Maybe you say you believe the bible, but are your friends, your own desires, or your culture a stronger influence in your life?
Read below and see if you can relate to any of this…
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
_ For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him , but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles._
_ Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. _
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers , God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil ; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” -Romans 1:20-32
Man, it is tough reading Romans sometimes because the truth almost feels like a slap in the face. How quickly we exchange truth for lies. We exchange eternal joys for temporary happiness. We exchange peace and freedom for guilt and bondage. We get it so wrong, and so often. We say we believe and then we do what we want, when we want, how we want...and to be honest...it's time we step our game up and live like we believe.
A lot of us have been jaded by imperfect people who have proclaimed to be Christians and failed us, hurt us, let us down...BUT those people are not our PERFECT GOD. He has not failed you. He has given his life for you and paid the penalty for our sin so that we can have eternal life. We can have freedom. Many of us confuse freedom. We think freedom comes in doing what we want, and often ignoring God. I loved JP's example from Tuesday.
Sure you have the freedom to play the piano. You can walk up to it and start playing all you want, but it is going to sound terrible. In order for it to sound beautiful it takes discipline.
In life we have the freedom to do anything, but we will make it terrible, mess things up, hurt others, and continue to hurt ourselves until we realize that discipline is good for us. God's word, teachings, instruction is good...it makes all things BEAUTIFUL. Maybe you don't believe me...Try it.
Here is another question...
Do you know that you were created in God's image?
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." -Genesis 1:27
All of us are the image bearers of God. Wherever we are, what ever we are doing, we are to reflect that of Christ who created us in HIS IMAGE. The problem comes a lot of times when people don't take the time to KNOW GOD and therefore don't truly know how to REFLECT GOD. So some of us are doing a terrible job of being Christ's ambassadors.
_ "We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."- 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 _
With our co-workers, family, friends, relationships, breakups, and even with strangers we are to live as Christ ambassadors. We are to be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
"The Gospel doesn’t just reconcile you to God, it regenerates our heart and helps restore others to God. It doesn’t just affect our eternity. It affects how we live each day. We should be living as ambassadors, restoring this world to God."- JP
You say you believe the bible, but are your friends, your own desires, or your culture a stronger influence in your life? Are you going along with what your friends do, or what ever feels good, or what our culture would say is acceptable? Are you living like you believe the bible?
You were created in the image of God...how amazing and humbling is that. He loves you that much. Everything else was created, but we were created in his image and get to have a saving relationship with him! Get to know Him. Be reconciled to Him. Be redeemed. Be restored. Be renewed. And then help others find the freedom in Christ too.
Praying for you all that we would be a change in this city...for God's kingdom and our good~