Steps of Walking with Christ (1 of 7)

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1) Awareness
We are all aware that there is something more. It may get shoved down to a place where it can be temporarily ignored but it resurfaces when the panic arises. Our desire to fall into God is at its greatest when we are at the end of ourselves and realize that our need/ desperation just outgrew our pride. God puts eternity in the hearts of all men. Some come to the One who transcends time and is larger than eternity. Others fall into the snares of this world be trying to fill the void of their lives with things that will perish. They don’t see that only the eternal God can fill the void He made for Him to rest. How many people do you know that are lost in the darkness of this sinful world? They need the light of Jesus to brighten their life but are in too much turmoil to turn and seek the light. It’s comparable to a child who is in fighting to keep their head above water. The fear of drowning causes panic and they flail about trying anything to sooth that panic and find comfort. All of the terror of their heart keeps them from seeing that the water is only four foot deep and they can stand up at any time. The light of Jesus is always within reach. God and the Son are only a submitted prayer away. Your Heavenly Father is seeking to deliver you from the darkness. Jesus has overcome this world and He seeks for the lost to join Him. Being aware He exists and calls to you is the first step to beginning a walk that leads to things so great only God knows what He has for those you love Him.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33b)

Meekness of Wisdom

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Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13)
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

As I read through the book of James the Lord stopped my heart on the phrase “Meekness of Wisdom.” I felt the desire to revisit the concept of meekness and feel fortunate that I was led to do this.
People mistake meekness for weakness. The exact definition we find when we look is: submissiveness. Now ask yourself: submissive to who? Our inclination toward a definition of weakness means we see this as a submission to others. The bible indicates that our submission is to God! Biblical meekness is confidence in God which allows us to submit to His rule over our lives. Psalm 37:5-8 breaks this down into pieces: waiting on God, committing our way to God, trusting in God, being quiet and still before God, and not allowing anger when others prosper. The bible tells us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) We are also told: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29) We have to decrease so that God can increase. Meekness goes against our sinful nature which seeks to enforce our beliefs and lash out under criticism or reproof. A spirit of meekness calls us to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to anger. (James 1:19) Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the earth. Seeing as the universe is God’s to give along with all of its provision, wouldn’t submitting to Him allow you to receive the inheritance as one of His children?
Meekness is not weakness. It is allowing the power of God to rule your life thus making you stronger than you could be on your own. It’s in submission we find peace. It’s in letting God fight our battles that we find closure. It’s in trust that the world has no hold on us and His joy can fill our hearts.

New Covenant- New Vocabulary

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                Along with the New Covenant found in Jesus Christ came new ways of understanding God. Describing the infinite God already proves impossible. So why shouldn’t Him becoming man cause us to have to repurpose or create whole new words to describe a reality unique to Him? Two words I’d like to focus on form the basis of God and our relationship with Him through Jesus.

                 The words are agápe (love) and charis (grace). The word agape which means love in Greek is unique to Christianity. It refers to God’s quality of love. This kind of love is not known to man outside the presence of God. Agápe love is different because it is unconditional and not based on merit. You cannot earn or deserve a Godly love. Loving like God is a choice and not based on emotions which drive man. The writers of the New Testament had to create this word to describe a concept foreign to man before Christ came to be an example of such an amazing thing. There are many words for love in the Greek language including éros(sexual), philía(friendship), storgē(parental),and ludus(playful). None of them had the power to describe a love that cannot fade or change.

            Charis (grace) is a word that had to be reconditioned. When the writers of the New Testament began to use it to describe the gift of God to His adopted children it gained a power it never had before. The word originally described kindness or favor (Hebrew ‘hen’) in the Old Testament (as in God’s favor toward Noah or Moses), but took on a meaning much larger and powerful with the coming of the prophesied Messiah. Where the law of the Old Testament fell short and drove man away from God, the grace found through faith in Jesus brings glory to God and a new meaning to a word that also fell short of the undeserved gift of our Lord.

Marks of a True Christian (12 of 12)

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Never be wise in your own sight

Being wise in our own sight grows arrogance in our hearts. True wisdom accepts reproof and direction. (Proverbs 9:9) Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning Being wise in your own sight will not only slow your ability to grow closer to the infinitely wise God, it’s outward manifestation will draw people away from us preventing us from being able to speak God’s truth into their lives. People who profess a quality about themselves prevent the true admiration and connection found in humility. This goes for the admiration and connection of people in need to us as well as our admiration and connection to God.  The haughty nature of self-professed wisdom breaks the flow of God’s spirit through a believer as a vessel. We reflect the light of God. If we allow ourselves to get tarnished in arrogance, the light doesn’t brighten the world the way it is intended to through His faithful.  

Marks of a True Christian (11 of 12)

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Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly/ so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all

The absence of harmony and the presence of arrogance create an uneven terrain with which we identify with the people around us. Not only are we prevented from growing people but we are prevented from personal growth as well. The ‘lowly’ have a point of view that has great value. The lowly of spirit draw us closer to God in their desperation and need. The lowly of wealth rely on the provision of God in a much deeper manner than the more successful. The lowly in years exude a child-like faith that we are all called to and can learn from. The ability for all of God’s children to find harmony can grow in the power of their diversity. The mingling of views and the intertwining of spiritual gifts draw us closer to the infinite God in understanding and praise for the depth we can never truly comprehend. Live peaceably as much as that depends on you. Don’t let your anger or pride the determining factor in the harmony of your life. Leave that to the Lord and watch the amazing people He brings into your life so that together we can mature in spirit and see Him better.

Marks of a True Christian (10 of 12)

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Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep

When we are invited into someone’s life we must understand what that means. We are trusted to receive their inner most feelings. We are also chosen by God to be there for the opportunity to share His word to someone as their emotion blocks out logic and truth. We need to be in that moment with them in sympathetic submission to their struggle or praise. Sympathy creates patience, closeness, and connection. Allow the spirit to overflow from you. Reflect God’s light into a dark moment or allow your light to combine with their praise and focus them toward the only One worthy of their delight. The Lord puts people in our lives to mold us and for us to mold them as well. Don’t walk past the opportunities God as groomed you for, through your personal struggles. Let the testimony God has blessed you with fill the heart of those you have the amazing opportunity to walk with. Focus on the love of God and your ability to show it regardless of circumstance. The love in the rejoicings of life and we love harder when the darkness begins to creep in. Let God’s strength support you and His word guide you. The God’s light on the roller coaster of life as He stabilizes His chosen for His purpose.

Marks of a True Christian (9 of 12)

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Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them/ Repay no one evil for evil/ never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God/ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good

It’s in the depraved state of selfishness that people have to make situations even or get vengeance. Some people are evil and some good people have moments where their human nature takes over and evil is the byproduct. Some believers will even act poorly causing frustration to others around them. Nobody is immune. It’s in moments of persecution and in the sight of evil that we can truly show God’s glory to the world. Repaying evil only pays into a cycle of darkness that will have no end unless God’s light is allowed in. Not allowing us to see and act on the good of our God will eventually make it difficult to find good. We cannot allow ourselves to be lost in anger and evil where God’s power is masked in our humanity. We must leave vengeance in the hands of God who will bring about change when the hearts involved are ready to receive the needed council. God’s timing is perfect just like His wisdom and vengeance. We need to give to God what belongs to Him and assume our duties as image bearers and reflections of His light. We are called to love. In love we bless, we love, we repay with good, we overcome!