Monday, January 20, 2014

I Believe In God....

                Last week, the women that meet in my home began a study in the book of Acts. We have all been so blessed by the words our Lord has written for us about His Church, and its beginnings. We have only gone through one chapter so far, but we all are seeing a difference not only in the way we pray, but also in the way we are walking our Christian lives. God’s word is given to us to encourage us, reprove us when we are straying, give us hope, life, joy, discipline, and everything else that we need to be the people He has called us to be. Without the Word of God in our lives, we cannot be the Christians He has called us to be, because it is through His word that we learn about Him, about ourselves, and how to live for Him.
             
   Yesterday, my daughter in law and I were having a discussion about a woman who says she believes in God, but is living in sin with her partner. I said to her, that many believe in God, but that does not mean they are Christians. If we say we believe in God but don’t do what His word says, then we are no better than the demons who also believe in God, but tremble in fear. (James 2:19) Saying we believe in God and actually living it are two different things. You can say you believe in God, but in the next breath say that His word is not truth. So, if you believe in God, would you not also believe in His word?
                "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21
         Many of us today will say that we are saved. We believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and have asked Him into our hearts. We go to church, we read our bibles, and we do good things for other people. The definition of saved is the spiritual and eternal salvation granted immediately by God to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This means that if you accept Jesus Christ into your heart you are saved, you have the spiritual and eternal promise of salvation granted to you from God the Father. It does not matter who you are, what you have done, or where you are from. The Bible tells us that whoever, whosoever, whomever; if any man, woman or child calls upon the Name of Jesus Christ, they will be saved. 
          Many say they believe in God, and many of them go to church with you every week. But, if we believe in God then we must believe also in His Word- you can't say you believe in God and live your life as if His Word is not real, as if His Word is made up. To believe in something, you also have to live it. My
pastor said something yesterday that I have been chewing on ever since. He said, “If you’re sincerely born again, then everything is focused on Christ, and centered on the gospel.” I have had many people tell me they believe in God, but when I look at their lives, I don’t see it. I don’t see Jesus in them. I see them doing good things, I see them being nice and loving to those they love, but I don’t see Jesus.

                I am afraid that many in our churches today are not as Christian as they think they are. They go to Church, go through all the motions, but there is no fruit in their lives to testify to the transforming power of God in them. Being saved by God means that you have seen your sin upon the cross of Jesus Christ, your heart was humbled and you see your need to live for Him and no longer for yourself. You no longer want to listen to anyone else, you just want to listen to Him and do what He wants you to do.
                Now, we all sin, we all will continue to sin even after we become Christians, as long as we are in this flesh we will always battle with sin. But that does not mean that we can go and live how we want to live Monday through Saturday, come to Church on Sunday sing a few songs, listen to a great message then leave feeling all good inside. To be born again, to be a Christian means that you have been transformed by the power of God working in your heart, and you are being conformed to His image- not your image of who you say He is.
                When people tell me they believe in God, I ask them- “Really? What do you believe?” I want to know what they mean by that. In today’s society we have made God out to be what we want Him to be so that we can justify our own selfish sins. We have created a god of our own making, and not believed in the God of the Bible. God says that we are to put away the old man that we are to be new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17) If we are truly saved, then we will no longer live our lives for ourselves, but we will live for God and God alone.
                I see so many people in the churches today, smiling and being all sweet and nice, pretending to be a Christian. They know all the right “Christian-ese”, they know all the “do’s” and “don’ts” but they have no clue who Christ is, and they have no desire to know. When you ask them about their devotional life, or about their walks, they look at you like you have two heads. When you try to talk to them about spiritual things, they do not understand, because deep down, they do not know who Jesus is.
                Christian, may I just say that we need to be mindful. We need to be mindful of those who say they are Christians and are not.  John writes, “This is the message that we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
                When I hear people tell me they believe in God, I seek to know what god they are referring to. The God I know loves those who love Him. He gave His life for all, and asks that we believe in Him, that we not only believe in Him but that we walk it with Him. You cannot say you believe in God and not do what He asks of us in His Word. You cannot say you are saved if you have no desire to live a changed life. If you are saved, praise God! If you have accepted Jesus into your heart you will see a change in your life. If you question whether or not you are saved, ask yourself this question, “Does your born again nature define everything about you?”  Did your born again nature change you?

                So many people are in our churches today that have no clue who Jesus really is. They believe in “God” but they do not do what He says. They believe in “God” but they do not take His word seriously, they do not live in it, they do not walk it out. I pray that all who read these words today will see the truth of His Word, that we will go from believing in a god of our own making to believing and living for the God who created us all. To Jesus be the glory, amen and amen.