Too Many Give Christ a Bad Reputation

I’ve seen the bumper stickers crying out,

“God save me from your children!”

I’m personally ashamed of people who claim to be God’s children but talk more about hell than about salvation.

I’m sick of people who carry a sign in one hand that cast insults & judgment on others while in the other hand holding a sign that says Jesus loves you. The double talk causes non-believers to lump anyone who proclaims Christ to be a mean, judgmental, hate monster.

Israel is filled with war over religious beliefs & causes many to not want anything to do with God, let alone the Son of God.

In his letter to Christians in Rome The Apostle Paul wrote,

Do you remember that time Elijah was agonizing over this same Israel and cried out in prayer? God, they murdered your prophets, They trashed your altars; I’m the only one left and now they’re after me! And do you remember God’s answer? I still have seven thousand who haven’t quit, Seven thousand who are loyal to the finish.

It’s the same today.

There’s a fiercely loyal minority still—not many, perhaps, but probably more than you think.

They’re holding on, not because of what they think they’re going to get out of it, but because they’re convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing them.

Paul continues with,

…But I don’t want to go on about them (Israelites & the Jewish people). It’s you, the outsiders, that I’m concerned with now.

Because my personal assignment is focused on the so-called outsiders, I make as much of this as I can when I’m among my Israelite kin, the so-called insiders , hoping they’ll realize what they’re missing and want to get in on what God is doing.

If their falling out initiated this worldwide coming together, their recovery is going to set off something even better: mass homecoming!

If the first thing the Jews did, even though it was wrong for them, turned out for your good, just think what’s going to happen when they get it right!

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom?

It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

  • Is there anyone around who can explain God?
  • Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
  • Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him (GOD); Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.
Romans 11:2‭-‬6‭, ‬11‭-‬15‭, ‬33‭-‬36 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/rom.11.2-36.MSG

MY PERSONAL BIG QUESTION IS:

Where have all the Christian Soldiers gone?

MUSIC BREAK:

God’s got the power to equip you & I to live out His desires. Regardless of what the chosen are doing, regardless of people claiming to be Christian while also playing judge & jury & speading lies, smearing His good name.

In wanting to be more like Jesus I go to His Word, Specifically Romans 12

God inspired Paul with these words that only you & I as individuals can apply. The masses may not but even as a minority we need to apply what God tells us here:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what HE wants from you, and quickly respond to it.

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.

No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what HE does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.

The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we?

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.

Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.

Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.

Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.

Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.

If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.

“I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

(Romans 12:1‭-‬6‭, ‬6‭-‬21 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/rom.12.1-21.MSG)

So, as frustrating as it can be to overcome the bad reputation some have given to Christ’s name I will keep praying, “God, help me be what You want me to be, a friend to outsiders, a friend to everbody who may feel like or be treated like a nobody. I pray in Jesus name and for Christ sake.

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