Skip to main content

Rapid Fire Christian Living

Rapid Fire Christian Living*
- encourage one another and build one another up (v.11)
- respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you (12)
- to esteem them very highly in love because of their work (13)
- be at peace among yourselves (13)
- admonish the idle (14)
- encourage the fainthearted (14)
- help the weak (14)
- be patient with all (14)
- no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone (15)
- rejoice always (16)
- pray without ceasing (17)
-
give thanks in all circumstances (18)
- do not quench the Spirit (19)
- do not despise prophecies but test everything; hold fast what is good (20-21)
- abstain from every form of evil (22)

*Christian thought, like any religious thought, can easily become a succession of DOs and DON'Ts. There is a tendency in the heart and mind of man to create a moral checklist of what God does and doesn't approve. The next step is to fall into the trap of thinking salvation and sanctification can be accomplished through a life time of right living and checking off these moral accomplishment boxes.

That kind of Pharisaical thinking never leads to a life pleasing to God. The depth of our sinfulness goes beyond our external actions into the recesses of our heart and soul. You can never help enough elderly women across the street to put yourself in right standing before a holy God. And this is what differentiates Christianity from other religions. Christian acknowledge their inability to pay off their spiritual debt. Christians live in the unbelievable shadows of grace and mercy, praising Jesus that his death paid their debt, and they are now free from the bondage of sin and able to walk with God.

The acknowledgment of our spiritual bankruptcy, coupled with the life giving act of Christ on the cross, transforms us. As we see the extent of our sin and the grace of God we become new people who no longer live for ourselves but for the one who redeemed us. Our desires reflect his desires, our actions mirror his heart, and our will is to do his will. Therefore, Christian admonishments for right living, are NEVER, to borrow a phrase from Pastor John Ortberg, "the minimal requirements for getting into heaven when you die." On the contrary they are descriptions of what the transformed life looks like.

If one or more of the attributes listed above (taken from 1 Thessalonians 5) is missing in your life the goal is not to white-knuckle it and work harder. The goal is to submit to Christ, praise him for his love, and ask for more of his mercy in your life to align your heart and mind with his.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

Lessons from Mt Everest

It would be great is life was all fun and easy and exciting like glissading down a mountain side.  However life is actually much more like climbing up the mountain.  It is difficult, painful, dangerous and exhilarating all wrapped up into one.
Last Sunday I preached at a church in Northfield and I shared some thoughts about this.  I compared lessons I've learned studying mountain climbing to lessons I've learned living life.  Here are the five things I talked about, along with some accompanying Bible verses.
1. You have to have a goal and you have to work hard towards achieving it, sometimes for a long time ---> Jer 29:10-14  2. You have to expect setbacks (injury, weather, enemies, catastrophe) and roll with them ----> 2 Cor 4:8-10  3. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought possible ----> Phil 4:13  4. In most cases, you need others to help you (guides, logistics, cheerleaders, friends, expedition leader) ----> Heb 10:15   5. You have to acknowledg…