TedWalking in relationship with God is what Christianity is all about.  People struggle because they don’t create an environment or atmosphere of faith and spirituality.  We are instructed in the bible to walk in the spirit.  It’s not as difficult as many seem to think or try to make it.  When you have boundaries and principles in your life the rest just flows.  It’s like breathing.  Relaxed and comfortable!

Being a “disciple of Christ” is being a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  Devotion to something is very powerful.  It’s a deep connection and commitment that isn’t easily swayed.

“Once saved always saved” is a phrase that I hear from time to time.  I believe that you can lose your salvation but I would rather say it this way….It’s very hard to lose your salvation.  God is looking at your heart.  The existential aspect or outward experience may be doing and saying something else but I thank God He looks on our heart.  People will judge you and make assumptions about you.  They will misquote you and take you out of context, but can I encourage you to stay with God. “Having done all stand.”

I don’t believe you are a fully devoted follower of Jesus if you don’t go to church, if you don’t give, if you’re not serving and seeking Him.  Strong statements to make, but think about it!  What is a disciple?  Is the local church an expression of Jesus’ hands and feet?  Why do we have the ascension gifts of pastors, prophets, evangelists, teachers and apostles etc if church isn’t essential?  Too many people treat church as a side dish, a preference rather than a conviction.  Let’s be honest, people don’t like commitment and don’t like responsibility.  Being responsible to the house of God and His work on earth is our mandate.  If you’re going to go God’s way you have to do it God’s way.  People don’t like accountability and some react to authority and submission, thinking and calling it control or various other things.  I find these kinds of people are selfish and out of control.  The spiral down wards is scary to watch.

Create a culture around you where you are continually sowing good seed into your life.  Put some good worship music on in your house.  Have a coffee!  Take your husband or wife out to your garden and plant lavender.  Get a hobby!  Have Sunday church as a consistent practise in your house.  Go to a small group during the week.  Keep in touch with Godly friends.  Watch the idle words.  Be a giver not a taker!  Come to church with a good attitude.  Stay around a chat.  Don’t keep blaming others.  Take responsibility for things.  Laugh a lot!  Have an accountability partner whom you respect.  Allow them to say what you need to hear not just what you want to hear.

For young people: Keep away from clubs, pubs, parties and places where you will be tempted.  Don’t feed the fleshly aspect of your life.  Lust is a powerful thing.  Be careful with the music you listen to, the shows you watch and the websites that you visit.  Do they glorify God?  Ask yourself, is this bringing me closer to Him?  Does this edify me?  Prioritize His presence!

I believe that many Christians have had religiosity and not relationship.  They have their parent’s experiences and not their own.  I would be bold enough to say that because of the apathy, the casual likeness that the western church is portraying today, the folk that think they’re saved and going to heaven, aren’t at all.  They have a form of Godliness but deny the power!  The lights are on but nobody is home!

As pastors we shouldn’t be feeling that we have to make church and Christianity palatable.  Entertaining if you like! If you’re saved then you’re saved.  Saved people want to assemble together.  They want to be in fellowship.  They love God’s house and His word.  They enjoy serving him.  They don’t look for every excuse to not come to church.  They raise their kid’s to know Him.  They make church a priority, not an optional extra.  They understand that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

As Paul said, I want to know Him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.  It won’t always be easy but the rewards are immense.  Once you have standards, good values and culture the rest will follow.  These standards flow from the Word of God.  They are sometimes described as old school but, boy, oh boy, if the Word is old school then I’m a student.

Put on the garment of praise and thank Him for a changed and transformed life.  Breathing in a new life style of faith, love, grace, forgiveness and acceptance!