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People need hope

What is more important?  Debating the finer points of theology or sharing my personal testimony.  I believe that sharing my personal testimony along with living a life that is reflective of that testimony is essential to being a Christ follower.  What does a Christ follower look like?  More importantly, what does a Christ follower not look like?

In order to describe a Christ follower one might decide to create lists of things that a Christian is not supposed to do.  These lists are typically made up by men and women who subscribe to specific denominational rules. As a Christian, who subscribes to a faith in Christ, I might fall into a specific denomination.  I am a Christ follower but I follow this set of rules.  When I go to church I do this and that, or we do not do this or that.

No matter what denominational guidelines you subscribe to, one thing is certain.  When you become a Christ follower you become a new person.  2 Corinthians 7:15 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come.”  At some point we come to the realization that we are sinners in the need of God’s forgiveness. We ask God to forgive us of our sins and to give us the power to live according to his will and desire for our lives.

That means that as we embrace our new spiritual being that we no longer live as we lived before. We have a new heart with new desires and a new direction in life.  We have a new purpose.  That purpose is to reflect the love, grace and mercy of God to the world around me.  As a Christ follower it is not my job to convert anyone to being a Christ follower.  I am only responsible for my relationship with God.  I am also responsible for how I treat my fellow man.  I am responsible for leading them to the source of my salvation, joy and peace.

As we look around at the world around us I believe that we can agree that things are a mess.  We live in a broken world surrounded by hurting people. People who are broken need hope and the hope they need is the grace of God.  People do not need more religion and more rules.  People need to know that God loves them and is not interested in striking them down and making them pay for their sins.  God has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide all of us with saving grace.  The bible tells us that “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  We are not able to work our way into heaven.  Only by accepting that we are sinners in need of a loving God will allow us to become Christ followers.  The bible also says that “faith without works is dead”.   We do not do “good works” to earn enough of Gods favor to get into heaven.  We do “good works” because of our salvation and the gift of grace and we are thankful that God does love us despite of our sin.

As we walk down the road of life today let’s remember that we may be the only Jesus that someone may encounter.  People are looking for hope. People are hurting because of the brokenness in their lives.  My hope is that we can live the type of lives that will reflect the thing that people need the most.  The love, compassion and mercy of God are the only things that can bring about true hope and transformation.  Only when people can see those qualities in our lives will they become curious about Jesus and then we are able to share our personal testimony with them.

Our personal testimony is a powerful story that tells people about how God rescued us, forgave us of our sins, give us hope, new life and purpose. My hope is that as you read these words, you will be encouraged to continue down your path of faith in Christ.  If you are not a Christ follower, and you find that you want the free gift of grace that I am speaking of, please reach out to me or to your local church. Ask someone to share their testimony and show you what Gods word says about his incredible love for you.

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Comments

  1. Of course, I’m sure what I’m about to say is a matter of debate (ha), but I don’t need to argue or debate this that I believe to be true: Many times we argue and debate out of fear. We need our theology to be true, we have to be right, because if we’re not right… then what? But isn’t faith about believing? We don’t have to prove or “win” anything. We just have to believe what we believe and live as if it’s true. And then trust that God will use us how he sees fit. Our job isn’t to convince, I don’t think. It’s to live out what we say and believe is true.

  2. Hi. I’m so glad that you mentioned “faith without works is dead” because we must do more than believe that we are saved by grace alone.

    I’d also like to mention that we can guide those towards Jesus but only the spirit converts the hearts of men (women too). So many times we see even missionaries think they convert ppl to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes more knowledge and sometime higher spiritual knowledge to understand that WE do not convert.

    One of the reasons one can continue to read the same passages in their scriptures or even be encouraged to is because we grow spiritually and change our understanding or personal interpretation we see greater and larger parts of it. Something may not have been applicable to your life at 20 but wisdom with age may make it applicable in an older walk in life.

    Thanks for letting me write a post in your comments. I’m on my phone and can comment but not blog or copy/paste from it. I hope, in the future to bring my longer comments referred blog posts. Thanks for the encouragement. ~CarolinaDreamz. 🙂

    • Hello Heidi and thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and comment. Just the other day I was thinking about how dead our blog is. LOL…. I agree with you in that it is not our job to convert people. Our job is to love them and direct them to the source of our faith and the cross. Once they are there the Holy Spirit of God takes over and does his work. Once I figured that out and stopped taking personal responsibility for everyone’s decision it gave me more freedom to just be me.

  3. I was just checking out your “If I Won the Lottery…” post. I wasn’t able to leave a comment though so figured I’d cheat & leave one here. I love your list. Travel is definitely at the top of my list, too. I feel like we (U.S> citizens) do such a poor job of it. 1. We just don’t get a lot of vacation time. 2. It’s not really encouraged the way that it is in other parts of the world.

    It shames me to say that most of my European friends have seen more of my home country than I have! I love the idea of getting a nice RV and really taking the time to explore this gorgeous nation of ours. We’re planning a road trip for the spring and even though these plans have a tendency to get derailed from time to time… I’m really dedicated to making it happen.

    /// This is a beautiful post by the way. It lifted my spirits on this dreary November day. <3

  4. Someone once said, “Grant that my life will also be a sermon walking.” I think that is a fitting way to think of it. http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=1247&d=2&c=2