The Call to Personal Reformation

I’ve heard many times the challenge to be a real Christian. Not just an I’ve-said-a-little-prayer ‘Christian’, but a true Christ-follower, who knows her Lord and Master, and strives to serve Him with a joyful heart.
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Our family recently attended a baptism at a local church to which we have several connections. But since then, I’ve promised myself to avoid that church like the plague, and here’s why: During a ‘message’, a lady gave this call to the congregation: “Don’t just be a good Anglican, saying and doing all the right things. We must be true followers of Christ.” This was hard to take, as many present we knew to be just that, “good Anglicans.” I don’t know what they were thinking as they sat there. But it didn’t seem to go very deep, because they all went to the kneeling rail for Communion.

Just saying a little prayer, or answering an altar call, or going to church
can’t make you a Christian. We were all dead in our sins, and only God can change that. And He does!

He has saved us, and we should rejoice in that. And we’re completely safe and dry. But we’ll never, in this life, be able to say “I’ve made it. Now that I belong to God, I do everything I can for Him.”  Well, you don’t, do you?

No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, there is always more work to be done. We don’t live our lives triumphantly, holding with uplifted arms the cup, the prize we’ve won. No. Instead, we press on toward the prize (Phil 4:13). There’s always more to be done. We can always be more humble. More obedient. More Christ-like. We can always be Reforming.

…He must increase…
…and I must decrease…

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The World We Will Inherit

The world being built…
is the world we will inherit…black.tree.2

Have you ever thought about that? Just last evening in my catechism class, the elder who was taking it said to us:

I think that the world in the time you will live in will be  even worse than in mine

Help! I hadn’t thought of that! I’d always imagined my life ahead as being, while not exactly a bed of roses, pretty easy. I had seen my life stretching ahead of me, just waiting to be lived. I hadn’t considered the persecution, the sorrows, the battles to be fought on every side.

Every month, it seems, there is some fresh attack against the family, the church, the Bible, and ultimately, God Himself. More and more the leaders of our nations are straying in their ways, and so leading us away from God also. Our Western civilizations are nearing their ends. Of course, this is a result of six thousand years’ disobedience. Many other causes can be mentioned, but, as always, the matter comes back to the heart. Our leaders’ hearts are turned away from God.

But  we can’t let all the blame rest there. It’s time to look at ourselves. Who are we? What are we doing? Where are we going? Do we understand our world, the way is now, the way it has been, and where it is headed?

Let’s not be content with the direction our world is going. There’s no gain in being fatalistic. Jude verse 3 says “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

We MUST fight the good fight! God will be pleased when we serve Him in desiring his will for all the world.

Serving When You Don’t Feel Like It

file0001675513757When you’re having a good day, it’s easy to serve with joy. You know, you wake up feeling beautifully refreshed, spring out of bed, and dress swiftly in your favourite outfit. Then, upon entering the kitchen, you discover that you are the only one up, and decide to prepare breakfast for your whole family. It feels right to serve when you are happy.
But what about the bad days? When you wake tired and grumpy, all you can find to wear is a stretched top and your gardening skirt, and your siblings have eaten all the breakfast? What then?
It is all too easy for us to resign ourselves to having a Bad Day. We just muddle through somehow, resenting everything that goes wrong, and then are annoyed when our Bible passage for the day includes Romans 12: 12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Think with me about what would happen if you weren’t complacent, If you said “No” to your bad attitude and sought the Lord constantly in prayer.
Your day could change. You could retire for the night reveling in the fact that you claimed that day and made it a joyful work of service for God!
Let’s take up the challenge, fight the Lord’s battles, and Serve With Joy!

What are Your Thoughts?

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This brief blog post is related to last week’s. I hope and pray that you have taken up my last challenge. Be warned: this one is even harder!

Imagine that temple or building again.
What if all your thoughts, were up there, every one of them written on your walls?
I don’t mean those sneaky ones that flash through and you swiftly squash. Let me rephrase this a little.
What do you mostly think about?
When this challenge was given me, I realised, to my shame, that my thoughts were primarily things like what how wedding dress would look, or exactly how my latest house design would go. This really hurt me, and almost instantly I began to spend my thoughts on the Lord.

For me, I didn’t have to consciously try to turn my thought around. Once I had been shown my error, God was swift in changing me. Now I strive to keep my mind pure.
Perhaps this, for you, will require more effort in the beginning, but persevere in serving God with your thoughts! The Lord is our dwelling-place, and we can rest in His mercies. Psalm 18, verses 30-31:
“As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?

Words on the Temple Walls

ivy.wallI had an uncomfortable thought a while ago which really challenged me, and I would like to share it with you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” So, for the purpose of this post, please imagine for a short while, in your head, a temple or building, and that that building is yourself.
My thought was this: What if every word you ever spoke was written on those walls for all the world to see? Your carefully cultivated image stands no longer.
Know this: God has heard all those words. Even those you think are okay, He sees as stinking rubbish, because of your sinful nature which pollutes them.
BUT – and this is the most important ‘BUT’ for all of us – if you believe, trust, and know that Jesus Christ died for your sins, God doesn’t see them! All your sinful words are covered over by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Instead of a pile of rubbish, God sees Jesus’ righteousness, given to you as a free gift!
Now, some may think that the world sees doesn’t matter . . . actually, it does! And it is not because you need to maintain your image of being a perfect girl who “has it all together.”
No, the image we need to maintain is that of one who was dead in her sins, and has been chosen, by God, to be His Daughter, and is so full of joy that she just loves to serve God and man with all her heart and speech!
And we must maintain it because it is true, not just as an image. We must be that girl!