Monday, November 2, 2009

Are you A PART or APART?

Many of us profess our faith as Christians so easily without any effort these days. It seems like it's just a simple thing to say "I'm a Christian." But have we ever come to a point in our lives where we realize that there is more to it than saying we're Christians? The reality of it, sad as it is, is that so many of us are so blinded and ignorant of the TRUTH these days that we don't bother to delve into the real sense and meaning of our being a Christian (or let me use the more convicting way of putting it... "Christ-follower!").

Did we forget along the way that we are considered "DISCIPLES" of our Lord Jesus Christ? After all, He did command us to "Go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19). We are His learners, He is our Teacher. Therefore, if we would ever allow our mouths or hearts to say we're His "followers" we ought to make sure that we are made His "disciples" as well. Yet, a lot of christians these days are only good about "professing" to be one. If you are around them, though, you would realize that they look like the world, smell like the world, walk like the world, live like the rest of the world. They blend with the world so beautifully that they easily become a part of the facade of the world. How then can we say that we are truly Christ's disciples when we don't even stand out? If we PROFESS with our mouths that we are followers of Jesus, so called "Christians", we ought to remember that Jesus prayed for us this way:

"I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, 
but for those you have given me,  for they are yours." (John 17:9) NIV

It strikes me to know that Jesus himself made it so clear that for those of us who are His and consider ourselves followers of Him, we are no longer a part of the world. We become a different entity, we instead become set apart from the world.

In the kind of world we're living in today, it is but easy to blend in and go with the flow. The many things that can bombard an individual, even a (professing) "believer", to stray away from God has grown so powerfully these days. Almost all activities we do, even the simplest of it at home like watching TV or getting into the internet or even just trying to laugh at a co-worker's dirty joke, will cause us to be robbed of our focus and time with and for God. And we need to remember that we are so much a part of the world if we don't stand out for God's glory. If we are always in our "comfort zones" then we must rethink our stand in life. We must go back to examining ourselves if we are apart or a part of this world!

The apostle Paul reminds us to live our lives that would be a spiritual worship to God our Father. It is but a responsibility and an accountability on our part as "Christians" to be set apart!

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:1-2) NIV

We must not deceive ourselves by just saying we are followers of Jesus. Those around us must be able to recognize that. We must not just blend with the rest of it. We stand out for Jesus! Let me share a verse in Ecclesiastes that led me to writing this post:

"Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head."
(Ecclesiastes 9:8) ESV

We, as Jesus' disciples, will definitely stand out with garments of white amidst a dark worldly backdrop! We ought to make sure our garments are ALWAYS white. This symbolizes RIGHTEOUSNESS, pure & unblemished! How can we ever be sure to ALWAYS have a white garment when our sinful nature struggles within us? The answer is easy, for if we have Jesus in our lives, we are more than conquerors! We will overcome! (Read Revelations 3:1-5)  

The author of Ecclesiastes says that we must be sure that we do not lack oil in our heads! Oil have always been used to anoint someone. By definition in christianity, anointing means to apply oil to as a sign of consecration or sanctification. And in case you do not know the meaning of being consecrated, it simply means  to declare or set apart as sacred. In the Old Testament we read that this anointing of oil is usually just related to the lineage of priests allowing them to approach the holy presence of God. Are we to claim this anointing of oil on our heads then? Listen, as disciples of our Lord Jesus we in the New Testament have this promise and guarantee:

"Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth."
(1 John 2:20)

Friends, we ought to remember 2 Timothy 1:7, that we have not been given a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power! When we proclaim to the rest of this world that we are for Jesus, then we must be bold enough to be A PART of this community of "genuine" believers and make clear to all that we are APART from the world.


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