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Friday, April 15, 2011

Changed by God to Change the World

I could go on and on about the dismal state of Christianity in America but I don't think it will do anyone any good. I really don't want to tell the stories of those Christians whose families are falling apart because they showed their children that sports were more important than church. I don't want recite the heartaches of people whose spouses have had affairs even though they appeared to be Christians. I really don't want to relay how many Christians have no Christian world view. They see the world as the non-believers. They relate to everything like non-believers. Their lives are empty and they have no positive reason for any other person becoming a Christian. So, I am not going to tell these stories; at least, not in detail.

I have been in the ministry in one way or another since 1976. I have learned that no one ever was changed by what I said. I have found that God is the One who changes people if they are changed. I have seen Him use my words and actions but I fully realize godly change isn't because of what I have done or said.

I have seen God do amazing work when my mind was focused on the Spirit. The Spirit changed my understanding of the scriptures. He changed the way I think. He changed my words and attitude toward others. He has matured me and helped me believe Him for miracles. He has empowered my words to change lives.

Therefore, I am resolved to make some decisions which will focus my mind on the Spirit. My hope and prayer is that others will join me in this so that one-by-one, by the power of God we can change the direction of Christianity. Our faith has become as powerless as those who have espoused it. It is having essentially no effect on our society. I cannot see how that will change until Christians resolve to do something personally that changes their lives.

So, I have made the following resolutions:

1. I will read my Bible everyday. It will be very early in my day so that it can continue to affect my day.
2. I will pray in a very purposeful way each day. I will keep a prayer journal which will emphasize what I have prayed and what the results are.
3. I will watch carefully what I allow into my mind. I will stay away from movies, television, music, books or magazines that will move me away from the Spirit.
4. I will confess every known sin each day to the Heavenly Father. I will know that I am forgiven for each of these sins by the blood of Jesus.
5. I will stop and refuse to engage in any activity that is questionable. I will make sure that I have a heart belonging to my Lord in every action I take.
6. I will obey the Holy Spirit in whatever He tells me as quickly as He tells me. I will not procrastinate. I will simply do as He says.
7. I will forgive everyone who has ever done a wrong to me. I will seek to immediately forgive those who wrong me in the future. I will forgive people on the same day that I am wronged even if they never apologize or try to make restitution.
8. I will ask for forgiveness from everyone I have wronged. I will do so as quickly as I am convicted of this wrong.
9. I will make love the primary emphasis for my relationship with others. I will love rather than tolerate those who are unlovely.
10. I will endeavor to love people into God's kingdom. I will not try to beat them up with their sins. I will not try to accommodate their sins either. I will call sin what it is out of love for others.
11. I will pray for a change in my life. I will ask God to make me like His Son. I will believe He will do so.
12. I will trust God to use me for the works He has created for me. I believe He will do amazing things.

I have heard many people say they are scared by the direction our society is taking. Well, we have no reason to be scared. We have a reason to be transformed.

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)  
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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