To Be A Christian

4 05 2011

“To me to live is Christ”
(Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:21)

To be a Christian is nothing less than to have the glorified Christ living in us in actual presence, possession and power. It is to have Him as the Life of our life in such a way and to such a degree that we can even say as Paul did, “To me to live is Christ.” To be a Christian is to grow up into Christ in all things: it is to have that divine seed which was planted in our innermost spirit blossom out into a growing conformity to His perfect Life. To be a Christian is to have Christ the Life of our minds, our hearts, our will, so that it is Christ thinking through us, living through us, willing through us. It is increasingly to have no life but the Life of Christ within us filling us with ever-increasing measure.

–Ruth Paxson, Life On The Highest Plane





Adios

28 07 2009

money fadesSimply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.
(Luke 14:33, The Message)

“This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus”

— John Newton





Uncommon Prayer

23 05 2007

Will you help me to be less quick to judge
……and less righteous in my indignation?
Will you help me to be more open to life
……and to other people?
Will you give me confidence enough to be less defensive
…..and less ready to react to rebuffs?
Give me steadiness and firmness
…..and true commitment to the life of faith. Amen.

A Book of Uncommon Prayer
Kenneth G. Phifer





What Lauren Said

10 05 2007

“But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: he one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
(1 John 2:5,6)

The purpose and love of my life is Jesus Christ. I don’t have to argue rlauren-mccain.jpgeligion, philosophy, or historical evidence because I KNOW Him. He is just as real, if not more so, as my ‘earthly’ father.

–Lauren McCain, 20, on her MySpace website
(Lauren was one of 32 Virginia Tech students killed last month)





Accompanied By Action

3 04 2007

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
(James 2:14-17)

homeless.jpg

“True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people.”

–Menno Simons





Standing Close To The Flame

22 02 2007

“For our God is a consuming fire.”
(Hebrews 12:29)

burns_for_you.jpgThere comes a time in the life of faith when Jesus must die. For many people, the Christ who dies is an amalgam of their fantasies and our culture’s fancies. In our time, that often means this: Jesus is the nicest person we can imagine. He is a kindergarten teacher of humanity that is as vulnerable as a group of five-year-olds. So, of course, He does not raise His voice. He affirms and re-affirms our fragile self-esteem…

…This Jesus puzzles us, of course. He seems so nice; we can’t imagine why He doesn’t answer all our prayers or why He allows evil to run free. Consequently, we have our doubts, like everyone else in this age, wondering how a congenial Lord can be, well, so inattentive. Maybe He’s not really in charge after all. Then suddenly our faith is bolsetered by an inspirational best-seller about the best life of the purpose-driven life or the border-expanding life, and we’re ready to be patient with Jesus a little longer—as long as He keeps us feeling good about ourselves and optimistic about the tomorrow…

…Our culture would have us put our faith in a Jesus who is a mere bed of carnations. Interesting. Pretty. He adds color and fragrance to life and little more…The vision of the true Jesus compels reverence, silence and, yes, fear.

…We should be afraid…But we are nonetheless drawn near to the very thing that can hasten our death if we are not careful. We are sane to be afraid. And we would be fools not to draw closer.

–Mark Galli
Jesus, Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, pp175-9





A Greater Faith

14 02 2007

christsfeet.jpg

“So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?'”
(John 18:11)

This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime Christian achievement. To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life–to be able to say in such a school of discipline, “The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”–this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point. Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer.

–Dr. Charles Parkhurst