Jesus Lives Now

Real, Alive, Relevant.

Every Christian, Every Day

Many people want to change for Jesus. They hear Truth and want to apply it. But, unfortunately, real, tangible, lasting change often does not actually happen! Why?  

God has a plan for HOW to make His Word bear fruit in the lives of His people.  He has a plan for how His Church will be built up and strengthened.  Unfortunately, many people only follow a portion of His plan.  Many Christians receive Biblical instruction in various forms, pray, and read the Bible among other things, and yet lasting change doesn’t occur. Their lives do not match up with what the Bible describes.  God Himself designed a plan for His people to grow and change: honest, open relationships with other Christians.   

Biblical instruction, reading the Bible, and prayer are awesome! But there’s something else God has in mind in addition. Consider the following Scriptures (and look them up so you can read them in context):

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:12-13).

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

The above Scriptures (and many others) do not describe something that “only pastors” do.  There is a “one another” aspect that is missing in most Christians’ lives.  “Average” Christians are supposed to care deeply about each other’s spiritual well-being!  If you are a Christian, please ask yourself, how much do you CARE for the spiritual well-being of your fellow Christians, your friends?  Perhaps you will pray for them if they are sick, but do you pray for them to know God better and better?  

Ask yourself: when is the last time you had an instruction or encouragement or admonishment for another Christian?  “Daily” encouragement is what Hebrews 3 says is needed.  Without it we will become hardened and deceived, according to God.  It is human nature to be shallow as we consider these things, but will you please consider deeply and don’t let yourself off the hook prematurely?  Please consider how you might step outside of your comfort zone and care about the spiritual lives of those around you.  

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21).

Each member of the Church (the Body of Christ) is needed by the other parts.  Do you, by your actions, demonstrate that you need the other members of Christ’s body?  We are not talking about church attendance here.  Let me say that again: this has nothing to do with church attendance! I know what it is like to attend religious services many times per week and yet not be connected to people with real relationships founded upon Christ. Are you truly a vital, needful part in other peoples’ lives? If not, you can be! If you truly have the Spirit of God inside of you, then you can and must be a vital part of His work on planet earth.  

“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Find other people who care about God and His Ways more than anything else. Find ways to start relationships with these people. Invite them to dinner. Invite them to coffee. Stop them when you see them and ask how their time praying has been. Ask what spiritual things they’ve been pondering lately. Build relationships. Build trust. Offer input into one another’s lives. Ask for help with problems you’re having--maybe problems raising children or in your marriage. This is not necessarily comfortable and requires sacrifice and humility. “Confess sins to one another” (James 5:16).  Pray for one another.  Help each other apply the Word of God. Watch God work His Word into your lives! If these things are missing in your life then you are missing out on much of the purpose and joy and work and fulfillment that God has for His People.  

Maybe find someone that you can talk to about the very things you are reading right now -- “Hey, how can we put these things into practice?”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

  --C.S. Lewis 

"The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it."

   --Blaise Pascal