Demon Possessed Man Healed

Featured

 

Three stories one event.

Matthew 8:28–34 (NIV)

Jesus Restores Two
Demon-Possessed Men

8:28–34pp—Mk
5:1–17; Lk 8:26–37

28 When he arrived at the other side
in the region of the Gadarenes, two
demon-possessed men
coming from the tombs met him. They were so
violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want
with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before
the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large
herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you
drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and
the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the
water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town
and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed
men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when
they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Mark 5:1–20 (NIV)

Jesus Restores a
Demon-Possessed Man

5:1–17pp—Mt
8:28–34; Lk 8:26–37

5:18–20pp—Lk 8:38,39

5 They went across the lake to the
region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the
tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one
could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had
often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the
irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night
and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself
with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance,
he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at
the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High
God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to
him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,”
he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again
and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on
the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us
among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them
permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd,
about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and
were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and
reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see
what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the
man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed
and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had
seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told
about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead
with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat,
the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus
did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own
people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had
mercy on you.”
20 So the man went away and began to
tell in the Decapolis  how much Jesus had done for him. And all the
people were amazed.

Luke 8:26–39 (NIV)

Jesus Restores a
Demon-Possessed Man

8:26–37pp—Mt
8:28–34

8:26–39pp—Mk 5:1–20

26 They sailed to the region of the
Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When
Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For
a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived
in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at
his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus,
Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For
Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it
had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard,
he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary
places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied,
because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged
Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding
there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs,
and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of
the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into
the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw
what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and
countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had
happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons
had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they
were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the
demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of
the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were
overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had
gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”
So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

 

. . . You of little faith . . .

Featured

Jesus uses these three words 13 times in 6 verses (NIV)

you of little faith

Matthew 14:22–31 (NIV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

14:22–33pp—Mk 6:45–51; Jn 6:16–21
14:34–36pp—Mk 6:53–56

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My Thoughts:

The first thought which comes to mind, I believe is what so many others say.  When Peter took his attention away from Christ, he began to sink.  Moreover, so much of that is true.  I would guess that most of us, when we feel we are struggling most, if we look back we had a gradual reduced role of Christ in our lives.

A second thought which hits me, one that Christ had even spoke of, is isn’t it amazing how the disciples had Christ right with them, in the boat and more, but still had troubling getting past all the limitations of trust we either are seemingly born with or learn as we grow into adults.

There is so much to gather from the Bible, but sometimes I really like to bring it down to its simplest form.  We can try to be a “Christian” all the time or simpler, we can always work on putting our faith in him, focusing on him and letting the outcomes take care of themselves.  Remember the number one commandment or greatest:

Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

If we can just practice these – I truly believe we cannot worry about the rest.

Amen

 

Mid-sized churches are shrinking; the smallest and largest churches are growing.

ChurchAttendance_smchart6_future-01

While America’s churches as a whole did not keep up with population growth from 1994 to 2004, the country’s smallest (attendance 1–49) and largest churches (2,000-TheWesternChurchplus) did (see graph on page 52). During that period, the smallest churches grew 16.4 percent; the largest grew 21.5 percent, exceeding the national population growth of 12.2 percent. But mid-sized churches (100–299)—the average size of a Protestant church in America is 124—declined 1 percent. What were the reasons for the decline?

“The best way I can describe it is that a lot of people believe they’re upgrading to first class when they go to a larger church,” Olson says. “It seems highly likely that some of the people in those mid-sized churches are the ones leaving and going to the larger churches.”Goliath2Church

Stetzer agrees and adds that because today’s large churches emphasize small groups and community, hoping to create a small-church feel, they offer the best of both worlds.

“There are multiple expectations on mid-sized churches that they can’t meet—programs, dynamic music, quality youth ministries,” he says.

“We’ve created a church consumer culture.”GrandeChurch1

As president of the Bridgeleader Network, David Anderson, senior pastor and founder of Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Md., has consulted with church leaders nationwide. In his work, he has observed that mid-sized congregations tend to lose the evangelistic focus they once had, and instead adopt what he calls a “club mentality.”

BlueChurch“You have just enough people not to be missional anymore,” he explains. “You don’t have to grow anymore to sustain your budget.”

As for why the smallest churches have kept up, Shawn McMullen, author of the newly released Unleashing the Potential of the Smaller Church (Standard), notes that smaller churches cultivate an intimacy not easily found in larger churches. “In an age when human interaction is being supplanted by modern technology, many younger families are looking for a church that offers community, closeness and intergenerational relationships,” he says.

Olson points out that for a church of 50 or less, the only place to go is up. “They have a MountainChurchrelatively small downside and a big upside. A church of 25 can’t decline by 24 and still be on the radar. But it can grow by 200.”

Clipped from: https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/139575-7-startling-facts-an-up-close-look-at-church-attendance-in-america.html/3 

 

the-big-church-of-holy

How to Forgive Someone Who Isn’t Sorry

How to Forgive Someone Who Isn’t Sorry
Rachel-Claire Cockrell
2016 May 23

LetitGoCloudsI have a confession to make. I am the last person who should be preaching to anyone about forgiveness. I chose to write this and now I’m wondering if I was too big for my britches (forgive the idiom, I was born and raised in the South). I am the least qualified person to teach anyone how to forgive.

Forgiveness is one of my biggest weaknesses. I struggle to forgive myself and I struggle to forgive others. I know how stereotypical that sounds — a woman who holds grudges — and I apologize to those of my gender for carrying on the stereotype. I know you probably clicked on this post because of the title, because maybe you are struggling to forgive someone in your life and you thought this would help. All I know to do is to bare my soul and be as open as possible about my struggle and how I’m trying to overcome it.

I am struggling to forgive someone; a couple of someones, actually. It would probably be easier to do if this person asked for forgiveness, but they haven’t. And to be honest, I don’t think they will. They don’t seem to notice or care about the pain they have caused. That’s what gets me. I want them to be held accountable. I know that isn’t my job, and I firmly believe that God has the power to change hearts. My issue is with those who don’t seek out or want forgiveness, those who don’t see that there is anything to forgive, those who continue to live selfishly without any thought for the people around them. Jesus said in Matthew 18:22 that we are to forgive those who sin against us, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” implying that there should never be a moment when our hearts are not ready to forgive. My heart is never ready to forgive. My heart has to be coaxed into even considering forgiveness and it is still so incredibly difficult.

Every time I’ve reached a point when I thought I had forgiven this person and moved past the bitterness, something else would happen and I would realize how ready I was to pick up the burden of unforgiveness again. I’ve asked God over and over to let me see this person through His eyes, because I know that “if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15), but — and I know I’m stating the obvious here — it’s just so hard to do. Maybe that’s why I needed to write this. I need to force myself to focus on it— to think about it. I need to search God’s word and find everything I can about forgiveness, because there is nothing in the Bible that says I’m off the hook if they don’t ever feel sorry. That’s not how it works.
So, this is what I’m trying to do:Throwingitovertheedge

I need to remind myself that I need forgiveness, too. Sometimes, I have to imagine that everyone has a giant tattoo on their forehead that says, “Jesus died for me, too!” It helps remind me that I am not the only one person in the world worthy of his love and sacrifice. Maybe that’s the best thing I can do, shift the focus back to my own inadequacies. In Romans, Paul says, “For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” In other words, I am no better than those I struggle to forgive. The inability to forgive is nothing more than the feeling that I am somehow better than someone else. That’s simply not true, and I need to stop acting like It is. It’s hard to remain bitter when I remember that, like Paul, I am the “worst of all sinners.”
I have to force myself to realize when I’m getting too comfortable in my bitterness. There is nothing to be gained by holding on to bitterness. And yet I hold on to it. I clutch it the way a baby clutches a safety blanket. Except this safety blanket is on fire and I am the only one who gets burned. My bitterness is too comfortable and familiar. I need to quit using this person’s actions as an excuse. I need to stop pretending like I am justified in feeling this way. One day we will all have to answer for our lives and I will not be able to answer for anyone but me. I won’t be able to use someone else as my excuse then, so I have to stop doing it now. There is no excuse for bitterness in my heart. That is all on me.

When I don’t feel it (which is most of the time), I fake it. I know how I should feel, but the twelve inches between my head and my heart is a giant chasm that I can’t seem to surpass. So, for now, I just have to fake it. I will act the way I know I should. I will keep praying for a change of heart, I will keep my thoughts captive, and I will hope that one day I’ll no longer be acting. In those instances, my go-to passage is Romans 12:9-21. I read it when I’m feeling a bit bitter or self-righteous or in the mood to gossip and complain. It helps remind me that I am called to “live at peace with everyone,” and to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Thank goodness Jesus didn’t have to fake it. Thank goodness his love and forgiveness was genuine, or where would I be?

I have to remember, it isn’t about them. This is a ME issue. I am still a work in progress, like everyone else. I still hold on to my bitterness, but I am actively praying and trying to change my heart. I have to constantly remind myself that my attitude is no one’s problem but my own.

Obviously, there are some situations that require us to just step away. It is possible to forgive someone but not allow them to be a part of your life anymore. Sometimes, that’s healthy and necessary. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person. Forgiveness is about me and my heart. I know I have truly forgiven someone when I can think about them without feeling angry or hurt. Even if I tell them, “l forgive you,” they may not care and it may not affect them at all. As long as my heart has changed towards them, that’s all I can do.
LettingItGo_DandiLionThere are a lot of references to forgiveness in the bible (obviously). So, I’ll leave you with a short list of verses that are helpful in reminding me why forgiveness is such an important part of my walk with Christ. I can’t let my heart marinate in bitterness, and holding on to God’s word is the only way out of the brine.

Mark 11:25 ” And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that you father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your Sins.”

Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.LettingItGotoMoveForward

Rachel-Claire Cockrell is a wife, a writer, and a high school English teacher. She is passionate about her students and does her best to xemplify the love of Christ to those kids who may not experience it nywhere else. She and her husband live in Arkansas.

 

Clipped from: https://www.ibelieve.com/relationships/how-to-forgive-someone-who-isn-t-sorry.html?utm_content=buffer6a09c&utm_medium=fbpage&utm_source=gvpg&utm_campaign=gvupdate&fbclid=IwAR3TKGJFsxYVQlBRGMUh6NB-JtuWOaNNmM8Wmii5-IrqBm8Sw4L_XxZ7Qx4

I Stole this poem from FB . . .

 

BEST POEM IN THE WORLD

I was shocked, confused, bewildered

As I entered Heaven’s door,

Not by the beauty of it all,

Nor the lights or its décor.

But it was the folks in Heaven

Who made me sputter and gasp – –

The thieves, the liars, the sinners,

The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade

Who swiped my lunch money twice.

Next to him was my old neighbor

Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought

Was rotting away in hell,

Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,

Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?

I would love to hear Your take.’

How’d all these sinners get up here?

God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why is everyone so quiet,

So somber – give me a clue.’

‘Hush, child, ‘He said, ‘They’re all in shock.

No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

JUDGE NOT!!

Remember . . . Just going to church doesn’t make you a
Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Every saint has a PAST . . .

Every sinner has a FUTURE!

Now it’s your turn . . .Share this poem.

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil . . .

It has no point!

 

 

When the time comes . . .

I question Christian’s dependency church, even on the Bible, not because I am against either, it’s because I am hoping, maybe the Christian will stop for a moment put themselves on a desert island with the devil.  Your only means of survival is now deep you have absorbed the Lord’s words. Unshakable-or-Flimsy There is no pastor, church, bible, just you.

Jesus Christ warns us of false prophets and even states in Mathew 24:24, that even many of the “best” Christians will be fooled.  Additionally, are you counting on someone else other than you to recognize when Christ returns? LionStrength

Even when you are in church and your pastor or Bible study leader interprets a verse or a story, do you take it for granted this interpretation was the way it was?

If someone, even your Pastor, tries to tell you that Jesus has returned, are you going to believe it because of who it came from, or are you going to believe it because you were told by Christ himself?

Stand Strong!!stay-strong-quotes

 

Matthew 24:4–28 (NIV)

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’  spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

BestronginFaith

 

The Truth about Why Men Hate Going to Church

About 15 years ago, an elder at a Presbyterian church in Alaska had a crisis of faith. “I loved God, but I hated going to church,” he recalls. “Sunday morning would find my body in the pews, but my heart was elsewhere.”

When he looked around, he saw many other men like him. Christian men – including born-again, Spirit-filled, faithful followers of Christ – went through the motions on Sunday morning. They attended church only to keep their wives happy. Or they had stopped attending altogether.

He decided to do some research. And that research resulted in the book Why Men Hate Going to Church, which has sold over 150,000 copies and spawned a Facebook page, Church for Men, that has over 5,000 followers and a weekly post reach of 50,000 people.

Traditional churches are geared for women.

“I’ve been in the TV and video production industry for over 30 years,” says the book’s author, David Murrow. “In my business, you learn that everything has a target audience. ESPN has a different target audience than the Oxygen channel, for example.”

Murrow offers, “If the typical church were a TV show, it would be on the Oprah Network. The culture of the church is very much oriented toward women.”

He added: “At the mainline church where I served as an elder, most of our ministries revolved around traditionally feminine roles in caring for the sick, caring for children, ladies’ teas, ladies’ scrapbooking nights. It definitely was skewed toward women, in particular, older women. It’s the perfect institution for these women to use their gifts.”

However, Murrow points out, “men’s gifts lie fallow. The things that guys are into – strategic planning, sports, competition – these things are frowned on in the church. Church is supposed to be a warm, nurturing place where we hold hands and love each other.”

Women naturally excel at church, and most men don’t.

Why is the congregation at a typical mainline church 60 to 70 percent female? “Think about the skills that you need to be good at being a churchgoer,” explains Murrow. “You need to sing. You need to be able to read aloud – lectionary readings, responsive readings, and so on. If you go to a Sunday School class, then you’ll be asked questions about a text and may have to read a text from the Bible. You have socializing before and after the service – coffee hour and those sorts of things. It’s a lot of soft, interpersonal skills, verbal skills, and artistic skills.”

“If you take those skills and look at the population,” Murrow suggests, “there are more women than men in the population who possess those gifts. Now there are certainly men out there who are verbal, studious, sensitive, and musical, but their numbers tend to be smaller. And, for the most part, those are the guys we tend to find in church.”

We’re setting up a situation that if wives are better at it, husbands might quit.

Murrow maintains that men don’t hate God or hate Jesus. They simply hate churchgoing because their wives are much better at it.

“When I was a young man in my early 20s, I briefly took up the game of golf,” he says. “I quickly learned that I have absolutely no knack for the game. If my ball wasn’t in the sand trap, then it was in the water. After two or three bad rounds, I did what most men do when they are not good at something: I quit. I put my clubs away and never picked them up again.”

Murrow added, “We’ve set up a situation with church. Joe Smith tries it. He doesn’t find God there, doesn’t find anything that he’s good at there, and feels like he’s not needed there. There’s really only one man who’s needed there, and that’s the pastor. Since Joe Smith is never going to preach, he doesn’t see a future for himself within this institution.”

Truth is, many men profoundly interact with God outside of organized religion.

“In fact,” Murrow continued, “Joe probably feels that he can connect better with God outside of the institution of ‘organized religion’. I’ve talked with men who’ve had profound experiences with God while they were out hunting or out on a boat on the water.”

Said Murrow, “It sounds like a dodge, so we tell these men, ‘Oh, you’re just making excuses.’ But it’s true. I mean, these guys have profound experiences with God out in the field, doing things with their kids. They experience God at a gut level. I think it’s because they’re in their area of competence. They feel comfortable there, and God speaks to them in their comfort.”

If many men hate going to church, then what’s a church to do? Start with the sermon.

Murrow offers a lot of recommendations in his book. The best starting point, he suggests, is the sermon.

A man-friendly sermon will reach not just men but women as well. “Women are blessed with a very flexible, multitasking brain,” he says. “Women can ‘do masculine’, but men don’t usually do well with highly verbal, feminine-type presentations. So, if you preach to the men, the women will often enjoy it as well.”

Shorter sermons with object lessons work best.

Shorter is better, he contends. “If I were going to plant a church, I would preach 10-minute sermons,” he says, “and I would market my church as the home of the 10-minute sermon. When people are polled; long, boring, irrelevant sermons is the number one thing that people don’t like about church.”

Structuring the message around an object lesson is the approach used by the greatest preacher in history: Jesus.

“Men are visual learners,” says Murrow. “A lot of skilled preachers are using video to supplement their sermons, but the very best thing is for the pastor to actually bring an object into the pulpit when he or she speaks.”

Murrow recalled, “One time when I spoke in church, it was from inside a box. Another successful sermon I saw was delivered from on top of a ladder. In a sermon on the difference between grace and works, the pastor used a debit card versus a gift card. With a debit card, you can withdraw only what you’ve paid in, whereas with a gift card God pays in and you spend it on whatever you want.”

“If a pastor really wants to turn his church around and get men in the pews,” explains Murrow, “then he should preach concise sermons built around object lessons. A pastor who does that will have a church full of men in a few years.”

Unfortunately, this approach is not taught in seminary. “Pastors are taught in seminary to speak words,” says Murrow. “They are not taught to implant truth. We live in a highly visual culture, and yet we stubbornly cling on the traditional, lengthy, spoken sermon because anything else is just ‘entertainment’ or ‘pandering to the lowest common denominator’.”

Are you ready to inspire more men to love church again? Take the first step with sermons that men relate to and understand naturally.

Clipped from: https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/the-truth-about-why-men-hate-going-to-church.html?utm_medium=fbpage&utm_source=cross&utm_campaign=cdupdate&fbclid=IwAR0R2itk5lqbe-eeHab2ZiAw5atEWKgG040gHiaEXZFzfVotsjerl_7jlYs

Photo credit: Unsplash

Chris Bolinger is the author of Daily Strength for Men, a 365-day daily devotional published by BroadStreet Publishing and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, DailyStrengthForMen.com, and other retailers.

Are you secure . . .?

I hear a lot from preachers about the need, if not the requirement to study our Bible every day, go to Church not just Sunday, but Wednesday also. Almost to the point that I feel we are challenged if we are even a Christian if we don’t read our Bible everyday and go to Church at least twice a week.

I am not against reading the Bible everyday nor attending Church as often as possible, but I do wonder about the “need” to be in the Bible all the time.

I believe it really depends on the person. Let me ask you this question, does your dog love you less if you leave for a while? If someone in your family, you don’t see for a long time, do you stop loving them?

I’ve lost my mom; I still miss her and love her very much. I would be so excited to see her again, I cannot wait. Much of what I learned growing up I still use and pass on to my kids or others in my life.

Let me throw this at you too. I am an instructor, I have taught many, many adults how to use their computer and their software more effective. One thing I learned as an instructor, is regardless of how much I studied, or how well I thought I knew the material, I never knew it that well until after I taught it the first time.

My point is to ask ourselves. If your Bible was taken from you, the internet was down, for some reason where you are there was no Church. Would you stay strong in the faith you have today or do you see yourself drifting back in the flow of society?

My question is how deep your faith is. Can you go a week, a month, a year without reading the Bible or attending church and keep your faith, your belief?

The reason I am asking this is because: 1) Many of our forefathers, the Christians that kept Christianity alive relied on their deep seeded faith to carry them through. They did not have Bibles, Church, Pastors, Social Media to constantly remind them of their savior Jesus Christ. 2) Have we become too dependent on all of this input to “remind” us of our faith.

I know there is argument whether Christians will be involved in the tribulation. For some reason, I think so. If your faith has not been tested and is not engrained into every aspect of your living. If you revert back to your “normal” self on the way out of the Church parking lot. I don’t believe we have Jesus so engrained in our hearts. It’s not that we need more, we need it more intensely. As I mentioned, as much time as I spent preparing to teach a course, as well as I knew it, I never knew it better then after I was tested and that test was teaching it in front of 15 – 30 strangers.

We need to test ourselves. We need to have our loved ones challenge us, we need to stand up and out in the crowd as Christians. We have to be the one in the middle of the river standing firm against the current. When others see us standing strong, they will too. God Bless You.