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My Daily Life and Thoughts while in San Diego | List of Best Posts
This blog is where I express myself to the world or at least to those who might stop by to read what I post . Maybe God will use what I post (I am a Christian and this blog will have a most decidedly Christian bent to it) to good effect in the lives of my readers.

I may turn some of my posts into a book. I may cease blogging here altogether. Who knows. But for now..I am content to post away in this, my own little corner of the world.

Rather than reading through my now lengthy list of posts you may wish to read what I consider to be my very best posts or you can just read the posts that deal with a single subject category that might interest you.

Please know that I am open to any input on any topic I write about. If you have something to say about anything you see written here please....feel free to speak up in the form of leaving a comment or sending me a PM (private message).

And if you are in San Diego and wish to meet the one and only Carlos (that's me )...drop me a private message. I always enjoy meeting one of my readers!



PS. If you want to follow my blog such that you will get an email when I write new posts you can subscribe to my blog.
Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The rest of my message to church goers....

Posted 11-05-2009 at 12:30 AM by carlos123

In my last post I asked you if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose again from the dead. Whether He is Lord of the living and the dead and is alive to this day.

And whether you are His disciple following in His footsteps to do what He did and say what He said to the greater honor and glory of God.

In short...

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Are you His disciple?

What I am about to say may not apply to some of you. It would be ideal if it did not apply to any of you but if my experience of church goers is any indication it will apply to many.

Most church goers would readily acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He rose again, and that He lives today. But relatively few would equally claim to be His disciple.

Discipleship, by many, is seen as a separate thing from salvation. Where one can be saved by believing entering into a closer walk with the Lord as His disciple at some point later in life after becoming a Christian (if such a point is ever reached at all). Some may even see discipleship as the unique calling of missionary types who are more likely to give up their lives in service to the Master.

For many church goers belief is all that they think they need to become a Christian and to assure themselves of entrance into heaven.

But what kind of belief allows church goers to get divorced at about the same rate as the unbelievers do? What kind of belief causes unbelievers to call many Christians hypocrites and rightly so? What kind of belief is it when those who claim to believe end up having as many teenage pregnancies in their midst as the unbelieving world does? When many church goers have no more integrity than those who have not gone to church in years?

Can such faith save church goers?

Are we not in danger of believing that head knowledge of what Jesus Christ did is enough to save us?

What is a belief that is not practiced if it is not just head knowledge?

How can Christians claim to believe one thing yet live as if the very thing they say they believe is not true?

I am not talking about falling into sin here and there. We all do that. None of us live up to the perfect holiness of God. I am talking about living a lifestyle contrary to what we claim to believe. Of having our hearts and the direction of our lives, what we treasure, reveal a contradiction between what we say we believe and what is revealed about our true belief by our lives.

Biblical faith, saving faith if you will...is not a thing of the head alone. It involves the head to be sure. It is with the head that we come to understand the concept of God having loved us enough to have sent His only Son to die for our sins. It is with the head that we initially start to realize just how sinful we are in our natural selves and how deserving we are of God's wrath.

But our head knowledge must be combined with a choice of the will to yield to God as God. Our heart must embrace what we know about God in our heads and what we claim to believe to the point where we yield ourselves to live by God's ways. To do what He wants and to say what He would have us say every day of our lives.

Anything less than this is no saving faith at all!

It is the height of deception to believe that we are in good standing with a holy God and forgiven of our sins if we walk around living for ourselves and otherwise running our own lives. Doing whatever we please when we please to do it as a way of life.

Did Jesus Christ die so that we could go on living for ourselves?

2 Corinthians 5:15
...He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Did you know that biblically a disciple was a Christian and a Christian was a disciple in New Testament times?

Acts 11:26
...and when he (Barnabas) had found him (Paul), he brought him to Antioch And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
The names in parenthesis were put in by me for clarification.

This verse cuts right through the practice of modern Churchianity like a hot knife through butter.

Up until the point in time mentioned in the above verse the persons who were Christians but who had not yet started being called that were simply called disciples. Disciples of whom? Of Jesus Christ!

To be a disciple was to be a Christian and to be a Christian was to be a disciple. The two terms referred to one and the same person!

If one was not a disciple they were not a Christian and if one was a Christian they were also a disciple.

That is what the verse says. If you don't believe me or have a hard time believing that...read it again until you get it right.

What was a disciple?

Let's look at some verses where Jesus Himself made it quite plain what was required of a disciple.

Luke 9:23
And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Denial of self? Taking up our cross? Daily? Losing our lives in following the Lord in order to truly save it? Not being ashamed of Him and of His words?

These are not the requirements of Jesus Christ for those who wish to enter into a more intimate walk with Him after having already started on that walk by becoming Christians. These are the requirements of Jesus Christ to become a disciple or true believer in who He was. It is the entrance requirement to a life of true faith!

Are you a disciple?

Matthew 10:24
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Are we to expect to have an easier life...a life of comfort and good times in the service of our Lord when every disciple who has been fully trained will incur upon themselves the types of abuse that were heaped upon Jesus? The fact is that the closer we get to being like Jesus the greater the amount of abuse that will be heaped upon us.

Jesus did not have a life of ease and comfort. He did not promise that to His disciples many of whom were persecuted and even killed. And God does not promise such a life to us today.

Are you willing to follow the Lord even at the cost of any comfort and ease you may have in this life?

Luke 12:22
And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing."
Luke 12:33 "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
While we can debate the finer points of what Jesus meant in telling His disciples to sell their possessions and give to the poor the unmistakable underlying message in what Jesus said is that disciples have their treasure in heaven and not in this life. The eyes of their hearts are on what lies ahead in the next life. They are not caught up in the affairs of this life as if this life is all there is.

They live as though God is truly God and able to provide for them resulting in a willingness to share of what they have to advance the Kingdom of God among man and love others as Jesus Christ demonstrated.

Are you willing to do that? To consider your possessions to be God's and not your own? To allow Him to do whatever He might wish to do with what you have as if it was His and not yours?

Are you willing to let your hands be His? To have your body be His? To let Him live through you to say and do what He did as you follow in His footsteps?

Matthew 10:34
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN'S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."
Is your love for God such that your love for others in this life seems like hatred in comparison? If not...why not? Why would you love others in this life more than you would love God who deserves your loving devotion and commitment?

If you chose to love God supremely it will cost you relationships that you would have kept if you had not loved God supremely. Are you willing to have that happen?

To be a disciple is to give your all to the Lord. It is to follow Him supremely. Above all others and everything else in life. It is to make Him master of your life allowing Him to lead you by His Holy Spirit.

THAT is what it means to be a Christian! Anything less than that is a cop out and a falsehood! Anything less is to walk around in deception thinking you can fool God by claiming to have a saving faith which you do not have.

If Jesus Christ is God, and you say you believe that, then act to live in line with that. Give your life to Him as God or stop calling yourself a Christian!

Better to go back to being known as an unbeliever than to continue to dishonor His name by exhibiting a shallowness of faith that promotes the idea that we can give Him allegiance in our heads while otherwise living in a state of continued rebellion and self-will.

If you are not a disciple you are not a Christian!

If God is God, and He is, then give Him your life and surrender to His will. Trust Him and be reconciled to Him through the cross of Jesus. Embrace the living God as God.

We are nearing the end times when Jesus Christ will be returning for His own. The Church will need to go through a time of trial to weed out of it those who are not His that she might once again rise up to be all that the Lord might want His bride to be.

Are you ready for that? Are you willing?

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