Tag Archive | Christianity

Do Not Be Ashamed

DSCN1736Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:8-10, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me His prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

In the Mid-West and throughout the country communities are being attacked by atheist groups because of displays of Christian symbols on public property. My town was hit last Fall. We ended up having to take down a cross which we put up on a hill every Sunday in the summer since the 1960’s. Other communities are being taken to court by these groups because of their Christian displays as well.

Satan is working overtime trying to destroy Christianity. He hasn’t been able to do it for over 2,000 years. What makes him think he can do it now? Atheists have won some of the battles lately, but Jesus Christ has already won the war through His death and resurrection. Satan lost a long time ago, but he hasn’t seemed to realize it yet.

The devil and his minions can attack Christian displays on public property, but they can’t stop us from displays on our private property. We need to be like Paul, unashamed to testify about our Lord and Savior. For example, I have a cross on the rear window of my car and the front window of my home. We can continue to put up Nativity scenes at Christmas. We can do acts of kindness in the name of Christ. The Gospel can be shared with others who want to hear. We can do prayer walks in our neighborhoods and towns.

This is a time for Christian to rise up for Jesus. Even when Paul was a prisoner in Rome he never stopped spreading The Word. We are to be the messengers of God’s grace and love given to us through Jesus Christ.

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.”   Teresa of Avila  (16th century)

We should not be hiding in our corners waiting to see what happens. We’ve been doing that too long. As the women left the tomb that first Easter morning to spread the news that He Is Risen, let us also testify this Good News and not be ashamed of our risen Lord.

Think about these words from a prayer written by St. Patrick of Ireland: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.”

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RADICAL CHRISTIANITY

A church sign in Grand Haven, MI.

People sometimes get the wrong impression of what Christianity is all about. They’ve seen people on street corners yelling, “Repent. The end is near!” Some churches are very strict where people can’t do anything that’s fun. Other churches say they are Christian, yet make outsiders feel very uncomfortable and unwelcomed.

There is only one way to be a true “radical” Christian – simply follow Jesus. Spread The Word in a calm loving manner. You can still have fun – dance, sing, go to parties, live life – keeping in mind what you do is to be pleasing to God. Jesus welcomed all kinds of people to follow Him – tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves. Even murders in the Bible were used by God – Moses and David.

Radical Christianity is not living as the world thinks you should live. It’s living as Jesus thinks you should live.  Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, “Come, follow Me, . . . and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:19)

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. . . . What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 9:34 and 36)

Put Jesus first in your life. Follow His instructions and examples. You won’t become stuffy and boring. You’ll come alive and be full of joy, peace, and love. Are you ready to be a radical Christian?

NATION TO BE HUMBLE

Flag on the corner of 8th St. and US 31 in Holland, MI.

The United States is a great nation. When Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941 it was said the event “woke a sleeping giant”. That same phrase was used after 9/11/2001. We are powerful and the world knows it. However, I’m not sure how powerful the U.S. will remain. This country was founded on Christian principles. I think we are forgeting those principles. Christianity appears to be taking a backseat in order to make everybody happy. I’m worried that if we, as a nation, do not get back to our roots God might step in like He did with the Israelites when they turned from Him. I had thought 9/11 was a wake-up call, but it didn’t last long. II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  Can you think of some local, State, and Federal officials who need to be reminded of this verse? Christians can not keep hiding in the background. We need to step up to the plate and work to bring our nation back to its Christian heritage before it is too late.

TIME CAPSULE

Time capsule in Zeeland, MI.

Some of us may have had the opportunity to put things into a time capsule which will be reopened past our lifetime. Others may have been lucky enough to witness the reopening of a time capsule buried lifetimes ago. I can imagine people a hundred years from now looking at things from our generation. They would not only be learning about us, but also possibly seeing things more clearly in their own time. I see the Bible as a time capsule. From it we learn how life was thousands of years ago. We learn the history of the Jewish nation, and the birth and development of Christianity. Even tho’ everything in the Bible took place a long time ago, through it we can still see more clearly our current time and how we should live. Open your Bible, study it, learn from it. It is a God-given time capsule right in our hands.