|7 Characteristics of Modern Christians
Posted: 17 Jul 2018 09:07 PM PDT
Today is my 67th birthday and this month is Bible Love Note’s 7th birthday, so please allow me to depart from my usual format.
I’d like to share some of my observations after 40 years of Christian ministry, leading Bible studies, teaching Bible seminars, working with Christian women’s groups, doing overseas Christian work, editing devotions, writing a blog, doing ministry on social media, and being a wife, mother, and grandmother.
1. Christians aren’t the same, and it’s a good thing.
It is my prayer that I will fully appreciate and enjoy how Jesus is honored in different cultures and different denominations.
2. Some Christians are growing and some are perpetual babies.
It is my prayer that I will always be deliberate about my walk with the Lord, always seeking to know Christ better.
3. Christians view Scripture differently.
There are many popular beliefs in Christian circles that are simply worldly philosophies repackaged using Christian words. They do serious damage to our walk with the Lord. The only remedy is a deeper respect for God’s Word and a commitment to check all teachings, no matter how popular, against the words of Scripture.
It is my prayer that I will not be taken captive by human philosophies that contradict God’s Word (Colossians 2:8).
It is my prayer that I will hold my tongue unless I can share my views in love (Ephesians 4:14-15).
5. Christians don’t view culture the same.
Culture tests Christians daily. Will we stand up for the “hard” parts of the Gospel or buckle under the pressure? The pressure comes not only from the world but also from compromised Christians.
It is my prayer that I will stand firm so one day Jesus may say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
6. Christians view Jesus differently.
Misunderstandings about God’s character are the source of many false teachings.
It is my prayer to genuinely know Christ even if involves hardship and persecution (Philippians 3:10).
7. Christians don’t have the same committment.
Everyone loves the benefits of Christian faith – and there are many. But genuine believers also submit to the responsibilities and difficulties of faith (John 14:21).
My prayer for this coming year is that my devotions will not only encourage others to love Jesus more fully, but they will also encourage me to love Him more fully.
I feel incredibly blessed by my readers who give me the opportunity each weekday to share truths from God’s wonderful Word! Thank you! Gail
Silence truly can be golden. I can remember like it was yesterday when my very wise mother washed out my brother Jimmy’s mouth with soap for saying the most dreaded foul four letter word that is unfortunately used in everyday language today.
He was testing the waters of his ability to shock and awe our mom and she was having none of it. It is interesting to note that I never once heard him utter that word again even to this day.
The only damage it did to him was to let him know his smart and vulgar mouth would simply not be tolerated. And it worked. As I watched from the down the hall, I also learned that foul language was not welcome in our home.
If she had spanked him, well, I think he would have just shrugged it off, but this was different. He got the message – sometimes it is just smart to be silent. Anyway, mom never spanked us because she said we were good kids. Until that fateful day, however, when that four letter word hung in the air and sounded like he had yelled it through a megaphone.
The Beauty and Wisdom of Silence:
A while back I came across a list of Biblical teachings regarding Christians holding their tongues. Hmm…now that should hit us just where it hurts. We have all been guilty of the wayward tongue in some fashion or another, so we can all learn something here.
The Book of James teaches us that the tongue is a wicked thing. It destroys reputations, attacks good character, it can be vulgar and damning and just downright evil. Whisperers and backbiters leave behind a road of utter destruction. Only the Holy Spirit can keep our tongues under check. When we allow Him to do so, that is.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6-8)
This is a list of 20 times we should remain silent. None of us hit the mark when it comes to controlling our tongues. Many of you can probably add to the list.
- Be Silent in the heat of anger (Proverbs 14:17)
- Be Silent when you don’t have all the facts. (Proverbs 18:13)
- Be Silent when you haven’t verified the story. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
- Be Silent if your words offend a weaker person. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
- Be Silent when it is time to listen. (Proverbs 13:1)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to make light of Holy things. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to joke about sin. (Proverbs 14:9)
- Be Silent if you would be ashamed of your words later. (Proverbs 8:8)
- Be Silent if your words convey the wrong impression. (Proverbs 17:27)
- Be Silent if the issue is none of your business. (Proverbs 14:10)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to tell an outright lie. (Proverbs 4:24)
- Be Silent if your words will damage someone else’s reputation. (Proverbs 16:27)
- Be Silent if you words will damage a friendship. (Proverbs 16:28)
- Be Silent when you are feeling critical. (James 3:9)
- Be Silent if you can’t say it without screaming it. (Proverbs 25:28)
- Be Silent if your words will be a poor reflection on the Lord or your friend or your family. (1 Peter 2:21-23)
- Be Silent when you may have to eat your words later. (Proverbs 18:21)
- Be Silent if you have already said it more than one time. (Proverbs 19:13)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to flatter a wicked person. (Proverbs 24:24)
- Be Silent when you are supposed to be working. (Proverbs 14:23)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7)
All glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. (John 10:1-6)
In John chapter 10, Jesus makes 3 statements about Himself.
1 – “I Am the Door” (John 10:9)
2- “I Am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)
3 “I Am the Son of God” (John (10:36)
In the Old Testament – (Genesis 49:24; Psalms 23:1; 80:1), the Shepherd is used for God. This supports the deity of Jesus Christ. What an awesome God we serve!