I started this blog at 5:45 am. Almost daylight. The birds are singing their hearts out. Been up for a couple of hours, and about ready to start the Monday routine with the new additions from the time spent yesterday lining out my work/class schedules. I am a schedule person, I work better that way, knowing ahead of time what is coming next. I’ve learned to build in some flexible times, but even those have to be scheduled to avoid distractions for the other areas. Spontaneity is rare. Sometimes I might wish to be other than what I am, but not often, and not with any depth. I am who God created me to be, and I work and live according to the model the Lord has given. Life gets unbalanced when I deviate from the things that work best for me. Within that kind of structure, I can have peace to do and be what God has created me to do and be.
One of the things He has created me to do is write and open myself up regarding my faith. On my heart this morning is the church. More and more I find myself examining the early church in comparison to the church we know today. The many denominations that have developed. The definition of what it means to be Christian seems to no longer be the same across the nation. The view of the Bible is so varied by people who call themselves Christians. Being in one accord seems to be a vague concept.
I would have a wide range of responses if I suggested we just do what Jesus said to do in the Holy Bible, our guidebook, our reference book, our love letter from God, without variation, without deleting the hard truths, without the justification of sin, without putting conditions on love, without a focus on self above all else.
My old standby phrase, ‘faith by choice’, can be uncomfortable because that puts the responsibility for the choice on me. We all chose how we view our faith or lack of faith. In the mind, in the heart, where faith takes hold, grows, and changes a person, is where the power of God is proven.
The world’s view of what it means to be a Christian is becoming more and more negative. What I can do is offer the hope in a world to come, far better than this one, available to anyone who accepts the gift of Jesus Christ. Life can be hard as a Christian. The Bible never promised otherwise. It did promise a relationship with God, and with fellow believers, that makes living in the hard easier.
The best I can offer anyone is the testimony that until I accepted Jesus as my Lord, and my Savior, the world was one of anxiousness, fear, and self-doubt. Forty-one years after I submitted to Him, I can say I have never regretted it. I made a choice, and suffered some losses, but gained so much more in knowing His love, fellowship with other believers, and a purpose in life. The life of faith is a journey, and I’m still leaning on Him, failing at times, repenting, and going on.
As I write about faith, about what the Bible teaches, I write to myself because I see where I can do and be so much more in sharing His love, in praying, in tearing off the blinders I’d been unaware existed and see the harshness of the way people are being treated, and am awed by the strength of faith so many show in the face of adversity.
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day we are growing. My prayer is that we are growing together and not apart.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
God loves the world first. That means you, whether you believe or not. His love was so great He gave us all the way to be with Him. Forever. If we choose. He’s not going to force anyone. He wants it to be a choice we make, not something we were forced into. He knows, even more than any of us, that there are some who don’t see it that way. Who see the Christian way as archaic, as a myth. But His love doesn’t stop.
It’s a choice. Not an emotion, but an act of the mind first, followed by the emotion. And, the old saying is still true- not making a choice is a choice.
Clouds and rain are now blocking the sunshine this morning. Beauty of a different sort. It is now after 7:00 am, and I’ve rambled long enough. Blessings – Vicki