Welcome to Part 2. In our last blog post, we looked at three things that we do as Christians but which we should consciously and deliberately stop doing.
In this article, we continue with the remaining three.
4. Saying We Are Okay When We Are Not
Immediately followed by a greeting will be the question “How are you?”
Unfortunately, 99% of the time we will answer by saying “I am fine/okay” even when we know very well, we are almost dying or crumbling on the inside.
We put on a bright face. Ladies especially may cover our pain in makeup and flashy outfits. It’s okay not to be okay. The writer of the Book of James tells us what to do:
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:13-16)
5. Doing Things to Get God’s Approval
As Christians many times we push ourselves to do things not because we want to do those things, but because we are trying to get God’s approval.
It is more or less trying to buy our way into God’s heart in order to move His hand. We so easily forget that:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
6. Seeking God’s Hand instead of His Heart
As the Church of Jesus Christ, we have been so caught up in seeking and asking God for THINGS.
95% of our prayers are for asking God for what we want Him to give us or to do this or the other.
For most of us, His will being done on earth or what is on His heart never features in our prayers.
It is no wonder that even when God does answer our prayers, we quickly forget Him and get so caught up in what He gave us. Sometimes we spend so much time with the same blessing from God to the point that we no longer have time for Him or His work.
We should seek God, His heart and will - not what we can get from Him.
This is not a comprehensive list, but I believe it will cause us to begin to look these and other things that we should stop doing as Christians.
If you want to know more about God and Christianity, contact us through a contact form on our website Westside Bible Chapel or through our Facebook Page.
The Word of God is full of good virtues that we as Christians are supposed to emulate demonstrate and live out in our day-to-day lives. It has been said that our lives are the only Bible that some of the people in the world will ever read.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:13-14)
Unfortunately, this is not what we have done.
I always find it interesting when a sinner comments and says, “You are doing XYZ and yet you say you are a Christian or you are saved.”
Even the world out there knows what we should not be doing - yet we are.
In this article, we’d like to look at things that we do as Christians but which we should consciously and deliberately stop doing. This will be necessary for the sake of our relationship with God, with ourselves, and with others.
1. Being Judgmental - Especially When Someone is Overtaken in a Fault
There is a very subtle self-righteous feeling that comes upon us as believers and especially when we have walked with the Lord for some time. We tend judge the weak Christians and those who are struggling. We tend to forget that we also had our own struggles as young believers.
Jesus put it very well when He was faced with the situation of the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. He said:
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” … He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:7, 10, 11)
We are called to think in a redemptive mindset like Christ did, and not quickly forget that we also have issues in our lives.
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:4-5)
2. Promising to Pray for Someone and Yet We Do Not
Anytime one of us or even a non-believer is unwell, is in any kind of predicament or is trusting God for something we are always very quick to say “I will be praying for you”; “You are in my heart and prayers”; “I will be standing or walking with you on this issue”.
Unfortunately, in most cases that becomes the end of that story at the point. We do not pray for the person. Worse still, we forget to even check in on them to see how they are doing or holding up.
King Solomon in his wisdom gave us counsel in this passage:
Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore, let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed —Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7)
3. Quoting Scripture and Christian Jargon in a Situation Where Someone Needs Action
When people are in need, they will sometimes reach out to us as individuals or post on our social media forums. This may be need for food, clothing, school fees, outstanding bills, etc.
For most of us we are very quick to respond with our religious rhetoric and quote scriptures to the person and end up doing nothing practical towards helping the person in need. The writer of the book of James could not have put it any better:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:14-17)
May God help us to be our brothers’ keepers not just in word but also in deed.
Look out for our next post for more!
Does God protect us? How can we access Godly protection?
From our last blog post, we saw that divine protection is a promise from God. We also got started with ways we can access Godly protection.
In this article, we continue with the remaining ways to access and embrace divine protection from God.
Let’s begin, shall we?
1. Dwell in the secret place of the most high
Psalms 91 is a powerful assurance of protection from God that comes with a condition.
One has to be dwelling in the secret place of the Most High (God). This means that protection is assured when we dwell in the presence of God.
David knew the value of dwelling in the presence of God. No wonder when he sinned against God, he cried out to God and asked that He would not cast him away from His presence or take His Holy Spirit from Him.
2. Trust in God’s protection
David lived a life of trust in God. In Psalms 3:3, he tells God that He is his shield.
In Psalms 23, he confidently calls God his shepherd and goes on to say that even when he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he will fear no evil because God is with him.
In Psalms 121, we see the testimony of David as he confidently narrates what happens when we look up to God who is the creator of all as the source of our help.
We are assured that God will not allow our foot to be moved. He is always alert and does not sleep nor slumber. He will keep and be our shade and nothing shall strike us be it by day or night. We will be preserved from all evil and our souls will also be preserved. We shall be preserved as we go out and also as we come in.
Nothing could scare or shake David trust in God.
Like David, when we trust in God’s protection, we can have assurance that He will protect us (within His perfect will) from every side and angle!
It’s important, however, to note that sometimes God’s will is for us to go through pain and difficulty – for our good and His glory.
3. Make God your refuge and strength
This is an issue of choice.
When Jehoshaphat was surrounded by enemies, he made a choice to take refuge and put his trust in the Lord.
… “for we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” [2 chronicles 20: 12]
As a result he and the children of Israel were protected by God. The enemies that had come against them defeated before their very eyes.
Do you want to know more about God? Talk to us today. Contact form on our website Westside Bible Chapel or through our Facebook Page.