10 Things Too Costly for Christians to Forget
1. You didn’t find salvation. Salvation found you. Romans 5:7-8 makes it very clear that when our thoughts were as far from God as the east is from the west, He loved us so much that he devised a plan to save us. This keeps us from becoming entitled. We love to point to today’s generation of youth and talk about how entitled they are…they want everything to be given to them. Perhaps that is true but the church has to make sure it isn’t doing the same thing. The youth aren’t the only ones suffering from the microwave mentality. We also are guilty of wanting our blessings immediately while avoiding pain indefinitely.
2. Just because we live under the New Covenant does not mean that the Old Testament is useless. As Jesus himself said, he did not come to destroy the law but fulfill it (Matt 5:17). Perhaps that’s too technical a verse, so consider the Old Testament as your former life before Christ. You tried to improve on your own (remember when the children of Israel begged for a king rather than be under God’s rule?). You tried to live by rules and rituals (see Leviticus) and you found accountability partners (try any of the books of the prophets), but only Christ could fill the void in your life. The Old Testament is just a reflection of what we are capable of when we run our own lives. To ignore it is to our own detriment.
3. Prosperity is more than houses, cars, and clothes. That’s the world’s definition of prosperity. Prosperity for the Christian goes way beyond material wealth. Prosperity according to the Bible is life-consuming. That means you are just as prosperous in your relationships as you are in material things. If you have the house, the car, and the clothes, but no one can stand being around you (including your spouse and your family)…that’s not the prosperity that God promised the seed of Abraham. That’s the prosperity that is making reality TV so popular because there is so much drama attached to it.
4. God judges your heart. Remember Matt 5:28? Jesus judged adultery not by the actual act, but by the person’s actual decision made to commit adultery in their heart. We sometimes put so much effort in our outward actions to be Christians that we forget to purify our hearts. A tree is known is by its fruit and that fruit will be eaten by others. If your core is nasty, your fruit will be nasty.
5. The devil is real. So perhaps at one time we did go a little overboard about demons and demonic possession and the kingdom of darkness, but don’t be deceived. The enemy is still on the job. Just because you don’t mention him or acknowledge him does not mean he doesn’t exist. He is still seeking to kill, steal and destroy and based on the state of today’s world, he is doing a good job of it. Ignore him at your own peril.
6. The Holy Spirit is not a sidekick. The Holy Spirit is your access to living life victoriously so if you just put it to the side because you think it is spooky, you give away your power. Go back and read John 16. The Holy Spirit is here to comfort you and teach you all things. The Holy Spirit is Jesus living within you. He will never leave you. He will always tell you the truth, and He will always guide you in the right direction.
7. We are not suppose to fit in. This one is really hurting the body of Christ, because somehow we have believed that the more worldly we look and sound the more the world will be attracted to us, but it is creating the opposite effect. Jesus made it clear. Be hot or cold, but not lukewarm. Lukewarm will definitely get you more followers on social media, but ultimately God is keeping tabs of how many followers you get for him. Remember, we are suppose to be royal, peculiar, and holy (1 Peter 2:9), not regular, popular, and hypocritical.
8. Jesus is suppose to be Lord of your life. This means he has total authority to tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I can personally testify on how easy it is to forget this. We live in a society when it is all about independence and living your life on your own terms. It is easy to accept Jesus as savior, but it is difficult to accept Jesus when he says take my yoke upon you (Mark 11:29-30). Who even uses the word ‘yoke’ anymore? Yet, this is the reality of being a Christian. You no longer have the right to run your own life and to pretend like you do is some kind of miserable. It will eventually wear you out because Jesus does not require your some. He requires your all.
9. We are suppose to tell others about Christ. It is actually a direct command (Matt 28:18-20). It is isn’t optional or relegated to members of the clergy. More importantly, it should be easy to talk to other people about your First Love. I have never had trouble telling strangers about my husband, Richard, but I have to admit, I have choked talking about Jesus. Really, there’s no excuse. I do have a great husband, but nothing compares to Jesus, right? So, why aren’t we sharing our faith more?
10. It’s not about us. It’s about Him. In John 12:32, Jesus says that if he is lifted up, he will draw all men unto him. This verse refers to Jesus’ crucifixion, but it is applicable to everything we see occurring in the world today. Divorce rates are sky high. Children are killing their parents. Homosexuality is the new normal. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Natural disasters are prevalent and the old are outliving the young at record rates. What’s the solution? Take another selfie? Build your own brand? I don’t think so. I think if we can just lift Jesus up through our words, our actions, our lifestyles and let him do the job he died to do, which is to draw all men towards him, we will see a lot of things change including ourselves.