It seems lately that I’m reading a lot about who Jesus ISN’T. About what the Bible ISN’T. About what Christianity ISN’T.
It’s frustrating… and I’m a pastor in a church. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for those seeking to learn more about Christianity.
Why am I frustrated? I’m frustrated because people keep saying HERE’S WHAT WE’RE NOT…
SO WHAT??? Why do we want to be known for who or what we AREN’T???
I’m tired of the negativity!! I want to be known and make Jesus known, and make His Church known for WHO WE ARE!!!!
We should be characterized by SO MANY POSITIVE THINGS!!! Stop focusing on who we aren’t or what we don’t do or what we don’t believe - start focusing on the POSITIVE SIDE of that coin!!
So, here’s the beginning of a list of 9 things that should characterize those who walk in the faith and by the Spirit through the grace of God:
1. Love. - Jesus, while in a discussion with an attorney and being asked about what’s SO DIFFERENT about what Jesus was teaching (and we all know how attorneys can be), Jesus’ first answer was LOVE. LOVE GOD with all you’ve got, and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as you LOVE yourself. It starts with love! Love is the FOUNDATION of our FAITH!! So, how are you loving God?
2. Joy. - We’re talking about a deep-seeded delight in knowing that your heart, soul, life, family, and eternity are safe in the hands of Jesus Christ. It’s a silent, wonderful, overwhelming confidence that we don’t have to earn God’s favor, and even though we don’t deserve God’s favor, God BLESSES US with His favor and grace and mercy!!!
3. Peace. - We’re taking that Joy to a deeper level. We’re taking it to a lack of concern and anxiety over the cares of this life. Knowing that we’re going to be concerned about how the bills are paid and when the bills are paid, but KNOWING THAT GOD’S PROVISION WILL CARRY US THROUGH!! We’ve all heard stories, and many of us HAVE stories of His provision in our lives… Encourage others with those!
… To Be Continued…