Monday, November 19, 2007

True Believers - Never settle..........

If our merciful God has given us life and breath and all of the comforts we have in America in addition to salvation........why do we still compromise in day to day life? Between my often getting peeved while driving to hearing foul talk and dirty jokes come from professing believers ----- it all just makes me shudder.

A great sermon this past Sunday on 'regeneration' and how flippantly the word is used
(together with the term "born again")
Our pastor brought statistics to the pulpit this weekend - to debunk them essentially......

The Barna group says that 45% of Americans are "born again" pffftt
Meaning that they at some point in their live "made a commitment to Christ and it still matters to them today" and etc.
Supposedly the stats among this people group state that 'born again believers' have the same amount of divorces, the same amount of teens losing their virginity and etc.

This, my pastor says is completely the opposite of how the new testament speaks of "born again converted peoples" and how they live. It's not that there are regenerate people who live in constant patterns of sin....but that there are false believers among the real believers - and it warns us about the wolves. But believers who have been given new hearts ought to be set apart- radically different. Sacrificially sticking with their marriage vows by putting to death selfishness........not spending money on more and more comforts than are necessary for living day to day - but giving away their money and time and lives to seeking to love the lost as much as they listen to the Christian radio / sermons/ CD that encourage them to stop listening and start acting.
IT MATTERS that we bear the name of Christ. In all we say and do.

1 John 2:9
"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."

1 John 3:4
"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."

To not fall into perfectionism, our pastor will surely be speaking of how believers aren't perfect, but that their bent is toward holiness, they hate their sin, not seeing small sins as small but as INFINITELY worthy of hell because of the ONE sinned against.

God has given us every reason to obey him cheerfully - and we fail to trust walk in his ways for the joy set before us - in Heaven with Him

This rant is just from mine and my husband's meditations on where the rubber is going to meet the road in our faith and marriage and as a ministry couple. We have been restless...discontent with merely living a 'moral' life........and the sermon shook us up even more.
Tired of just doing the minimum integrity things.......even listening to music and watching movies that aren't 'sinful' but don't push us toward Christ - but leave the heart void and thirsty.

Brent had great opportunity to ride along with our dear brother James (North minneapolis missionary) in his neighborhood - sharing "words from the Lord" (scriptures)
with prostitues and their pimps this past weekend. By God's grace Brent's heart has been changing toward the broken and hurting people......seeing them receive the tract and the verse, dropping their heads, seemingly in shame for what they were doing......has a way of breaking your heart, if you have the Holy Spirit bending your heart so that your affections line up with Christ's.

Leaves the heart wanting more.......more love, more joy more passion for Christ.........

To the best Shepherd who is Himself a Lamb ~
Humble us so that you can Teach us so that you will be Well pleased with us Father ~
In love with you still,
your daughter


At 11/21/2007 9:48 AM, Blogger Joanna Martens said...

UGH! cut to the heart reading your blog again- I love it.
In my own life, true obedience was the result of really seeing my sin and seeing God's grace to forgive and restore when He should have let me die.

~continually indebted to Grace~


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