Why many fail to be Christians
Psalms 37:16 -
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
One of the greatest falsehood people have about being Christians is that a Christian is a person who is a godly person, perfect in character, extremely generous, extremely loving, gifted with great wisdom, always in peace, always patient, problems do not effect that person for the faith of that person is unshakable.
I do not blame people for having this image of a Christian because they look at Christ and draw this conclusion. But this conclusion is what causes many to fail to be Christians. They tend to move at great speed in their spiritual lives and then suddenly when a problem comes that shakes them, they tend to backslide drastically even though they many appear not to.
One needs to understand, one goes to school to learn so do not expect the student to answer all questions on the first day of school or even half way in school. Similarly a person goes to a doctor when he or she is sick; the doctor prescribes a course of medicine. The person does expect to be fully well with popping in of the first tablet.
One need to register in one's head being a Christian is a process and starts not with believing in Jesus. Believing in Jesus only qualifies a person to be a Christian but the process of becoming Christian starts with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. No person can become a Christian without being baptized in the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit of God Who starts the course, class, process of making a person like Christ. No one should expect the very next day of baptism that one will be exactly like Christ.
Surely one will be able to identify the difference between a Christian and a worldly person but this difference starts to show when the person is baptized and this difference starts to increase gradually as the person goes through the transformation process.
Let me tell you in Acts the process of Saul becoming Paul took nearly 8 years, even after these 8 years the Paul who is most highly respected yet made mistakes and struggled in his spiritual life. If that man Paul who had a very high calling in his life, was having abundant grace on him yet struggled a very long time, can we expect to be perfect the next day?
Right from Noah to the times before the man Jesus the Spirit of God was given to a select few and from the time of the select 12 disciples to the end times the Spirit of God is given to the whole congregation, we see in both these ears a process on man gradually overcoming. As man grows in the knowledge of God and relationship with God through his testimony in Christ we will see the chain becoming stronger and stronger till just 2 among us (just before the coming of Christ) will succeed to completely overcome like Christ did (since 2 caused all mankind to come under sin). The Bible says God is satisfied with even 2 from among billions and says 'it is sufficient, come up'. This is the CROSS we carry of perfecting each other through the working of the Holy Spirit, sharing our testimonies and supporting each other.
Understand being Christian is all about the little changes in our lives and these little changes go on continuously. There were extremely few recorded in the Bible (not even a handful - less than 5) from the time of Enoch (when man started worshipping God) to the times of Paul and Peter (a period of over 4000years) who did something exceptional great suddenly (written as surprised God), even none of the 12 disciple did, then why is every Christian expected to? Every Man of God's weakness and draw backs has been exposed in the Bible yet we expect ourselves to without one. That does not mean we continue in our filth, it means we need to give time for the process of transformation to happen in our lives.
In today's message the Lord is telling us He wants to the little changes in our lives. The Lord uses the words 'little righteousness' and righteousness comes not from our works but by the working of the Holy Spirit in us and through us. It is His righteousness that starts to shine in us which the Lord wants to see. He wants to see this light shine brighter and brighter gradually. The most important catch is about letting the Spirit of God to work in us. Being Christian is not about being perfect but is all about letting the Spirit of God make us perfect, this 'us' in the individually but the Body (congregation) as a whole. This congregation is not the Church we attend on Sundays but all those who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and surrendered to His Spirit since beginning of time.
Let us get out of the falsehood and let us surrender a part of us daily to the Lord to work in. If we fall let us not lose hope for God knew of our every fall even before He called us by our names. Also let us also not stay fallen down and delay the working of the Spirit of God in us. Let us remember always Christ took the wrath of God on Himself on the cross, this pleased the Father and today we all who take refuge in Christ's sacrifice are not under the wrath of God but under His grace and His love. That is why He calls us family.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord when You created man You put a process of gradual growth in man because You knew how weak man in the natural flesh would be. Father, time is not a factor for You for You are omnipresent not only by space but also by time. You are already there in our future and therefore You call us Sons even through most of us are still babies, toddlers and preteens. Lord, since You have said we know the works of the Spirit will be completed in us. Help us Lord to daily surrender a part of us unto You, help us be more and more like Christ...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
Isaiah 53:10 - Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
2 Peter 1:17 - For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Hebrews 11:5 - By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelled on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell on them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
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