These are just a few of the thought ruminating through my mind this quiet Tuesday evening.
What does it mean to die to self daily? What does picking up my cross and following Jesus look like? Is it reflected in my thoughts, attitude and how I treat people? Does it impact my words? Is how I dress a reflection on my heart towards God? Is God first in my life? What objective evidence is there that’s true? What has God wrought on the inside that’s reflected outwardly?
I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to be a Christian teen or young adult in today’s culture that is secular at best and hostile to Christianity at worst. Where moral relativism has given way to sanctioning evil and even giving hardy approval. A culture that calls good evil and evil good.
As much as I hate to admit it…I think that the secular culture is influencing Christians more than Christians are influencing the culture. God calls Christians to be in the world, but not of it. What does that look like? How do Christian parents raise their children to not succumb to the secular culture? To hunger and thirst after righteousness? Don’t we need to examine ourselves first?
Have you ever noticed how Satan loves to tempt us to sin? He swoops in during a time of weakness of vulnerability and presents an attractive, subtle alternative to God’s way. He appeals to our sinful self that desires to put ourselves first, over and above God. Once we fall and take the bait…that roaring lion turns and calls us by our sinful name…liar, cheat, thief, drunk, adulterer…and on it goes. He tempts us to sin…and we like stupid sheep follow him. Afterwards…he condemns us and tells us how we’ve let God down and reminds us we are undeserving of God’s grace.
Do you know that just as God has a plan for your life…so does Satan? Whose plan are you following?
Have you ever noticed that a Christian’s sin may not as visible as other sins? They usually involve the heart. Sins like gossip, slander, condemning or judgmental attitude. These sins are frequently rooted in pride and are every bit as deadly.
Is there anyone in your life, that when you spend time with them…you walk away feeling like you’ve been with Jesus? Who comes to mind? Doesn’t someone who has a passionate hunger and thirst for God…who loves God and His Word…who has a healthy, vibrant, bold prayer life…don’t they spark something in you to want to know God more? What’s keeping you back?
Sometimes it’s hard to pray for unbelievers when they are in difficult circumstances. The hope and assurance that you can offer a fellow believer doesn’t hold true for those who don’t know Christ. So what do you pray? God often reminds me that as much as I desire for their salvation…He desires it even more.
Is your salvation prayer list growing? Do you find that you now pray for those you once considered enemies? Do you pray that God will deal with those in sin…but give them mercy and grace?
Have you noticed how God uses marriage to help us grow? That He desires for us to be holy more than He desires us to be happy?
How much have we lost…how much territory have we given over to the enemy? Do you ever get tired of scoring a goal for the enemy?
Do you ever hold back on your prayers…almost afraid to ask God for something in case it’s not His will? Do you feel like you are protecting God’s reputation…and not putting Him on the line by asking for something boldly? Are you protecting God or yourself from disappointment? Does it hurt more when God says no because we know He has the power and ability to do what we ask…but for unknown reasons…it’s not His will.
If you died today…do you know where you would spend eternity? Based on what?