Practical Christianity…

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What if I told you there were practical aspects to being a Chiristian? And, that if you haven’t already invited Jesus into your heart that there are pratical benefits as well?  Of course, to the unbeliever I would say above all else that becoming a Christian is critical for your own salvation. To the new believer learning and growing would be your next steps.  

But what if I said we could even dare to also take a more macro-view of things? After all, how many times have you ever asked yourself either “What am I getting myself into?” or ” What have I gotten myself into”… 

Think of it this way. Since, literally speaking, God is God; imagine the facets of His nature, His plan or design. Can you? Not to the fullest, of course since our minds are finite and His is not. But, insofar as we can, I believe its good to step back and get the big picture now and then to truly appreciate God more.  We must and should start with God’s plan for salvation with Bible verses such as John 3:16, Revelations 3:20, and Romans 3:23… We are all sinners, Jesus is knocking on the door to our hearts, and the opportunity is open to whosoever will! If you aren’t already a believer I’d like you to read those before continuing

. Those words “God has a plan”… aren’t a trite saying. It is a rock solid truth that God has a plan so enormous, so well thought out, so strikingly beautiful, so reliable, and so loving, we can’t always see it when it’s right under our noses! While we are limited in our understanding we can learn of this plan and should desire this to the fullest of our abilities.

Consider 1st Corinthians 13:12 KJV: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even also as I am known.”

I am literally ” thunder struck” as the saying goes, at so many of the insights and teachings and wisdom of God that was imparted under divine inspiration to the apostle Paul. In this verse we plainly see not all is known to us, yet even a glimpse of God’s wisdom and knowledge is so great we tremble with excitement. Like looking through darkly colored glass where we can see a form of someone standing on the other side we know something or somebody is there!

In the next part of the verse that partial view is contrasted with standing face face with Jesus! No longer only partially revealed, we stand in awe gazing upon our savior. Hallelujah! Imagine it if you will. And, in the end part of the verse Paul says “I shall know even also as I am known”…

Wow! Whew! And, can you fathom that? He prefaces those words explaining we only “know” in part in the here and now. But, the next words tell me he is saying that when we stand face to face with our Lord Jesus we will know Him. In fact, I believe what Paul was saying is that God, in the divine person of Christ who naturally knows us in the now to the greatest depth possible already will then be revealed to us in such a way and with such a depth, that we cannot comprehend right now! Paul is comparing the “knowing” or knowledge that we have now to that ” knowing ” that we will receive standing before Christ.

And, in that compact statement Paul acknowledges while God knows us fully now, we don’t “know” yet on an comparable basis. But, standing before our Lord we will understand as fully as the capacity of minds will allow, the things that been hidden from us. God will reveal all that we need to know.

I used to think of a similar illustration where we gaze upon the underside of a huge tapestry where you see part of the beauty of the pattern. But, when you turn it over the stunning intricacies and beauty become manifold and it changes everything.

Frankly, my illustration can’t begin to compare to the divinely inspired words of the apostle Paul. The thought comes to my mind however, that in both cases it is evident that what happens is that our viewpoint changed. Now, when I read Paul’s words that implication boggles my mind. Why? Because it hints at the effects of what will happen as described further down:

1st Corinthians 15:54 KJV… So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” May I tell you how this affects us on a practical basis?

Herein lies my point. In order to understand your future, and in order to understand your life… And, in order to understand the world in which we live and your environment, you must look through the lens of belief in Christ. The world system is flawed. In fact, in order to correctly interpret everything around you, it is necessary to look at these things with the wisdom and knowledge of God. From God’s viewpoint. After all he created us and everything!

If you start with salvation, and you are sincere, the Holy Spirit will guide you in the knowledge of God. But, it’s not what some of you may think. It’s not about grabbing power to use for our own motives.It is about changing us.

I must be clear. You will not immediately nor in this life learn everything.

But, read Paul’s words. And, neither will you stumble aimlessly from one philosophy to another, or be in a constant state of wretched despair! 

I’m going to try to be as concise as possible. Know that God permeates our existence even if sometimes we don’t know it. Or, if we do, we don’t always acknowledge it. Like a fine watch the universe itself moves according to His plan despite the theory of chaos some hold. It takes a macro-view to see or understand this. Sometimes we focus on a microscopic level in our own lives and forget to look at the big picture. macro-view

Literally everything is known to God. If we apply His principles to our lives on a daily basis, we will gradually gain wisdom. Knowledge is important, but wisdom is perhaps even more essential in certain circumstances.

I plead with you, when you walk out your front door, open your eyes! When you interact with others apply the principles of God using His wisdom. Learn it. Consume it. Make it an essential part of who you are. And, in so doing things around you will begin to change in your life.

I would to God that our society as a whole would repent also. I believe with all my heart that a nation’s stability literally depends on being underpinned by Godly principles. This is what has prospered The United States Of America more than any mere form of government. We do not need an “official” religion. Let me be be clear. We do need godly leaders. As we fall away from God, so our society crumbles. This is exactly what Satan craves.  

In summation, true belief in God while critically opening the door to Jesus for your salvation; will also bring you learning, and wisdom and; is a precursor to adopting godly principles in your life

it is exactly those principles that will stabilize your relationships in many cases and give you wisdom to deal with hard choices. They will comfort you as He will comfort you in times of sorrow. You will learn God’s versions of love and morality, not some crazy subjective truth. And, you will not be blinded by fools professing themselves to be wise! I urge you! I plead with you! Yes, I even beg too. Will you consider it?

If you are an unbeliever you know in your heart something is terribly wrong with this world. And, if you don’t know that now, eventually you will.

Accepting the fact of God’s existence is a start, but it is not enough. All the values that most of us cherish are literally founded on God’s principles. Justice, mercy, faith, and more.

Accepting Christ is the wisest thing you will ever do in your life because it literally has eternal consequences.

Now, let me add this. I’m not promising a bed of roses. In fact, growing as a Christian will involve struggle. And, remember in all situations God’s primary concern is the spiritual not the physical.

If you doubt me, I want you try an experiment. Even if you don’t wear glasses, borrow some with prescription lenses that don’t belong to you. Or, run down to the dollar store and buy  a pair at random. Don’t rummage through to find a pair that sort of work. Or, if you have an old pair of cheap sunglasses spray some dark paint on them.Just a bit.

Now, stand in your front doorway to your house with the door closed. Face the door and put whatever terrible glasses you have on your face.

Next, (during daylight) open the door! Tell me how well you can see! Could you drive your car? Even walk safely? What if I said you could never take them off ever? And, that you would have to go through life entirely with the distorted vision they bring?

Yet, this is exactly how your view of the world, the people in it, and everything else that exists is without the lens of the knowledge that God is real.

And, all of that in your viewpoint without His wisdom and knowledge.

Now, I know my illustration is imperfect, and that depending on what glasses you used there is a small mathematical chance you might have gotten a pair of glasses that helped. But, I think it highly improbable if not impossible, they afforded you help enough to cause you to want use them permanently.

It’s just an illustration. May I ever so humbly ask that again, if you doubt me on any of this, and especially if your heart has received what God’s Word has said, that you take a moment and close your eyes by yourself (to avoid distractions) and offer a prayer, silent or otherwise.

Keep it simple. Ask Jesus to come in to your heart. Whisper to the Lord in your mind or out loud and admit you aren’t perfect. “Jesus forgive me. I am a sinner. I invite you into my heart”… or something similar in your own words. If you feel any doubt, ask Jesus to help you believe.

Being a Christian is living in an entirely different world. It consists of different motives, principles, thoughts and ideas. But, most of all it consists of having a different Lord. Surrender to The Holy Spirit and you will become amazed. Live for a new eternal way of life. God, who holds the very particles of the universe together and who has the love and wisdom necessary so that you can trust Him with all your being loves you.

Respectfully, -Brother Bill

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