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vivmeeraj
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Joined: 2012/5/26
Posts: 61


 Are we following Jesus?

Christianity, has been unduly and unfortunately portrayed in ways Jesus Christ never wanted it to be. In the first place Christianity is not meant to be a religion. It is a way of life. This is a fact primarily many traditional Christians do not understand. Humans have the nature of following a religion than abiding by the teachings of the leader. Christians in general are not different.

As I was born in a Christian family, I thought I was a Christian.I started practicing certain rituals and practices of that particular denomination and thought I was a good Christian. But an encounter with Jesus at the age of 37, changed my views completely. I realized I was not a Christian (Act 11:26 - a disciple of Jesus Christ). I gave up my religion and started seeking Jesus so that I can follow Him. So dear reader, please understand that being part of any denomination or even the best church which is lead by the Holy Spirit, does not guarantee you this discipleship. It is a personal choice that one has to make. You can be a disciple or just a member of a group. Let us make a wise choice, depending only on the guidance and power from above.

A matter of great concern is the tendency of Christians following a pattern rather than Jesus Christ Himself. The Jews did this and failed the purpose of God. The traditional churches did this and failed as they practice something far from the spirit of the inspired word of god. Self invented rituals have replaced worship in Spirit & Truth. In short, if Jesus is not leading one, it is the tradition and rituals that are. And no tradition, ritual or practice without Jesus can save one.

This includes the worship and tradition of Pentecostal churches too, if it is not Christ lead. A majority claiming a born again experience has also stopped seeking and following Jesus. This lot could include you or me if we are happy with the rituals and a Sunday service and are unwilling to be broken and molded by our Lord the way He wants.

If one seeks God with all the heart and sincerity, the Spirit would replace human will with God's will. The following, among other reasons are worth considering for a self evaluation.

Lack of light from the word of God

Many innocent believers from traditional churches never get a chance to hear the word of God. They are not encouraged to meditate on the word of God. It is the duty of everyone who has got the privilege of hearing the gospel to share it.

Lack of light among those who have access to the word

Among those who have heard the gospel and have got access to the word of god, there are not many who seek HIM with a personal desire. They (the leaders) do not let the Spirit to reveal truths but present the word in letter, corrupted by their false spirit. You can see this in all the cults. Most are happy with the weekly sermons or what the mentor says. For many, bible reading becomes a ritual rather than a search for life giving resources. When I think of the word of god, I am encouraged to use it like a map in the wilderness. The only resource you can look at to ensure moving in the right direction.

So let us seek the treasures from the word and always ensure that we are following Jesus and not any other man or tradition.

Lack of willingness to accept the word of God.

Even if one has years of experience with the word, it has to be with the right attitude one meditate the word.

Matt 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Holding on to some personal conviction and not letting truth (from word of God) change it is another situation many are in. They would blindly believe what their pastor or mentor taught them and believe that particular interpretation is the ONLY truth. Satan even projects every other (true) message as false doctrine.

Gal 1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; Gal 1:7 which is {really} not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

There are many saints around us as the word says, but the only model worth emulating is our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. So take every message, every teaching and every idea to the word of god and compare ONLY with the word. If it is in tune with the word, accept it, if it is not, reject it. True revelations will be in tune with the word and not out of that.

Unteachable spirit.

Ex. People who look into the word of God only to justify what they already have heard, understood and believed. No one can teach them another point even when it is from the word. They are so strong and some among them even live a good Christian life and become self righteous instead of being under grace. They cannot be changed in any area where they lack or fall short of grace due to the preconditioned mindset from years of traditional practice of religion.

We really need to look into the word of God with an attitude of humility and seeking His guidance rather than continue on a knowledge enrichment or ritualistic exercise. One has to hear, read messages for better understanding etc but ultimately, hear from above. This happens in personal prayers, meditation of the word and fellowship with brethren. The Spirit would reveal what men cannot do.

Let us see what the word of God can actually do in us.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 4:13 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Pure word of god will divide the flesh, soul and spirit. You might have got convictions about your flesh, its nature etc. Are you able to distinguish your soul and spirit? Let us dig deeper and let the word penetrate and divide them. To our surprise, we would find many of our practices to be soulish rather than spiritual. Then when we desire still higher levels of the word, the power of the Holy Spirit working and leading us to the spiritual realm, helps us to receive the power from above, the mighty resurrection power which is the only way to lead a victorious Christian life.

Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Heb 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

Solid food is what makes the spiritual man healthy. And spiritual health as per this word means to have senses trained to discern good and evil. Do we really get this? If not, whom do we blame the pastor? I bet there are many other resources if one is not able to study word of God individually. All it takes is the will to search for it, a burning desire to understand your creator and to do His will.

We need to grow beyond often preached and taught baptism, and other rituals. They are teachings from the word but just a beginning. One has to grow in Christ to His image. There is a road map given in the word of God. Let us follow that and reach our destination – Christ and a life with Him in eternity.

Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be {more} joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Christ likeness is a seldom sought after spiritual goal these days. Believers and even most of the spiritual workers are on to many things but not this. In fact, Christ likeness or godliness is the goal of a true believer and hence it has to be the focus of teachings.

1 Tim 4:7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 1 Tim 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and {also} for the {life} to come.

This is what our Lord would be most pleased at. The result of not seeking this is that we do not find men who are Christlike around us. We might come across a few Pauls, Peters or even Johns. But very seldom we come across a man who is Christ like – holy & anointed but accessible and down to earth with a servants attitude.

One of the most serious problems of a sincere believer could arise due to his/her sincerity and determination itself! If one doesn’t have a humble spirit to see the truth when it is different from ones perceptions, the person would get stuck with ideas instilled by men and not from God. A feeling that I am ok (spiritually) or my will or way is right. This could make one determined about spiritual matters to the extent of not learning from mistakes, shortfalls and others. One would form a character and style which is good or even great sometimes but so strong to be altered even when the Spirit wants to. Because he thinks he is right. A man in Christ has to be responding to Holy Spirit every moment, every step, every incident and at every word.

God showed me this in a practical situation which happened in June, 2011. I had a neighbor who is a drunkard and loose tongued person. When drunk, he bad mouths people and has spoken of me too to my relative. Naturally, we all tried to keep away from him and limited our social interaction to a smile or a wave of hands. One morning I was entering my house after the church meeting and saw this man near our entrance. He was fully drunk at 9 am! He started a conversation which sort of irritated me. Didn’t show that too much but I gave him a ‘befitting’ but 'polite sounding' reply and passed through him.

The moment I entered my house, Spirit told me I was wrong. I gave him a befitting reply by the standards of men, not of God. If it was Jesus in my place, He would have spent some time with him (as He has always with sinners and tax collectors). He would not have given him a discourse but showered him with love, tender words and care which would break the heart of the sinner followed by repentance. I behaved like most of the smart men would do now. But was way below the standard of Christ likeness.

I repented and decided the next time I come across this person, I will be Christ like. I did meet him again soon and spent sometime talking with him.

Then a thought that was quite challenging and promising came up. If a believer starts to repent about matters like this and take steps immediately to set them right, what would be his spiritual state after some years!! Imagine he corrects 100 small (or big) shortcomings, how much more Christ like he would be. God would be pleased with him more than anyone or anything else.

I am sure, God needs more disciples with a humble, responsive spirit. When such men pray for any purpose (they will definitely know what to pray for) it will be answered. They could transform the world, peoples and nations.

Oh God, let me repent of everything that falls short of your will and Spirit. Let me correct myself or rather allow God to correct me by submitting my will on the altar. Let me take up the cross in every such situation. Make me holy and Christ like so that your will is done in my life.


_________________
Rajesh

 2012/6/3 1:16Profile
Blayne
Member



Joined: 2012/5/27
Posts: 274


 Re: Are we following Jesus?

Hi! Vivmeeraj
I VERY much was blessed and touched by your Thread.
On a lighter note: I'm also pleased to have stumbled into someone who isn't shy to compose a lengthy narrative. It makes me a little less embarrassed by the length of some of my own in here. :) :)


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Are we following Jesus?
by vivmeeraj on 2012/6/2 22:16:45
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 2012/6/3 1:59Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

amen

 2012/6/3 2:07Profile
onemite
Member



Joined: 2011/9/19
Posts: 168


 Re: Are we following Jesus?

Amen :)

Yes, refreshing is the word... and worded so that I could easily receive it.

Thank you for posting!

O.m

 2012/6/3 2:15Profile
vivmeeraj
Member



Joined: 2012/5/26
Posts: 61


 Re:

thanks and yeah, when i write, i go on and on. May be it is for the fact that I need more words to put a simple fact through..May god bless you..


_________________
Rajesh

 2012/6/3 2:22Profile
Elibeth
Member



Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1048


 Re: Are we following Jesus?

Virmeeaj,

Praise God,...and thank you for Truth.

It is,yes !, ...refrshing, and a great blessing to read this exhortation for
us all.

Be blessed,as we grow IN Him,

elizabeth









 2012/6/3 8:31Profile
vivmeeraj
Member



Joined: 2012/5/26
Posts: 61


 Re:

Thank you. More of such articles are available on my website www.maninchrist.org

I would suggest an article called Victorious Christian Life..It was also posted in Sermon index earlier.
God bless you..


_________________
Rajesh

 2012/6/3 8:36Profile





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