Christian Entitlement: Confusing Grace with a Free Ride
July 25th, 2010 by Billy
Everywhere you look today, whether it’s Christians or the unsaved, they all seem to feel like they are owed something or they deserve something. Christians think that because they have faith in God, everything they do will be successful. The unsaved think that they are entitled whatever they may want. Most people believe that there are things that they don’t need to do because it’s “beneath” them. The virtues of humility and meekness are rapidly disappearing from our culture. Christians seem to be missing the entire point of grace.
Christians seem to think that because they have faith in God that everything they do will prosper. One only needs to look at the runaway success of books like the “Prayer of Jabez” to realize how prevalent this false belief is. For those of you who haven’t heard of the book, it takes a single verse from the Bible, and teaches that if you pray to be blessed and prosper, you will be successful and prosperous. This belief sets us as Christians up for failure both in life and in faith.
Our faith in God has nothing to do with gaining prosperity. If you look at the Bible, most Christians had nothing, and were not considered rich by any means. On the contrary, they sacrificed everything they had including their lives because of their faith. The idea that by being Christians and praying for prosperity we can have it has no Biblical backing. While God did allow some people to become rich while following Him, it’s not a guarantee. And it’s not wrong to try to be prosperous. We are supposed to work hard at whatever work we may do, and that may lead to prosperity. Rather, it’s the blind seeking of wealth at the expense of all else that’s wrong. We need to be good stewards of what God has allowed us to have, rather than wasting it on nonsense so that we can seem to be prosperous.
And yet, Christians everywhere pray for wealth; spending money they don’t have to create a seemingly prosperous life, and seem surprised when their debt crushes them as all their plans fall apart. Their feelings of entitlement are destroying them and the lives of their families. However, were we to ask them why they did this and why they made those choices to spend what they did not have, they will say things like “God won’t take it away from me because He wants me to be happy”, or “Satan is trying to attack me”. These people are incapable of seeing that it was neither God failing to make them prosperous nor was it Satan taking it from them, but rather their own foolishness and false feeling of entitlement that is ripping apart their lives and families. If only they had been content with what they had; remembering that God is with them, and with that, what more do they really need? (Hebrews 13:5)
For another Biblical example, let’s look at Luke 12:13-21, the parable of the rich fool. The rich man is convinced that he can be more wealthy than he already is, so he makes his plans to make a larger barn so he can store more grain. Unfortunately, he neglected to consult God with his plans, and he died that night without completing it. Jesus makes a strong statement in Luke 12:14, saying that “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”. Our possessions have no meaning to the value of our life. They are nothing. When we die, we “can’t take it with us”, as the old saying goes. Why then do we persist in valuing ourselves based on what we have and what we make? We should be storing up our treasures in heaven rather on earth (Matthew 6:20).
These feelings of entitlement go deeper though than the heretical belief that God wants and will MAKE us prosperous and happy. Christians everywhere seem to think that they don’t need to do things because it’s “beneath” them. They will give money gladly to support missions overseas, but you’ll never see them over there. Or they’ll give money to help hire someone to clean their church, but you’ll never see them scrubbing the floors. They’re too proud to step down to physically help someone with something.
This even carries over to their personal lives. They claim to be unable to find a job, but if you ask, they’ll skip over jobs they could get, because they feel they are “too good for the job” or it’s “beneath” them. What’s perhaps most disheartening is that some Christians move beyond just thinking the job is beneath them to thinking that the people who work in the service industry are beneath them. This attitude is so far from the examples that Jesus set. If Jesus Himself can scrub his disciples feet, how can we complain that a job isn’t good enough for us? Or that cleaning a bathroom to help someone is somehow wrong for us to do? And if Jesus could invite a tax collector to be His apostle, how can we not be polite to the people who serve us? We need to be humble and do the work that needs to be done. Treat people like equals, and not like something somehow less than us. We need to strive to have a servants heart.
What all of this seems to come down to is arrogance. Since we are “saved” we seem to think we’re better than everyone around us, and consequently we seem to feel that we deserve better than everyone else. The Bible says that God was merciful and we were saved by grace not by anything that we ever did. That means we were not given what we deserved, but rather given something that we most certainly did not deserve. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
How can we twist that around to mean that we deserve everything and that because of our free undeserved gift we’re better than the people around us? We expect them to act saved, and then reject them when they sin, rather than living the example that Jesus sent. We expect our lives to be easy and pleasant, even though the Bible is filled of stories of loss and persecution because people’s faith. We have taken the world’s standards of prosperity and twisted the Bible to support it. How can we as Christians justify this?
We as Christians need to take a good hard look at ourselves and make sure that our pursuits are godly. We need to forsake the sole pursuit of prosperity and worldly happiness, and focus on following God’s will in our lives. We need to be serving our fellow Christians and neighbors, rather than expecting everyone to serve us. Let’s see if we can turn the tide of this false entitlement in the Christian world.
Seeking Things Above Part 3
March 20th, 2010 by Billy
This is part 3 in our series on Seeking Things Above. We’re picking up where we left off last week in Colossians 3:15, where Paul continues to instruct us in how we ought to live.
We’re told that we need to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since we were called to peace. Having peace can be quite difficult, but we need to be at peace in everything that we do. If we’re going through a rough time, we need to rely on God, and not be troubled. If we’re in a disagreement with someone or hurt by someone, we need to remain at peace. We should work to resolve the situation in a right and godly manner, but we need to stay strong and rely on God, and also not rage or be troubled by it. It can be extremely hard to fully rely on God like that, but it’s not only what we’re supposed to do, but it’s healthier for us as well. Stress does horrible things to the body.
In the next verse, Paul says that we need to be thankful. Regardless of our lot in life, we all have something to be thankful for. Even if it’s simply the fact that we have salvation through Jesus, there is always something that we can be thankful for. It’s easy to look at what other people have or have done, and be jealous as we don’t have those things or didn’t do them. However, that’s wrong; we need to give thanks for what we do have, and be content with it.
Continuing, Paul talks about how we need to be understanding and bear with our fellow Christians. It can be so hard sometimes to get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether we disagree on some obscure theological or political idea, or whether we simply don’t get along, it can be quite a struggle to get along. As Christians, however, we need to strive to all get along. We need to deal with our brethren’s quirks and differences, and when someone wrongs us, we need to forgive each other, and move on. We can’t dwell on each other’s failings. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so how can we justify not forgiving a fellow Christian?
Paul then says that we need to word of Christ dwell in us. We need to know what the Bible says and how it applies to our lives. One of the worst things that we can do to our witness is when someone asks us why we believe something to simply say “It’s in the Bible somewhere”. We need to know what it says and where it says it. It destroys our witness when we don’t even know where are beliefs are. Even more than that though, having parts of the Bible memorized strengthens our walk with God and helps us to be more like what He wants us to be. Of course, having them memorized means nothing if we don’t apply them and live them. We need to make sure that we’re “not only hearers of the Word, but doers as well”.
Paul continues from there, in verse 16, saying that we need to help our fellow Christians in their walk with God, and encourage them. We all should be teaching and strengthening each other’s walk with God. If someone is going through a hard time that you’ve been through, share the verses that helped you. If someone comes to you with something that they’ve learned from the Bible, listen to them, and apply it to your life, and then when the time comes, return the favor. Now, do be careful to do this in a attitude of meekness and humility, don’t lord your knowledge over them, because that causes strife. If a fellow Christian lords their knowledge over you, ignore the manner of how they do it, rather, focus on the message. We need to also encourage them if they’re going through a rough time. Be there for them when they’re struggling.
Paul ends the section saying that all we do we need to do in the name of Christ and give thanks to God. We need to make sure that our actions glorify God, and are not sinful or harmful. We need to give thanks for what we do have, and not be jealous of those who have what we don’t. If there is something that we’re doing or would like to do and are not sure if it’s sinful or not, it’s better to just not do it. We need to make sure that all of our actions glorify God.
Next week, we’ll finish off Chapter 3.
Seek Things Above Part 2
March 14th, 2010 by Billy
Last week, we looked at some of the things that we as Christians need to stop doing. This week, we’re going to continue in Colossians 3, and look at some things that we need to start doing. Paul, whenever he lists sins that we need to stop doing, lists their opposite virtues that we need to start doing.
The first thing that we need to do is “clothe” ourselves with compassion and kindness. The use of the word “clothe” is an interesting picture. Just as the first thing people see when they look at us are our clothes, so the first virtue that people see of us should be our kindness and compassion. Kindness and compassion sound simple enough to do, but seriously, how many of us can look at a single day of our lives where we were perfectly kind and compassionate to everyone we met? Compassion is more than just feeling bad for someone who’s going through a rough time, it’s defined as “deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with a wish to relieve it”. Do we just feel bad for people who are going through a rough time, or are we actively trying to do something to make it better?
Paul continues, telling us to also clothe ourselves in humility, gentleness, and patience. Humility is one of virtues that if you say you have it, you probably don’t. A lot of people put a show on of being humble, but that’s not true humility. The point of humility is to not exalt yourself or call attention to yourself. We need to remember that without God, we’d be nothing. The fact that we’re Christians doesn’t make us better than the unsaved, it just means that we’re saved from our sins because we’ve believed, not because we’ve done anything to merit God’s grace. We need to be careful to not act high and mighty about our faith because that’s not showing humility and is therefore sinful.
Gentleness is another important virtue. Gentle is defined as “considerate or kindly disposition” and “not hard or severe”. We need to make sure that we’re always gentle in our conversation. Anger and severity is not generally becoming to a Christian. Who would listen to a Christian when they see the Christian exhibiting the same severity or anger that the rest of the world does? We need to be different than the world.
Patience can be a very difficult virtue to maintain, especially when we live in a world that is as fast paced as ours tends to be. Rather than always rushing ahead to the next thing in our life, we need to make sure that we’re doing what we can with each moment that God has given us. When we’re going through a painful or trying time, we need to turn to God and be patient with the situation rather than falling apart. Perhaps the most important aspect of patience, is being patient with other people. We all know somebody that just drives us crazy. We need to be loving and patient to them. If Jesus can die for our sins, surely we can be patient with someone who simply bothers us?
The next thing that Paul says we need to do is to bear with each other, and forgive each other. As Christians, our fellow Christians should be some of the most important people in our walk with God. We’re supposed to encourage each other and help each other with our problems. When we have a disagreement, we need to forgive each other and move on. Beyond our Christian circle, we also need to forgive the unsaved who’ve hurt or upset us as well. Holding grudges and not forgiving is not the Christian way. God forgave us, the least we can do is forgive them.
Paul says that the virtue above all the rest is love. We need to love everyone. “They will know we are Christians by our love”. It’s not easy; sometimes it seems almost impossible, but we need to do it. It’s one of the huge things that set us apart from the world. Don’t let the little things get to you, and be patient with people. Go out of your way to help people, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done. It’s a lot of work, but the benefits are well worth it.
Next week, we’ll hopefully finish Chapter 3.
Seeking Things Above Part 1
March 7th, 2010 by Billy
We as Christians tend to get very caught up in the world around us. We worship God in church on Sundays, but the rest of our time seems to be focused on worldly goals and ideas. When we get together, rather than discussing scriptural topics or praying together, we recount TV shows and last night’s game. Our focus is on the “things of this world, rather than the things above”. But what does that mean? Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at exactly what that means. This week, we’re going to look at what things we need to cast aside so that we can look at things above.
Paul, in Colossians 3:1-4, tells us that we’re not of this Earth since we were raised with Christ, so rather than focusing our minds on things of the world, we need to be focused on the things concerning Christ, and forsaking things of the world. In verses 5-10, Paul gives a list of worldly things that we need to cast aside.
Covetousness is defined as desiring something that someone else has to an inordinate degree. It’s not seeing something a friend has and thinking for a second that it might be nice to get one of your own, it’s more of looking at it, and wishing that you had it and not them, and then focusing on that thought constantly. Paul even states point blank that it’s idolatry, which makes complete sense when you think about it. By focusing that intently on an earthly object, you’re definitely focusing on it more than you would God, which is wrong. We need to watch our thoughts about earthly possessions, even when we own them.
Malice is another one that we might need a little more information on. Most people think that malice is just being mean to someone else. While that is correct, there is another part to the definition. Malice is also when one takes pleasure in another’s misfortune. It’s very easy to celebrate inside when we see someone who’s been cruel to us get hurt or be in a bad situation. When we celebrate, not only are we sinning, but we’re not showing the Love of God. Sadly, a lot of Christians get happy and excited when they see sinners suffer the consequences of their actions, rather than trying to reach them for God. This is a very sad, but very common example of malice in everyday life. We need to watch ourselves constantly to make sure that we’re keeping a positive, loving, godly attitude, even on the inside.
Before we close part one, I just wanted to mention one other thing. Some Christians take the above verses to mean that we can do nothing that the world does, which is an incorrect interpretation of the passage. The passage isn’t saying we’re not to have anything to do with the world, but rather we need to be “in the world, but not of it”. If we want to discuss the game or a TV show that everyone is interested in, that’s fine, but we need to be very careful that that is not the depth of our fellowshipping with fellow believers. If that’s all there is, besides being sinful, what’s the point of fellowship? The fellowship is supposed to strengthen us in our walk with God, and if all we do is talk about the game, how are we strengthening our walk with God?
Next week, we’re going to look at what virtues and qualities that Paul uses as an example of seeking things above. Let us all try to remove the malice and covetousness from our lives.
Expanding the Requirements of Salvation?
February 28th, 2010 by Billy
Colossians 2 talks a lot about false teachers and false religion. These are a different type of false teachers than are mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament. These false teachers are adding on to what you need to do to be a Christian. They were mixing Christianity with a large amount of human tradition and human ideas (Colossians 2:8). This kind of false teaching is especially dangerous because it removes Christ from the equation, and it’s unfortunately so much more prevalent today.
Let’s look a little bit closer at what was going on when Paul was writing to them. Colossians 2:16-19 make it clear that the false teachers were making extra rules regarding what people ate and what celebrations they needed to observe. They were even advocating the worship of angels and were surrounding themselves with false humility. Paul told the believers not to let people judge them for what they ate or how they worshiped, since all the old rules regarding that were eliminated when Jesus died (Colossians2:20-23). These things, while not necessarily evil, and may even seem wise, have no bearing on our salvation or our walk with God, and it weakens our walk with God if we’re relying on them.
Now, these verses have been taken out of context to say that believers can do anything since they’re covered by Jesus, but that’s heresy and not at all what the verses say if you look at the context. Paul is speaking against people using human laws and traditions as part of Christianity. At the opposite extreme, these verses also have been used against Christian rock music and basically anything “new” that churches have started using in their services. That’s taking the verses out of context as well, since those things are generally not being taught as a requirement for salvation or Christianity but rather an option for those who are interested.
Paul, in the next chapter, puts forward a very simple list of what Christianity is all about. First and foremost, Colossians 3:1 states that the primary focus of our minds must be on Christ and things above. Nothing on the earth lasts; it simply does not matter in the end. Earthly pleasure and earthly riches will pass away and have no bearing on your heavenly life. Paul lists out a bunch of sins in Colossians 3:5-9 that we must cast aside. Obviously, we’ll never be able to attain perfection on Earth, but we must do our best to try. He also makes an incredibly strong statement against racism in Colossians 3:11, stating that in God’s eyes it doesn’t matter what race you are. Paul continues in verse 12 through 17 listing what qualities as Christians we should have. We need to be humble and loving to everyone, and it needs to be real, not just put on cause we have to.
Now, while we have an enormous amount of freedom as a Christian, we need to be careful with how we use our freedom. As we’ve seen in previous devotionals, just because something is a “good thing” doesn’t mean it’s always the right choice, especially when there’s a “great thing”. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that just because everything is lawful for you to do, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good thing. We need to make sure that our use of our Christian freedom from the old law and traditions doesn’t hurt our walk with God or those around us. For example, while drinking is permitted for Christians, if you’re an alcoholic, or around former alcoholic people (Christians or otherwise), it would not be right for you to drink around them. Look around you before you exercise your Christian freedoms, the things on earth are not worth harming any Christian’s walk with God.
Real Christianity is so much simpler than all the rules and traditions people try to weigh it down with. We need to be careful to make sure that our walk with God is genuine and not weighed down by false human beliefs and ideas. Over the next few devotions we’re going to look at some of the sins that we’re supposed to cast aside, and some of the virtues that we need to live.
Remember who God IS
February 21st, 2010 by Billy
Christians today tend to have a tendency to forget who God is. One can see this just by looking at their attitudes and actions, from referring to God as the “Big Man Upstairs”, to viewing Him as the friendly, harmless old guy. Some Christians even take the Name of God in vain and not even see that what they’re doing is wrong. This kind of an attitude, besides being wrong and sinful, also belittles God. Why would we, as believers, want to belittle the very God that we worship?
God made the entire universe and everything in it (Genesis 1:1). He made man from the dust of the Earth (Genesis 2:7). Just in those two verses we can see the amount of power that God has. Not only does the Bible give many more examples of His power, God Himself describes His power and rebukes Job for trying to put himself on equal footing with God (Job 40-42). Even Jesus, in the New Testament, shows deference to Him. Let’s look at it like this, if Jesus Himself shows reverence and the highest amount of respect to God, who in the world are we to reduce Him to nothing more than “the big guy upstairs”? God’s name is sacred too, to use it as nothing more than an interjection or as part of an acronym online is not just disrespectful and belittling, but it’s sinful as well.
Our culture loves to make fun of God, and portray wildly inaccurate ideas about who He is. These ideas have a tendency to trickle into churches and then gradually get accepted by believers. We’re the ones who worship Him, so shouldn’t we be the ones who know who He is? We need to be very careful to show God the worship, reverence, and respect that He not only deserves, but commands as well.
January 11th, 2010 by Billy
In these tumultuous times, Christians are bombarded with ever-changing entertainment, information, advertising, objects and more. While some of these things are obviously evil and are generally avoided by Christians, there are many, many things out there that are not immediately evil, and may even appear good. This is where discernment comes in. Discernment is using the Bible to find good from evil.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” So, if using or doing or watching something causes you to sin or think about sinning, it’s sinful, and should be shunned. Going one step farther than that, if it causes your fellow Christians to sin or think about sinning, you should at the very least not do it around them, and should also seriously think about not doing it at all. There is nothing man-made in the world that is worth causing fellow Christians to sin.
Another good way to discern, is to look at what happens to people who do or use this thing. Matthew 7:15-20 talks about knowing good from evil by the “fruits” or results of the thing. If it causes people to sin, it’s best to avoid it. Now, I know that some people get addicted to things easily, but still, if it causes people to become addicted to it, one should seriously pray about it before trying it, and make sure that they watch themselves around it. God needs to be the focus of our lives, and anything that takes Him from the focus, should be removed from our lives.
An interesting verse is Philippians 1:9-10, which states that we must approve what is EXCELLENT. The verse could have said good, but instead chose excellent. I believe there is a deeper point with the word choice. There are lots and lots of “good” things in life that may not be bad, but if they keep us from the excellent things in the world, they may as well be bad. Examine your life; is there anything that is taking time away from God and the EXCELLENT things in your life? If so, remove them, and focus on Him and the excellent.
Now, for this media saturated culture, it can be very difficult to discern on entertainment. For this purpose, several organizations have viewed the material, and listed what sorts of objectionable content are in them, so that you may decide for yourself about it. PluggedIn (a part of Focus on the Family) does movies, TV shows, and music reviews, along with articles on pop culture trends. If you’re looking for computer or video game reviews, I’d recommend CCGR.
Discernment can be hard, which is why we need to pray and seek God’s wisdom on it. Additionally, talk to your fellow Christians and get their insight.
Justice Vs. Vengeance
October 10th, 2009 by Billy
God, in the Bible, makes it very clear that we’re not to pursue vengeance on people who harm us. However, at the same time, He makes it very clear that there must be Justice. The line between Justice and Vengeance can seem very thin sometimes, so let us take a look at it.
First, let’s look at what the words mean. Vengeance means “Revenge or reprisal or retaliation taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong”. On the other hand, Justice means “Judgment and punishment of a party who has wronged another”. Just from looking at the definitions, there are definite differences between the two.
The first major difference is that justice involves a group of people passing judgment. It’s not supposed to be an emotional reaction. It takes the laws of the land into consideration. The punishment that it hands out are consistent and reasonable to the crime in question. With vengeance, it’s one person reacting with strong emotions, with no thoughts to the process of the law or right and wrong. It’s an emotional reaction to a situation.
Vengeance is different in another way. It’s a direct retaliation for something done wrong to the individual. There’s not an impartial body dealing the punishment, but rather the victim taking the law into his own hands for his own satisfaction. Justice isn’t retaliation; instead, it’s a punishment for something done wrong.
It’s hard sometimes letting the system of Justice work, especially when we or someone we love is harmed, but we must let the system work. Not only is it the Biblical way to handle things, but it makes the world safer. If everyone just lashed out and took matters into their own hands, the world would be filled with chaos and anarchy. People sometimes feel like the system doesn’t work, and yes, there are times that the guilty get away, but the Bible makes it clear that Vengeance is God’s and He’ll deal with them in the end.
October 9th, 2009 by Billy
Christians are called to be in the world but not of it. Even though a large amount of the people around us ridicule Christianity and mock our beliefs, we need to keep living as we’re called to live. Nothing hurts Christianity more than Christians professing to be Christians, but don’t live a life like God has called them. Unbelievers see the hypocrisy and it causes them to reject all of Christianity based on that. Paul, in the book of Romans, laid out a list of how Christians are supposed to treat each other. It’s sad to say that Christians have a tendency to have disdain for their fellow believers. Not only does this make us look bad, but it holds us back. If we can’t get along with each other, how can we possibly expect to bring other people to Christ?
First off, all Christians have different gifts and abilities. That doesn’t mean we’re more or less important in God’s plan for all of us, it just means we have different roles. Romans 12:3-8 lays it out very clearly for us. Whatever gift we have, we need to use it for God. During the time, people were arguing over which gifts were more important, and the ones who had the “best” gifts were flaunting them in front of the others. We need to be careful not to be prideful in what we can do, but be humble about it as we use it, and not show off. Otherwise, it destroys what we’re trying to accomplish.
We need to do is be supportive of our fellow Christians. Romans 12:13-15 tells us that we need to laugh with those who are laughing and cry with those who are crying. If a fellow believer is going through a rough time, we need to be there for them. Whether they need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to help them through a rough time, as Christians, we need to do what we can. The same applies to joy. If they’re happy about something, we should celebrate with them.
Romans 12:16 is an interesting verse. It tells us that we need to humble ourselves, and be able to live in harmony with one another, regardless of our respective lots in life. During Paul’s life, there was an enormous lifestyle difference between the rich and the poor, and there was a lot of favoritism and pride between the two classes. The rich or powerful were getting better treatment when they went to worship, while the poor were being cast to the side. This was damaging to the church, and flew in the face of what Jesus preached. Regardless of our place in life, we need to accept and associate with people who are poorer or less powerful than we are. We can’t allow the barriers that separate the classes in the rest of the world to enter into the church. We are all sinners saved by grace, wealth or power means nothing.
Paul continues in Romans 12:18, he states that we need to live in peace with all men as much as possible. Obviously, if they are doing something sinful that’s harming other people around them, we need to do what we can to make it a better situation, but otherwise, we need to just get along. We all know that guy (or lady) at church. You know who I’m talking about, the one with the annoying stories or obnoxious laugh, or perhaps worse the different political or life views than ours. They’re probably not a bad person, but we just can’t seem to get along with them. We need to set aside our differences and respect them, and treat them with the same Christian love that we show our family and close friends. It’s not easy, but it’s something we have to learn how to do.
The next verse is one that most of us probably will have trouble with. Romans 12:19 says that we’re not to try to avenge ourselves, as that is God’s place. If someone hurts us or rips us off, we can’t pursue them to get even or get back at them. That’s God’s place. Now, that doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to let ourselves just get walked all over on, but rather that we can’t try to take matters into our own hands to hurt them. There’s a huge difference between “justice” and “vengeance” but I think that’s a topic for another devotional.
This is a lot to cover in a single devotional, but it’s extremely important. As more and more churches split over stupid things like the color of the carpets or because of random comments that were said in anger and then blown out of proportion, it becomes very clear that we all need to take a step back and look very hard at ourselves and how we feel about our fellow Christians.
What Did Jesus DO?
January 24th, 2009 by Billy
I’m sure all of us have heard the acronym WWJD?. What would Jesus Do? It’s been placed on bracelets, necklaces, tshirts, Bible covers, and pretty much anything else one can think of. It’s a nice thing to think about, but I think it’s more important that we think about what Jesus DID.
Jesus didn’t consider anyone not worth His time. He taught and talked to all the people that His society didn’t care about. He taught the children, even when His own disciples tried to make them leave. He ate meals with prostitutes and tax collectors. That is something that most Christians today would immediately condemn without giving it a second thought. Beyond that, He even taught a Samaritan, who was a member of a group of people hated and looked down on by the entire Jewish culture.
If one looks at Jesus’ life, they’ll see that the main group of people that He was harsh with were the Pharisees. See, the Pharisees knew what was right, and yet they twisted it around to make themselves look better. They knew better, and yet they still deliberately sinned. The other people didn’t pretend to be something they were not. They were willing to admit that they were sinful, and were willing to make a change in their lives. Jesus called the Pharisee’s white washed tombs, meaning that they looked clean on the outside, but were dead inside. Too often Christians judge non-Christians without even giving them a chance to hear the Gospel in a non-condescending or loving manner.
Jesus gave without any thought to Himself. He went without all of the comforts of His day to reach as many people as possible. Beyond that, and far more importantly, He died in a most agonizing and painful way in order to save the world from their sins. How many of us would truly be willing to do that? I know it’s so easy to say “oh yes, I’d die for someone” in casual conversation, but think about it seriously for a few minutes. Would we really be willing to?
Jesus did so much, we should all spend some time contemplating what He did with His life, and then try to live like Him. Pray, search your hearts, and see where you can do more. Think about what Jesus did.
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