Category Archives: Christianity

God is great and here you might find some information that will help you know God more.

Priorities That Win

No one can achieve greatness on their own.  Greatness is not self-designated.  It is recognition of being great by another entity.  Whether it is by one person or the masses, greatness is a viewpoint not a title.  A father who loves his child makes the father great in his child’s viewpoint.  A woman who helps the poor is considered great to a multitude of people.  A man who consistently puts others before himself is considered great in God’s kingdom.  How are all these things connected, you ask?  Greatness comes from placing priority on others instead of yourself.  That is what we are calling priorities that win.

Prioritize Others

I work in a professional setting and I asked the director of our area what I need to do to succeed in my workplace.  He is a man I look up to and that is regarded very highly in our company.  He told me that I should focus on helping others succeed.  Wait a minute?!  Shouldn’t I be proving that I know more than others do, can handle whatever is given to me and am the most dependable?   He obviously does not take the “throw the others under the bus” approach.  For me to succeed in his mind, I had to put others first.  That is the way he is succeeding and earning people’s trust, and that is in a place of business.

How much more should we take it serious when Jesus tells us that the first will be last and the last will be first?  When I have engagements coming up that I am not looking forward to but that are meaningful to others then I try to remember that statement made by Jesus.  If I am all about what God is about then I must put my priority on others.  I should take every chance I have to show Christ’s love instead of doing something pleasing to me.

It is easy to become protective of your free time as if it is really yours.  If you believe in God and what the Bible says, then the idea that this life is nothing more than a vapor should occupy your mind and become a filter on any choice you make.  We are here to worship God and to be on a quest to not let anyone we know suffer through eternal separation from him.

Do you really understand why we want to bring people into God’s kingdom?  Many people see hell as a place of suffering and they wouldn’t want anyone they know to experience that.  We may even try to imagine how bad it could really be.  The problem is it is not the suffering in hell that makes it so bad, but the separation from God.  To physically suffer and still be with God would be better than to not suffer but be separated from God.  Unless we truly believe that, our efforts to add to his kingdom are missing perspective.

Do you want priorities that win?  Then it comes back to God’s greatest commandment.  Love God and love others.  To do that, we must make God a priority and we must make others a priority.  What that means for our vapor of a life here on earth is leading people to worship God for his sake and leading people to know God for their sake.  Keep these reasons in mind in everything you do and you will have one winner of a life on this earth serving God and others.  Don’t just save someone from hell, turn them into a worshiper of your creator!  For yourself, don’t waste your time on earth chasing after things that don’t matter.

It’s difficult to picture what you would have changed about your life when you know it is almost over.  It is even more difficult to place a priority on those things now if you can imagine them.  It is not something you can just do.  You need God’s help to change your priorities because you need to overcome your fallen side.  Only by God’s provision will you be strong enough to start making decisions out of a new priority placed on God and others.  You need to pray!

Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart

Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart?  Is it even possible to love with all of your heart?  What does that even mean? Let’s explore this together.

Your Heart

The heart is seen as a place of conception for many things in our lives.  Love, emotions and actions all can begin in the heart.  We can literally feel warmth in our heart when something good reaches far enough into our soul.  Our heart can beat fast when we’re scared, angry or excited.  We say that our heart should guide us.

Wait.  Guided by our heart?!  Isn’t it our brain that controls movements, thoughts and draws from experience to make good decisions?  Then why on earth would we allow our heart to be our guide?

Our heart is the beginning of things that are mostly intangible.  If you haven’t read the article on Christian Living, I would suggest that.  Things happen in the heart that the mind cannot conceive, much less make sense of.  To love the Lord your God with all your heart, you must act in a way that contradicts many things around you.

The Distractions and Lies

You cannot get away from influence.  I know that because even in this article I am trying to influence you.  I want to make you see that you must press against distractions in your life that want to take the place of God in your heart.  You may not already believe that or feel it’s important, therefore I am trying to influence you to believe it is important enough that you would adopt it as your own belief.  That is influence.  Here are some of the influences you will experience that take the place of God in your heart.

Influence to an Action or Pattern

Do you know what advertising really is?  It’s an attempt to change your actions or patterns in life.  It attempts to break the trajectory you were on in order to direct you in a new one that is more beneficial to the advertiser.  Notice it is to the benefit of the adveriser.  Always drink a certain soda? — then it’s time to switch. Always use a certain brand of makeup? — then it’s time see one that gives longer lasting and better coverage.  Happy with what you already have? — You’re crazy, it’s because you haven’t yet seen that product x exists.  Now that you know what you are missing out on, it’s time to focus your attention to what you are missing in life.

Influence to a Method of Thinking

Have you ever watched that one unbiased news channel?  No?  Maybe you haven’t because it doesn’t exist.  Everyone knows the news is biased and they are OK with that, as long as they are watching the one that matches their view point.  Do you find it easy to converse with someone about a topic regarding ideologies when you do not agree?  The first part of influencing to a certain method of thinking is to actually change the persons view point.  That is not enough though.  Influence to a method of thinking makes sure that the new believer expends energy protecting that view point.  What this influence leads you too is finding yourself caught up in focusing on things that are relatively unimportant to God, or you find yourself tirelessly protecting the proper view of God. God’s ideals need to be observed within us yet they do not need to be defended by us.  We simply take action where God has told us to take action and let the rest just be living out his ideals.

Influence to Individuality

There is no greater assault on loving the Lord your God with all your heart then to convince someone to love them self  with all of the their heart.  If you don’t believe that the modern day push for individuality is not directly tied to teaching people to love themselves, then you need to take a closer look.  Listen to a few of these slogans that go along with the individuality movement.

“Do whatever feels right to you”
“Don’t let anyone tell you to change”
“You can do anything you set your mind to”

The fact of the matter is God has set a standard.  We can tirelessly look to find somewhere in the Bible that states his standard is unimportant, but we won’t.  You can believe that the creator of the universe wired everything the way he did for a reason and stick to it, or you can believe that the you can become the God of your own life and suddenly everything you want you can have.  You don’t need a higher power anymore.  Except what happens when other people being the God of their own lives interferes with yours?  Who solves that dilemma?

How to Love the Lord Your God With All Your Heart

The truth is, it’s simple.  You need to learn to recognize the influences in your life that take your focus off of God.  Those things are trying to capture your attention through objects, thoughts and power.  In the midst of an impatient society, we want the best now.  God says the best is later, when you are in eternity with him.  So why let the distractions lead us away?  It’s not that we actually want to be distracted but  that we let the influences remain.  We still watch TV.  We still listen to music we don’t agree with.  We still want to make ourselves powerful.  We still want ultimate control.

When you keep the influences around that match our sinful desires, then you will be distracted from giving your whole heart to God.  You will give in.  When you choose not to give the negative influences a chance, then you will be free to let your heart be completely available for the creator.

As stated earlier, the heart is where the intangible happens.  Loving God, who can be viewed as intangible in our every day lives, doesn’t seem to make sense.  Once the negative influences around you begin to tell you that, it will be hard to remember why you first loved him.  What if the influences around you started to say it doesn’t make sense to love your kids?  They need so much attention, they can’t make it on their own, and they rarely contribute back.  You know the amazing ways a relationship with your children makes your life better.  However, a repeating influence of the opposite view could change your own view.   As long as it promises something more tangible and more prompt, you will probably begin leaning towards it.

So what to do in basic terms?  Do not let negative influences have repeated chances to change your mind as they promise short term, more fulfilling benefits.

When you first believed, you probably wanted to love the Lord your God with all your heart.  Go back to that.  Back to before the influences changed you and made you numb.

The Romans Road

What do you mean there’s a simple path to salvation?

The Romans Road is one of many different tools to use to help understand how someone experiences salvation.  This article will give you a simple overview of the Romans Road.  If you are reading this and do not even believe that you need to be saved then you’re at the perfect place.  The Romans Road does not just give instruction on what you need to do to be accepted into Heaven, it also tells why you must make yourself right as well as the sacrifice that was necessary so that you can become right in the sight of God.

First off, the Romans Road Must be Seen as it is Intended

If you think the purpose of following the Romans Road is to get to Heaven, than you are wrong.  As a Christ follower, the goal is not to get into Heaven.  Sadly enough this is how many Christians are trying to live.  They make all the “sacrifices” necessary in life to get into Heaven.  That is not what God wants though; he isn’t looking for people who can make it into Heaven.  He’s looking for those who desire relationship with Him.  He’s looking for people that choose to accept Jesus as the only way they can become forgiven for their sins.  Sin is not disqualification for Heaven.  Sins are actions that separate you from God.  As one can see in the Romans Road, sin causes us to fall short of what God intended.  So when we ask  for forgiveness, it’s not that it keeps us from sinning but it restores our relationship with God.

Heaven is a place for the people that are united with God by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus as atonement for their sins.  Heaven is where God exists and where relationship someday will honor him without the destructive nature sin offers.  Until then, God gave a way to become united with him again through the restorative process of forgiveness.

The Romans Road

Romans 3:23

All have sinned.  No one is worthy of relationship with God because we are naturally sinners.

Romans 6:23

We deserve death for our sin, but we receive eternal life as a gift from God.

Romans 5:8

God loves us so much that even while we continue separating ourselves from Him through sin, he sent his son Jesus to become the sacrifice for us.

Romans 10:9

If you declare Jesus as Lord and believe that he was raised from the dead than you will be saved.

Romans 10:13

Everyone who calls on Jesus’ name will be spared

Romans 5:1

Since we are made right through faith, we have peace with God because of Jesus.

Christian Living

The title of this article is misleading as the idea of how a Christian is supposed to live cannot be summed up in a piece of literature and apply to much more than one individual.   Now,  you may be tempted to say that God has definitely applied a morality based plan for his followers to apply to their life and that plan is what you are looking for. Christian living is more than a plan of morality  and must be outlined in the context of a Christian life.   Since every christian has a distinct set of experiences, and future encounters will never be exactly the same it would be like using the same blueprints for every house even though a builder has a desired outcome of every house to look different.  Additionally, asking the question on how a Christian should live is a bit backwards.  The lifestyle is not supposed to be a sought after change made as a result of being Christian, it’s supposed to be a a lifestyle flowing out of the change already encountered from becoming a Christian.  To ask the Question of “how should a Christian live” is like asking the question “what sport should a baseball player play”

A Christ follower should not be chasing after the life they should live because they are a Christian, they should be earnestly seeking to be more like Christ so that their lifestyle is a result of their changed heart.  To attempt to manually make your life match that of Christ without actually becoming more like Christ is not only a very frustrating approach, it is an impossible way to grow more into the person God actually wants you to be.

The easiest way to attempt to live in the manner that God wants for you is to change your actions.  That’s what seems to make sense, what appears to be change in the eyes of others, and makes you feel that you have made progress.  But you haven’t actually changed any of the reasoning behind the way you were previously unlike Christ.  We are fallen by nature, so to live like Christ is to live unnaturally.  Eventually your mind will tire of trying to process your actions and apply them to a progress report of your “Christian Living”

So maybe then we need to start with our mind?  If we can just change how we think than our actions will become representative of what we think and we are beginning the Christian Living idea on a much higher, more stable level.  The problem with doing that though is that the way Christ lived didn’t fit in with common reasoning.  The things that he told people to do and did himself defied reasoning and introduce a change that we cannot maintain just at our thought level.  It doesn’t make sense to give up your rights and freedoms as Christ did and eventually you will be at odds with your own mind.

But is there a different, even higher level that this change must be made at?  A place where reasoning does not have a say and where love, the one thing Jesus actually made more important than anything else, can be allowed to rule?  That my friends is the heart.  When an action starts in the heart, reasoning is thrown out, fear is often overpowered, and the force behind the action is generally much stronger.  The way to live more like Jesus has always been about a heart change, that is why a heart change is what starts the process of even becoming a Christ Follower.

When you have a genuine change of heart, adopting Jesus’ ideals as your own, then you are no longer concerned with the “right” way to live.  You are simply concerned about your heart.  As you continue to nurture your heart, then you continue to see it’s affects in your thoughts and actions.  You no longer have to learn the exact way to handle every situation.  The response comes simply from your heart.  Since no one else will ever experience everything exactly the same as you, you can rely more on God’s way planted in your heart than to see how someone else did it.

Hebrews 8:10 –  …I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people