So, You are a Christian!
Having found Jesus is a beautiful thing.Your life seems to have meaning. You have found something that brings you great joy and happiness. Your loneliness and emptiness have disappeared. Praise the Lord! But does it end there?
What is a Christian?
Anyone that has accepted Jesus in their heart is considered to be a follower of Jesus Christ. So, when anyone asks you, “Are you a Christian?”, certainly you’re going to reply, “yes, I am”.
But, once you declare that, you now have a big responsibility in calling yourself a Christian. One needs to know that in calling yourself a Christian, you are representing the ministry that Jesus started. His church, not just any of the traditional churches that exist throughout our world, but the the church or body of Jesus Christ here on earth. The danger of this is, is that by not living up to the standards of what Jesus laid out for us to follow we could very well give God a “black eye.”
How can you give God a “black eye”?
People are going to be people, and if they see the opportunity to make themselves feel good about themselves, they will. People like to point fingers. And when it comes to religion, they will convince themselves of things like Christians are a bunch of hypocrites and why would I want to become one of them or ‘look at the Catholic priests that are molesting little boys’. What about the Muslims? Certainly they’re not all terrorists, yet have one come around and people begin to judge them without even getting to know them. Understand what I’m trying to get at. People love dirty laundry. It seems that the worse it is, the better for them to spread around.
I’m certainly not denying that I haven’t been there myself pointing fingers. It seems like we need to do this, so that we can feel a little better about ourselves and not have to really see who we really are. We (including myself) can be quick to judge others, but when it comes to judging ourselves, forget it.
We have to remember that people are always watching us. Not so much as to be in waiting for you to slip up, but your conduct. If they see a mild mannered, polite, easy going person that is kind and considerate then that’s what they’re going to see. But if they see a rude, nasty, foul mouthed, angry person then that is what they are going to see.
It’s not so much as to be concerned about you calling yourself a Christian, but it would be better that “they” call you a Christian. That is what brings Glory to God. The best thing that you want people to see in you is the good (the Jesus in you). No one wants to be considered evil, but who and what you are in Gods eyes is what is really going to matter.
Here’s an example: Think about driving around in your car; I’m sure, like myself, you see people with the fish sign on their car or the “honk if you love Jesus” stickers. To me they’re advertising the fact that they are a Christian. But just look at the way they drive. Speeding, cutting people off and so on. Now I’m sure that there are people that do not know the Lord yet, saying things like, “look at that maniac and he’s supposed to be a Christian?” Whoops, there goes another “black eye” for God. Or what if you are that driver who is critiquing all the other drivers on the road?
See the harm that can be done?
We really need to be cautious about how we represent ourselves. If you want to be humble and someone asks you if you are a Christian. Just tell them that your faith is in Jesus Christ, He is your Savior and that you try to follow Him as best as you can, but you are not without fault, the Holy Spirit is still working on you. Then when you do mess up, no one gets hurt. A Christian is a follower of Christ, a disciple. If you want to see what Jesus requires of one to be a disciple of His, look up these scriptures.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
Luke 14:26,27 & 33
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
A Life-changing moment
Several years ago I read a book called “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman which made a big impression on me. The book makes you ask yourself this question “Are you a fan or a follower?” This is a defining question concerning your faith in Jesus and whether you simply admire Jesus or are in fact a follower of Jesus.
According to Pastor Kyle
Here’s a link to an article on “Defining the Relationship”, about having the D.T.r talk with yourself about how you really relate to Jesus.
Kyle’s book “Not a Fan” has now been updated and you can find it on Amazon in paperback:
I challenge you to get Kyle’s book “Not A Fan” and ask yourself the most important question of your life. How you answer this question will determine how you live this life and where you will live in eternity.
I love to get questions and comments from site visitors, you can leave yours below -Shirley
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