Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Christian life: you, me and helping those in need

As a Christian, you and I are followers, disciples of Jesus Christ. When you understand and accept certain Biblical truths, you become a Christian. The basics of Christianity are:  you and I have sinned against a holy God, the penalty for this sin is eternal judgment in hell, there is nothing you can do that will make it right between you and God but you and are saved from hell because of Jesus Christ.

·       He lived a perfect life, died for our sins and was raised from the dead.
·       Our sins were placed on Jesus, who suffered, was buried and raised from the dead. That perfect moment rescued you and me from eternal damnation. Christ is the reason you and I are saved and will be with Him in Heaven when we die.

The very moment you became a Christian, amazing things happened. You and are united forever with Christ; we are in God’s holy family. However, we still need each other so that we can encourage and love each other so that we can be sisters and brothers in Christ.

One example in the Bible that we need each other comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV:  “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Encouragement is like getting a warm hug; it is a wonderful way of saying, “I am a Christian, too and I will walk with you in your path toward Christ.”

1 Peter 4:8-10 has wonderful words,
·       “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins."

·       Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace”
·       It is love that covers many sins because God first exhibit love to us and then sent His Son Jesus to keep that love going.

Galatians 6:2 ESV explains further why it is so important for Christians to love and help one another by saying “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” When you offer help to someone who is hurting, you not only help that person but you also help yourself and fulfill what Christ would have you do for another human being.

One Bible verse that has inspired and helped many comes from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

How true is this, especially in our world today? When two or more are together, how much more are they able to withstand the trials and tribulations of the world? When we stick together and help each other, we are more apt to be successful and be less prone to accidents, worry or other bad things that can happen.  

Proverbs 12:25 offers a simple and wonderful piece of advice: “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Think about the times when you felt anxious or afraid; maybe you’re thinking about your job or someone who has been cruel with you. Then, think of these words and how true they are!

To conclude, being a Christian and following Christ are most important in being a Christian; however, to be a true follower of Christ, we need to love and help each other. Daily Bible reading and praying can keep us close to Christ; take time each day to do both and be prepared for God's blessings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

There is something healing about the word Content

I just read an article by Holley Gerth titled, "What's your one word for 2017?" Her one word for this New Year is "content." Like many, I have never thought much about the word content but the more I read her article and her reference to it in Php. 4:11, where Paul in the Bible said, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Two things struck me as I read this; Paul had to learn to be content. What does that mean to you and me? It means that being content doesn't come naturally to we humans. As Holley Gerth goes on to say, what does come easy to her and others is "striving, anxiety and fear."

In Ps. 131:2, we read, "I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content." One way you and I can keep track of how God takes care of us is what Holley is doing; "writing a quick, simple gratitude journal entry every morning abut the day before."

Yesterday was the first day writing in my journal my gratitude that I have for God helping me. For example, yesterday I had a trying and stressful day at the hospital. Got a Cat Scan and blood test. It turned out to be much more--stressful and challenging. Came home and later wrote in my journal what happened and then wrote more about it today. God was with me every step of the way and brought me through it all.

And, I learned a great day about what to do and what not to do the next time. Most of all, I learned the importance of asking questions and not stopping until I get the answers I need.

So, before life presents a trying time to you and even afterwards, practice being content in all that you do. You will find, like I did, the peace and comfort that comes from being content. And, always remember, no matter what happens, God is with you and He loves you more than you can imagine.

Copyright Toni Star 2017