We are the Light of the World

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Photo by Andreas Kind

I am very hesitant in writing this post. Mainly because it is what I’ve been seeing on social media and other blogs and I don’t want anyone to think I’m pointing them out BUT I can not let this go. Mainly because I promised myself that if God gave the subject I would talk about it. After all, this blog is about being real isn’t it?

I usually (I don’t want to say always because there may come a day I forget to) pray before I post because I want what I post to be anointed by God and not to be just me. So if I’ve posted this it is because it has flowed freely and wasn’t incredibly hard to write; but I digress.

I have seen and heard so much about, “I don’t go to church because of the hypocritical, “so called” Christian people that attend,” or I hear, “I am tired of them judging others when the Bible says not to judge,” or my favorite, “Church people act like they are better than everyone else and I don’t have time for that.”  I’ll give you this much, you may be right in some instances but to group everyone in one category simply based on your perspective is not only wrong, but makes you just as bad.

Do I think there are hypocrites in churches – yep. Do I think there are judgmental people in churches – yep. Do I think that some Christians act like they are better than anyone else – yep. Do I think this is a reason to stay home on a Sunday and not find a body of believers to worship with…..ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

If you are concerned about the hypocrite thing – I suggest we look at ourselves and judge ourselves based on the word of God. Are we hypocrites? Do we do hypocritical things? If so, are we not hypocrites ourselves when we point out other’s hypocritical ways? I think the best thing to do is the following:

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Philippians 2:12-15

Let’s talk about the judging thing. This is always a very touchy subject. Are we as Christians suppose to judge others? To be honest, I understand the way we are to use judgement but explaining it is difficult. I got this from gotquestions.org and it explains it pretty well. You can look up the scripture they provide.

Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends “right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We are to be discerning (Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). We are to preach the whole counsel of God, including the Bible’s teaching on sin (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:2). We are to gently confront erring brothers or sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:1). We are to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). 

https://www.gotquestions.org/do-not-judge.html

Bottom line – we are to call sin if it’s sin in the Bible. We aren’t to say sin is okay so that we seem tolerant. However, you can’t expect an unsaved person to act as if they are saved.  This is our opportunity to be the light in their dark world. This is our chance to love them in a way that is different from the world. I don’t care if they are gay, straight, bi-sexual, drug addict, adulterer…it doesn’t matter. We are called to love them and be a light. Period.

So what do we do when another Christian tells us we are judging when we call out sin? Send them to the source – scripture. Let God fight those battles.

Now what about the idea that “church people” act as if they are better than everyone else. There is some truth to this statement; “church people” do act like they are better but CHRIST followers should not! How did Christ live? How did he treat the sinner? How did he treat the woman caught in the act of adultery when they wanted to stone her? He reminded her accusers of their own sin and told them that if they were without sin to go ahead and cast the stone at her. They all put their stones down and left. THEN He told the woman to “go and sin no more.” Would church people do that or would church people had casted those stones just so they can “purify” their environment once again?

Be a Christ Follower.

I know this post seems a bit all over the place and I tried to tackle a lot of subjects at one time but after all the social media and blog posts I’ve been reading I just really felt led to tackle the main ones I’ve been seeing.

Finally, let me end with this – I’ve probably been guilty at one or two of these things. I’m no where near perfect; none of us are. That is why we need Jesus. I guess all I can end with is be true to the word of God as best you can, don’t judge others without discernment, and be a Christ follower. Be peculiar, love God, love people, and be the kind of Christian that attracts others to Jesus.

If you need prayer, myself and a bunch of wonderful Godly women would love to pray for you. Just contact us here. If you are wondering about why I follow this man named Jesus, watch this video – it could change your life!

True or False – All Christians are Hypocrites

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “all those Christians who go to church are really hypocrites!” How many times have you heard Christians and hypocrites in the same sentence. Maybe even you have said that before you became a Christian – or after.

Confession Time – I can remember saying that about a Christian man I used to work with and that was only 5 years ago. Not my finest hour looking back.

I guess you are wondering, “What has brought Candie to this topic,” well, I was studying for our Women’s Meeting and while I was researching a topic, I came across this verse:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27

david-monje-381293-unsplashThis verse got me thinking so I marked it down on my little notepad to look at the next day (today) and to write about it in my blog. I had NO idea what I was going to write or which way God was going to take it – all I knew was this was the verse. Today as I was revisiting the James I pulled out my phone to an app where I can see the Greek words and definitions in order to get a fuller understanding. Let me share with you what I found.

When the book of James was written, the people who were most taken advantage of andgabby-orcutt-98870-unsplash the ones who were most vulnerable in society were the widows and the orphans. In the beginning of this verse it says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” In today’s society, those who are most taken advantage of and vulnerable is quite larger than just the orphan and the widow.

Then I asked myself this question:

When was the last time you showed charity to someone who was hurting? When was the last time you gave of yourself and your time for someone else other than your child or your husband? When was the last time you showed sacrificial love to someone else such as a stranger or an acquaintance?

OUCH!  

I have been there for my sisters – praying for them when they were in need. I have listened to their heartaches and their hurts and offered advise (if I were experienced in the subject) and prayer but I can’t say that I’ve shown sacrificial love to someone I’m not intimately attached to in some way. Sure I give to missions but throwing a few bucks in the mission box at church is NOT sacrificial love.

Then I moved on to the next part of the verse, “…and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” What does it mean to keep yourself unspotted from the world? We have to live in this world, buy from a store, go to work each day – the world around us affects us. How can we keep from being influenced by a world where available information is as close as the phone in your hand? Or as close as the app on your phone (social media)? How can we not allow our environment to move us?

When you look at the Greek word for unspotted it is aspilos (pronounced as-pee-los). It means to be free from vice both physically and morally and free from blame. To put it in a way we can understand:

“…and to keep himself free from blame and to be free from all vices of this world both physically and morally.”

Now I ask myself these questions:

When was the last time you allowed the things of this world affect you to the extent that you were rude to someone else for no reason? When was the last time you allowed your flesh to rise up in a way that harmed either yourself or someone else (like that extra couple chicken nuggets you didn’t need Candie)? When was the last time you allowed your tongue to say things that were not uplifting to another person? 

Oh boy…another OUCH!

Now the question is, do I want my worship to be undefiled before God? Do I want it to be pure and honest? If I do then I need to remember what James 1:27 says. It is the definition of pure worship. If I’m worshiping the Lord and I’m not doing it this way, does it make me a hypocrite?

Examine yourself and answer that question.

True or False?