I took some notes for today’s post from day 3 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Way Back – Get Your Christian Life Back On Track.”
Ask yourself this question: “What is the greatest threat facing American Christianity?”
Radical Islam? Nope.
The rise of Secularism? Nay.
It’s not prayer in schools, gay marriage laws, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, liberal judges or Hollywood.
No, the greatest threat to American Christianity in 2018 is American Christians. We are our own worst enemy.
No one can be responsible for all Christians in this country, but we can most certainly hold ourselves accountable. Our primary job on this Earth is to allow ourselves to be modeled into the image of Christ. So who better to teach us than those who personally knew Jesus?
We discovered seven mysteries that Early Church attendees were radically committed to—areas that most modern churches no longer make a priority. Today, there are a million books on “Christian living” but we were looking for the mostly abandoned practices that historically caused others to see Jesus – IN US – and start asking questions for themselves.
These seven areas are:
In life, there are choices we make that can have an additive effect, and there are choices we make that can have a multiplier effect.
So things like putting your keys in the same place every time so you can find them or a night of uninterrupted sleep or… getting ice cream!
—these positive choices have an additive effect on your life and make going through your day a little bit better.
But there are also things that can have a multiplier effect. Being in love or working out regularly or getting an education—these have a multiplying impact over many facets of your life, with implications far beyond day-by-day living. –from day 3 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Way Back – Get Your Christian Life Back On Track.” Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/2rW
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21 NLT)
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10 NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Be living proof of Christ’s love. How? There are many ways…bear the fruit of The Holy Spirit (His characteristics -Gal. 5:22 ) and love…not just those who love you but loving even your enemies.
Here is Christ’s instructions, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; [Lev. 19:18; Ps. 139:21, 22.] But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [Prov. 25:21, 22.] To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].
For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Lev. 19:2, 18.]
Matthew 5:43-48 AMPC
Respect and love can go a long way. Being gracious & showing understanding, mercy & love toward others as God has to us will win outsiders over to Him so much more than picket lines and rejection.