Thursday, April 25, 2013

True Disciples

In this age as a Christian, it is so easy to get mixed into the more prominent area of complacent Christianity. Not only is it found in abundance, it's easy...very easy.

No one tells you what to do, you receive feel good messages from the pulpit that may or may not challenge your walk with Christ, no one calls you out on your sin (so you then forget you are even sinning), and no one encourages you to research to make sure what you're hearing is sound doctrine.

I know I can't be making this up, because the apostle Paul was thinking the same thing when he said:
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." - 2 Timothy 4:3
Is this you? Do you long to hear what your itching ears want to hear, or instead sound doctrine that will put you in your place, convict and lead to repentance?

The latter doesn't sound so fun for most people, which is why it is the road less traveled.
"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." - Matthew 7:13-14
Why will more enter the wide road? It's easier.

In a society where we want more for less and faster service all of the time, we treat our most important relationship and life choices the same way. We want what is convenient and fast, not what is difficult and slow. We don't want to suffer in order to gain rewards, we want the rewards with no consequences or suffering. However, it's the journey that makes the rewards worthwhile. Consider the following verse:
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." - Romans 5:3-5
If we understand what suffering produces, our hearts should be focused on hanging tight for the ride.

One Another Relationships

In the Word of God, we are commanded to do several things. Many don't appear as commands, but they clearly don't say "if you choose". In fact, in Paul's writings they many times begin with the word "therefore."

In regards to one another (and I mean between disciples of Jesus Christ), how are we supposed to act? What are we supposed to do to appear different from the world? How can we help each other grow?

Here are a few important places to start, and let me warn you, some may make you shift uncomfortably because it is not something you're used to seeing in church, but it is what the Bible calls us to do:

  • Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Hebrews 10:24)
  • Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
  • Confess to one another (James 5:16)
  • Bear with one another (Colossians 3:13)
  • Forgive (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
  • Be humble and patient (Ephesians 4:2)
  • Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)
  • Live in harmony (Romans 12:16)
  • Be devoted (Romans 12:10)
  • Honor one another (Romans 12:10)
  • Speak truth to one another (Ephesians 4:15-16)
  • Accept one another (Romans 15:7)
  • Love (1 Peter 4:8, 1:22
  • Admonish (Colossians 3:16)

I want to focus on the last one. The word admonish is not really used in today's society so I wanted to look up what it meant, since I always assumed it meant to encourage. Boy was I wrong. It means to "rebuke mildly, advise strongly; to warn someone of their error."

Clearly we are to rebuke one another to get them back on track if we see one another falling into sin or going down the wrong path. This is how we can prevent disciples from falling away and leaving the faith.

The reason Paul, Timothy and Peter were so adamant about encouraging one another and staying in each other's lives, the way it was exemplified in the 1st century church, was to keep the enemy at bay from causing dissension, factions and division within the body.

Are you united in the body with other disciples that are challenging your growth towards maturity, encouraging you towards deepening your walk with the Lord and living in harmony?

If not, I want to ask an honest question, who's disciple are you?

It's time to get real. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

What's your dream?

In light of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday today, I wanted to share one of the most special things I've ever seen. My little 9-year old sister (I'm not kidding when I say she's truly an angel) had an assignment in class last week where her teacher asked the class for their "I Have a Dream" Speech.

While other kids dreamed to fly or be a superhero (completely normal of a 9-year old), this is what my little sister wrote...

I Have a Dream

That I can follow God's Word
That my family will always believe in God and have faith
That my friends will understand me

O, I have a dream
That children will have mommies and daddies
That grownups will be an example to children
That people will start trusting in Jesus

O, I have a dream
That people will find God's Word
That people will learn more about Jesus
That there will be no giving up on God

O, I have a dream...

Camillerose Aguirre 

My prayer is when I have children, that they love and desire God's Word like my little sister. My mom is clearly an amazing mom, but this little one tops us all.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Despicable Me Sisters

Since watching Despicable Me, my sisters and I noticed something oddly familiar about the movie. Someone made us animated!!! We couldn't believe how similar Margo was to me (Jenelle), Edith is to Michelle, and cute little Agnes to Cassandra.

We decided to reenact some of the pictures just to have some fun with it. 

Here we were as younger girls (this was literally a few months before I started wearing glasses).