is trying to take up my mind space.

Here is a passage that is very helpful:

Phil. 4:6-9 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 7 Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
I treasure that passage and have to constantly remind myself what I need to do in LETTING GOD help me LET GO.

I would encourage anyone reading this to also read Chris Stroker’s Blog post called  “With My Little Eye” . Although Chris and i have never met we are both involved with The Salvation Army and share the same Heavenly Father, Savior and Holy Spirit in our daily walk/lives and recognize the need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Amazing how when we fix our eyes on His brightness this world and all it’s hang up and false hope become slowly less painful and more and more dim.

Object lesson (Magnets)

1st one MAze and MAgnet:

for this one all you need is:

  • small hand held cardboard maze
  • paper clip
  • magnet

I had a piece of cardboard with a maze cut into it. I places a paper clip on top of the card board and had kids try to navigate the paper clip over the maze without the paper clip falling into one of the holes. They twist and turn, raise and lower the sides of the cardboard trying to keep the paper clip on the card board without it falling off the edge or falling into one of the holes.

Then i put an magnet under the card board and simple guided the paper clip over the maze without it falling off the side or into any holes.

The point is in the same way you can not see the magnet it can still guide the paper clip because of the connection, attraction, pull on the paper clip. So also The Holy Spirit in our lives is an unseen power who is able to guide and direct us through life.

ANOTHER LESSON:

Some things look like metal, sound like metal but there is nothing in them that has the make up of metal, that is naturally attracted to a magnet.

ANOTHER LESSON:

Magnet allows top to spin and float in air (can not see magnetic field)

Isolation

Don’t get off by yourself, away from the flock because it is then that the wolf or lion will pick you off and devour you.  We are like a flock of sheep and we are not to be Isolated.

1st John 2:16-17 MSG Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him.
17 The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

1st John 2:16-17 NIV  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.  17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Now before you assume i am driving home for you to attend church on Sunday morning, hear me out. It’s not about going to a service or a mass or meeting publicly on any particular day, although that has its significance, we are a body of believers, not an address or a building.

Just recently I came across some of the fact The Holy Spirit reminds us.

A new friend of mine (part of the flock) clarified many things that The Holy Spirit has been saying to me through His Word and to my heart. Steve Simms is that new found friend. Although we do not live any where near each other and have never gone to a church service together he is part of the same flock.

I am finding that going to church on Sunday is just the tip of the ice burg when it come to being part of a personal and corporate relationship with Christ. “We are family”. As believers are all brothers and sisters through Christ. We all have the same Heavenly Father. We are all ministered to by the same Holy Spirit. Steve’s blog hits the nail on the head and clarifies what God’s word is saying to us.

Here is an excerpt from one of Steve Simms’ blogs:

https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/19431435

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:  “I will build my ekklesia.” (Jesus’ ekklesia, unlike the Greek ones, was made up of His followers, both male and female.) Unfortunately, the early English translators put it this way:  “I will build my church.”

However, throughout the Greek (original language) New Testament, a body (or group) of Christ-followers is called an ekklesia.  Rather than just bringing that word into English, the earliest Bible translators used the English word church, which referred to a place of religious worship. By doing this, the translators lost the meaning and the history of the Greek ekklesia and turned the idea of church into a building for religious worship (or an institution) rather than an assembly of believers sharing together and ministering to one another (an ekklesia).

Taken specifically from https://stevesimms.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/christ-encounter-groups-the-new-testament-ekklesia/

Here is an audio of a classic Christian Rock song that has always hit home with me. It is by the band “Servant” song “Isolated”

Here is a more modern song “No Man Is An Island” by the band “Tenth Avenue North”

Here is another good blog by a new found friend in the family, Chris. He goes to church in a whole new way: http://www.chrisstoker.com/i-went-to-church/

One final note; Please, stay connected to the body. If you are struggling with attending a church service right now, join the club. Most people I know don’t want to go anymore. Just be honest but also consider, if you don’t go those other people will find themselves going all alone. However, if you go and meet up with those others who sincerely believe in Christ neither of you will be alone in your efforts. We must find a way to gather together, not forsake getting together, and stay committed to Christ not just as individuals but as a whole. Call a friend, meet with others, don’t isolate yourself.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

My Son’s Testimony

Alexx Bailey gives us his testimony at the Clearwater Citadel Corps (The Salvation Army) Sunday morning during the Holiness Meeting. Alexx’s testimony is the story of a sheep smothered in wolves clothing.

To see my Son’s blog with many devotional thoughts and inspiration go to:

https://lexbailey.wordpress.com/

The about section of Alexx’s blog is basically the manuscript to the testimony you heard in the video. To read that go to:

https://lexbailey.wordpress.com/about/

G.O.S.P.E.L.

G.O.S.P.E.L.
Someone pointed out to me that the acronym G.O.S.P.E.L. can be found in

John 3:16

Let’s look at this and think about the word for each letter that spells out Gospel.
John 3:16 NIV
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In sermon form or in a devotional I would expound on each word and use other verses from God’s word to support those words but in short, think about it.
The word Gospel means “good news”. It is so simple that some may miss it. God loved us enough to give His one and only Son (no other way, no other personal able to do what this virgin born, sinless man could do). So that (purpose) we won’t perish but as an alternative have ever lasting life (not just life but eternal life).
This is the gospel and upon accepting that we come into a relationship with God Almighty.

Straight talk

Jesus to His disciples:

21 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. 22 Peter took him in hand, protesting, “Impossible, Master! That can never be!” 23 But Jesus didn’t swerve. “Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.” 24 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. 25 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. 26 What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? 27 “Don’t be in such a hurry to go into business for yourself. Before you know it the Son of Man will arrive with all the splendor of his Father, accompanied by an army of angels. You’ll get everything you have coming to you, a personal gift. 28 This isn’t pie in the sky by and by. Some of you standing here are going to see it take place, see the Son of Man in kingdom glory.”  (Mt. 16:21-28)

Object Lesson (New Heaven New Earth)

I am still working on this with a brother in Christ (Cadet Gavin Yeatts)

color-changing-milk-20111213-07

Below is link to site that explains
http://bit.ly/1ABlh8W

http://bit.ly/1ABlh8W

Need:

-Saucer to pour milk into.
-Milk=This world (creation as we know it)
-Food color= different people
-2 containers= 1 container marked sin with soap in it 2nd container marked salvation with just water in it.

1st time Fill dish with milk, drop food color in, drop dish soap in, watch swirl then it goes to murky mess of colors (not so pretty anymore).

2nd time  discuss how God is creating a new heaven and new earth, things need to be redone (1st time God redid/reset things with flood/ Noah and Ark but soon sin messed it up again, like what we see today so here is what God wants…

This 2nd time drop in 2nd container of water (marked salvation) and notice –shouldn’t swirl like milk made it swirl by itself, but you can use a cotton swab to mix but not mix until murky.
HAVE NOT TRIED IT YET, be sure it works before you do it live with class.

note- link recommends putting soap on cotton swab so MAY use one cotton swab representing Adam (with drop of soap on swab representing sin of Adam) 2nd time redo saucer with fresh milk and colors in it and use a 2nd cotton swab (WITH NO soap on it) representing The Last Adam aka Jesus with no sin (Ro. 5:12-21; 1st Co. 15:45). Swab can mix colors in a controlled manner and without making it murky but swab with sin (soap) on it goes out of control and the soap will cause all colors to run together uncontrollably, the more sin (soap) you add the more it all runs out of control, pretty much once soap is in milk. It will get to the point of the milk no longer just mixed with nice color blend but gray and murky mess.

note-Repeat the experiment using water in place of milk. Will you get the same eruption of color? Maybe the milk is the difference. When we get to the new heaven and new earth things will be completely different. The soap may need to represent sin the 1st time. but when you do it over again with water in dish the soap (maybe in a different container) can represent God’s Salvation. The world will change, God’s 2nd creation (new Heaven and new earth) and rather than sin being added Salvation will be added. (put soap into two different containers – one marked sin one marked salvation).

I tried to post Video here but just couldn’t. It is on my FaceBook page (TomBeetle Bailey)

EXTRA:

Each time you start over with new plate, fresh milk, add colors, WHEN YOU ADD SOAP, even a drop on the end of a cotton swab tip eventually those colors run and blend until it is a murky mess, no longer beautiful but if you don’t add in the soap, just move cotton swab around enough (with out soap aka rep. sin) you can blend the colors and come up with a beautiful mix of colors. God knows what he is doing. He tried to give us a fresh chance with Noah, the flood and the Ark but we humans blew it again. One last chance is give now, The Last Adam (Ro. 5:12-21 1st Co. 15:45) has come -He who knew no sin and invites us to be part of a NEW kingdom, we pray Lord, Your kingdom come. If God created THIS world in 6 days and rested on the 7th how much more beautiful is heaven and new earth going to be, he’s been working on that for over 2,000 years.

Looking for Keith Green song (video) to plug in here, where he says that.

Also want to plug in what Cadet Gavin Yeatts come up with.