Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

1.  Has been born again.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Ephesians 4:17-19)

2.  Is developing a relationship with Jesus.

But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (Ephesians 4:20-21)

3.  Recognizes the old nature and crucifies it.

That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (Ephesians 4:22)

4.  Learns to ask the question: “What am I thinking?”

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Ephesians 4:23)

5.  Seeks to change into a righteous and holy person.

And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

6.  Stops lying and tells the truth.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

7.  Controls his angry emotion.

Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (Ephesians 4:26)

8.  Doesn’t harbor bitterness.

Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (Ephesians 4:26)

9.  Denies the devil opportunities to make a fool of him.

Neither agive place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

10.  Stops stealing and works hard.

Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Ephesians 4:28)

11.  Shares what God has given him.

Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. (Ephesians 4:28)

12. Uses his tongue to help and heal, not to hurt.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

13. Protects the Holy Spirit from pain.

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)

14. Protects people from pain and hurt.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Ephesians 4:31)

15. Forgives because he has been forgiven.

And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

16. Loves his Father for adopting him.

Be, therefore, followers of God, as dear children; (Ephesians 5:1)

17. Has a lifestyle of service motivated in love.

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. (Ephesians 5:2)

18. Guards against sexual sin and is pure.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints; (Ephesians 5:3)

19. Avoids base humor and dirty jokes.

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4)

20. Takes God’s warnings seriously.

For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes rthe wrath of God upon sthe children of disobedience. Be not  therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:5-7)

21. Wakes up, smells the coffee and lives in the Light.

For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever does make manifest is light. Wherefore he says, Awake you that sleeps, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:8-17)

22. Doesn’t drink or get drunk, do drugs, or live wild.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)

23. Follows the Holy Spirit and pursues a spiritual life.

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19)

24. Considers others first, especially his wife.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Over the weekend, a small group of guys and a staff member had gone to Guymon, OK to do a couple of storefronts for fund raising purposes. While they were there they met up with a gentleman that had come through the Teen Challenge center that I work at. Jack (not his real name) didn’t graduate as he decided to leave early.

Jack invited them to go out to dinner. While there, he told them some of the things that had happened to him after he left the program. Jack told them that he had to go jail for 30 days for not completing the program. While he was there, he had the opportunity to witness to a gentleman. This gentleman that he was witnessing to had come to the Lord. They both read the Bible everyday.

Jack was also able to go to his mother’s grave and forgive her for what she had done to him. Jack was also for the first time in a long time, able to call her MOM. That is the power of God in Jack’s life.

I don’t often hear stories like this. It is good to hear that while a student leaves early it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get anything. Sometimes, God puts a person only for short time and not for the full time that they agreed with when they enter the program. The successes are less if they don’t go through the whole program. But every once in a while stories like this do happen.

When I was at Cape Girardeau, MO a similar thing happened. During the apple picking season the police showed up to pick up one of the other guys. Before I go on let me relate to you how this came about.

The students that come into Teen Challenge are usually here for one of three things. Bear in mind that it is not a program for just teenagers. Men and Women also need help. Anyway, the students come in for one of three different reasons. They are family ordered, court ordered (which is not our program), or they are wife ordered.

This guy had come in due to court related issues. So to make sure that his PO knew where he was at, he wrote him a letter saying that he was in the Misssouri Teen Challenge. Which, then meant that his PO sent the police for violation of his parole by leaving the state he was supposed to be in.

Anyway, Dave (not real name) was picked up by the police while he was out picking apples. The whole time he had a peace about having to go to jail. While he was there, Dave witnessed to every person that they put in the cell with him.

He had a “revolving door” for the cell that he was in. Every day he had a cell mate. Every day that person was gotten and another person was brought in. The last guy that was brought to that cell, came to the saving knowledge of Christ.  Dave had to go to jail in order to witness to this guy. God had tested him to make sure that he would do so with others that came in before the “main event”.

Dave was brought back after that. He said that the whole time he was feeling peaceful about where he was at. He also knew when he was going to return to the center. He knew that he had to go jail for a week for just that one moment.

What is the moral of both of these incidents. It doesn’t matter what happens. If you are in God’s will, He will cause good things to happen when it seems that things are going south.

Both of these men followed this command of Jesus:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

To read the story click here.

Could he be getting closer to becoming a Christian?

One day this week, one of the students that falls under my care said something that made me begin to think of priorities. He mentioned that it seems like everyone is reading Ted Dekker. That there were a lot of his books in the bunkhouse.

That got me thinking that he was right. Now I am for a good read and Ted is certainly that. But as this is a Christian program that I work at I started to think of the spiritual side of what he just said. We have many books here for the guys to read as well as the Bible. But where is our focus?

We can go to work and stand for hours doing our job. We can read a 400 page book in a few days. We can talk about things on end. We can spend all day at a sporting event. And so on. But where is our focus? As christians?

If we can stand for hours at work, why do we have a problem standing for a few minutes during praise and worship? If we can read a large book, why do we have trouble reading the Bible? If we can spend all day talking about other things or at a sporting event, why do we have a problem talking about our faith?

We can do almost anything or talk about anything that does not apply to God. Why? Are we ashamed of who He is? What we are supposed to be? We can fired up about our favorite ball team. But we avoid anything that has to do with what we claim to be on Sunday or whatever day you worship. What is it that makes God so unpopular to talk about?

There can be many reasons and there are. But I believe that for the most part it is because we want to be accepted. We don’t want to be seen as fanatics. Or close minded. Or hateful.

On Elyon’s Circle there was, recently, a discussion that centered around this topic. The thread dealt with what our role is as Christians compared to the definition of the word as it today. We are finding that we have to do things a little differently in order to be a witness for Christ. And that is hard to do when the definition does not paint Christianity in a good light. At least in the minds of those that to watch us.

We have also been told that we need to quiet. We are to be seen and not heard. At least our faith in any case. We become ashamed of who we are. Which is a very dangerous place to be. Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26 say almost the same thing. That if anyone is ashamed of Christ and His gospel, He will be ashamed of them.

Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Do we want the one person who gave his life for us to be ashamed of us? Do we really want to see him turn his head away from us when we get to heaven? Do we want to hear, “Who are you?”

Paul told Timothy, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,”

But that is how many of act. We act like we are ashamed of him. We hide behind jokes. We hem and haw. We make flippant comments.

The same energy we put into other things we need to use for God. Actually we should be giving more. Jesus said that we are to give God everything we have. Nothing less. Yet we continuously give Him less than he deserves. We need to begin to get our priorities straight as Christians and see things from a different perspective.