I am a Christian man. I believe the Bible is the actual inspired Word of God. Period.
Of course there are those who do not share my views. I completely understand why they do not. They have not had the same (profound) experiences I have. Perhaps they were brought up to believe in the big bang thing. Maybe sometime, somewhere in a church some man did something to them to cause them to shy away from God.
The peopoe who disappoint me the most, I think, are those who use the “hypocrit” syndrome. They believe that people who call themselves Christians should be perfect. Now granted I too agree that the vast majority of people who call themselves Christian do so because they were either born in to a family who attend a particular Christian denomination, they are not Jewish or they simply believe that there is a God. Heck some of these so called Christians may even go to church on Sunday just to be able to “check off that box” (went to church Sunday…check). Then there are others that go on those two most important days of the year. We all know what they are. Right? On Easter Sunday and on Christmas Day. Surely these people must be Christian.
What also saddens me are those high profile leaders who are taken down by the enemy. Jim Baaker, Ted Haggerd Just to name a couple. People will point to them and say “See it’s all a big joke. I can’t believe you guys were so nieve. They are only in it for what they can get out of it.” Or some such thing. These people do not understand what a huge target these hi profile ministers are for the enemy. If he (the enemy) can take these hi profile people out then hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people will be negatively affective and perhaps call into question their very own committment to the Savior. They may think such things as “I can’t believe I fell for all of that” or “Well if Jim or Ted can fall like this being such Godly men then surely I have no chance.”
A successful Christiana is not someone who has raised their hand in church one Suinday, walked the isle to the alter then after the service walked out the door and continued living their life just as they had before.
So how do we as individual Christians determine if we are “successful Christians”? How do we know if we are true disciples of the Christ? Now rememer, I am just a regular guy with no special theological training (perhaps that’s a good thing, perhaps not). But any way here are my thoughts on the matter. For the sake of arguement let us all agree that a true Christian is one who has already accepted Jesus the Christ as their personal Savior (they want His life to rule in their life). They believe in their heart that He raised from the grave after three days and is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father. So now what? It has been my experience that these new (or baby) Christians need someone who has true maturity in Christ to help them along. I’m not talking about someone who has been a Christian for thirty or forty years. That person may or may not be a devout disciple of the Savior. I am talking about a person whom has true spiritual fruit. These people are usually easily spotted. They have a good attitude and other people are almost drawn to them. Other’s seek them out for counsel. But how can we know if WE are a successful Christian… regardless of how long we have walked with the Lord, be it a month, a year or a decade. Hear is what I think is the most crucial and telling aspect of a devout man or woman of Christ. Their heart. What is the motive in their heart. It doesn’t matter what area of life it is. Business, family, schooling, recreation where ever we are and what ever we do our motive must be love and sacrifice. We must not be self centered or self serving. Are we truely willing to give our life… regardless of how we are treated?
When I read my Bible and I read that verse where it is Written “love your neighbor as Christ loved the church”. First question I ask (and answer). Who is my neighbor? Those I come into contact with is my answer. Yours may be different, but that is my (current) undstanding. Second question I ask is, how did Christ love the church. Since it is my personal beliefe that we as (true) believers are the chruch I look at what Christ (ultimately) did. Those Roman soldiers did not have to drag Him kicking and screaming about what an injustice was being done to Him, it’s not fare. How He had only done good and wished them no harm and had in fact healed many of their sick and crippled. You can even ask that Roman Captain, I healed his daughter! Jesus the Christ did say one word. He took everything that was thrown at him without a complaint and in the end His life was not taken from Him but He willingly gave it up. He did that for ever single person in the world, past, present and those to yet be born.
I know that I can never measure up to that kind of sacrifice. However, I can, day by day whatch my heart and do my best to keep my motve pure and right before the Lord. When I do fall short, prayerfully ask for His divine grace and forgiveness and begin again.
I am running the race. I hope you are too.