Patience Pending

 – by Sheldon Bass

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14 KJV

Waiting doesn’t seem to be very popular. The world conditions us to instant gratification. But God teaches us the blessed discipline of patience through delays. Perhaps having patience with others is even more difficult than waiting. Yet by constantly trusting God, He helps us to overcome that difficulty.

According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man, weary from a long journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There, he washed the old man’s feet and gave him food and drink.

The visitor immediately began eating, without praying first. Abraham asked, “Don’t you worship God?” The traveler replied, “I only worship fire-there’s no other god.” Abraham became irate. He grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out of his tent and into the cold night air.

After the visitor departed, God called to his friend Abraham, and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, “I forced him out, because he did not worship you.” God answered, “You mean, I’ve suffered him these eighty years, although he dishonors me, and you couldn’t endure him for just one night?”

“Love is patient, love is kind…” 1st Corinthians 13:4a

Thank you Lord for your perfect timing, and for teaching us patience. Help us to love as you have taught us, by being patient and kind with one another. And by waiting patiently on you.

God uses delays to build up our Christ-like character, and He will test our patience through people we least expect.

Sheldon Bass, Author: Meet Him on the Mountain. Contact

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True Happiness

Jesus Love You

Artwork by Jomayra Soto@creationswap

by Rev. Jeff Hagan, DCE, DMin, (ThD)

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

“Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (NIV).

Introduction:

If anyone tried to find happiness outside of God it was King Solomon. He looked high and low for happines in this world. Eventually, he discovered that happiness is found in a relationship with God, living life as God wants.

Four Key Ingredients:

In the above passage, we find four key ingredients for finding happiness:

1. Give (v.1) – Give of yourself, your time, your goods, your finances. One day you will be repaid by the Lord, but never have that be your motive. To be truly happy one must be truly selfless.

2. Give generously and frequently (v.2) – The idea here in this verse is to give sacrificially and to do so often. Happiness nor success are measured by the size of your house, or by the size of your car, or by the size of your bank account. Happiness and success are measured by the size of your heart and by one’s obedience to Christ.

3. “Get up and ‘at em!'” (v.v.3-4) – The point here is to be active and stay active. I’m not talking to the point of burn out and overload, but there is much good in being and staying active. The picture here is of a person sitting around and doing nothing. Be sure and enjoy life, don’t just watch it pass you by. Even if one plans on retiring from a job, never “retire” from life.

4. Trust God (v.v.5-6) – There are some things in life that we will never understand this side of heaven. Happiness comes when we trust God completely, regardless of how the results may seem to us.

Conclusion:

The way to happiness is by giving God control of our lives, surrendering ourselves to Jesus Christ, and by following the Holy Spirit. The outflow of that will be trusting in Him to meet all our needs.

Rev. Jeff Hagan, DCE, DMin, (ThD)

Founder and President of True Grace Ministries and Theological Institute. www.truegraceinstitute.webs.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Love and Grace

Beautiful Things

Artwork by Pierce Brantley@creationswap

 

by Rosita Dozier 

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and
sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 (NIV)

Love and grace what a powerful combination. Adding mercy makes this a recipe for God to reconcile his creation to himself.

God is love, and we cannot separate the two. All of his other attributes are the result of who he is, LOVE. Love gives. Grace and mercy flows from love. God is unconditional love; He loves in spite of mankind’s failure and hatred toward Him.

God shows his love according to Ephesians 2:4, ” But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” it goes on to say, ” it is by grace you have been saved.”

God exercises love for his creation by first showing compassion, mercy. (James 5:11) Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve. In fact, all have sinned and deserve death. Romans 3:23 (NIV)

God continues to exercises his love by giving grace, in the person of his Son. Jesus came to take on the sin of the world, to reconcile us back to His Father. Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. We did not deserve life but Love demands that his rebellious creation have an opportunity to live.

As the Son, God continues to exercise love for His creation. Jesus expresses this love by sending us another helper, John 14:16. The Holy Spirit continues the work of love by helping us, giving us power to live the life Christ gave us through his death. Eternal life is the manifestation of unconditional love.

Teaching women is Rosita Dozier’s top priority. She has conducted bible studies for over twenty years. She has written articles for church newsletters, helped pastors put oral messages into print and edited several books. She is a published author and is working on a new book.

Love Conquers All

PURE LOVE

Artwork by Elideth Ceniceros

 

By Dr. Henderson Ward

Everywhere you look, humanity is on the search for the utmost, the best, the maximum, the record, the furthermost, the ultimate. There are even books, like the Guinness Book of Records, that exist to deal with nothing except the finding, and recording, of such achievements.

Every sportsperson dreams of being in the record books, as being the ultimate in his sport; some even do dishonest and dangerous things, like imbibing dangerous, performance enhancing substances, to reach their desired goals  that of coming out on top and gaining the accolade of being the best, the greatest, the fastest.

Even ordinary people, like vacationing tourists, go to great lengths to find the greatest and best thrills available. Some of the risks they take, like going in certain underground caves, or climbing some craggy, treacherous mountain peaks, are simply mind-blowing. And even the prospect of death or serious injury does not have a sobering effect on these thrill seekers, or so it appears.

There is a certain place in Africa where the ultimate in risk taking, and visceral thrills, takes place on an annual basis. The local participants jump from a tall tree, with a rope tied to their ankles, with the aim of falling as near to the ground as possible without touching it. The winner is the one who ends up with his head closer to the ground without touching it.

As to be expected, some are too daring and hit their heads on the ground with lethal, head-smashing force, others smash bits off their heads, and the one who ends up with his head closest to the earth without touching it, is declared the champion for that year, and is feted like a monarch.

Why people go to such extraordinary lengths to achieve something, anything, speaks to something within us humans that is frightfully mysterious. Maybe it’s a yearning for something durable, something that will last beyond our earthly tenure, something that outlives our present usefulness; maybe even a search for immortality.

If the record books show that you were the fist person to set foot on Mars, does that make you immortal? No, it does not; except for your misguided sense of immortality.

Humans strive for all kinds of achievements, in all spheres of life, and in truth all such achievements, for the few who manage to attain them, do not deliver the deep and lasting fulfilment that they had hoped for.

Why do some rich people commit suicide?

Why do so many famous celebrities commit suicide?

Because the greatest thing in the world, the one thing above all else that is worth achieving, has eluded them.

A man cannot worthily be defined by the number of toys he has acquired, nor by the material chaff that he has accumulated, nor even by the number and status of his friends and acquaintances. All the money in the world, all the fame you have acquired, cannot buy you one once of love.

The true measure of a man, the ultimate achievement of any human being, is the visible, efficacious transition to a state of love. This is the state where love is the core, the principle and periphery of his very being. When he acts, he acts naturally out of the reservoir of love; when he thinks, he does so from a mind consumed with love; and when he speaks, the love flows as gracefully as a gorgeous waterfall down the rugged mountain.

This state of being, though highly exalted,  is reachable; and no one can reach it without direct divine assistance.

Even in the church they are many who have not, as yet, transitioned to this status.

This love commences when we have acquired sufficient wisdom to understand the reality, not just the theory, of Almighty God, and His input into our reality. The Bible puts it like this: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful” (Romans 1:21). To really know God is to trust his word and claim his promises, and experience the graces that flow as a result.

The only avenue to this love is through trust in God; and many hesitate to do that.

No one can naturally love just like that. It is because of God’s love for us, that we in turn have acquired the status of love. God’s love for us is the catalyst and the reason we love. It starts with God and the Bible so acknowledges: “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

It is only by understanding the ineffable love of God, a love that is perfect, inexhaustible, and utterly devoid of anything remotely harmful, that we get a sense of this love.

It is that love that sent Jesus Christ to sacrifice his life, that we might have a chance of redemption, and of which the Bible declares, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

It is that love, in all its splendid abundance, and gracious facilitation to sonship, that is expressed here, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1))

It is that love that the sensuous man cannot grasp, and the carnal mind cannot perceive, but every child of God, who truly believes, has obtained and become.

It is that love where God is, for we know that the believer that dwells in love dwells in God; because God is love.

The question of the moment, and this is a supreme question of huge importance, is this. How can we acquire this status, how are we to have this love transferred to our innermost being, how do we transition from where we are, to where we ought to be?

The answer lies in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the epitome of God’s love, he is not just the image we emulate, but the essence and substance of it. Just as God IS love, in like manner, Jesus IS love.

To fully appreciate this enriching and invigorating experience, believers must, of necessity, so commit to Jesus that the two personalities become as one. This persona, that people see, must be so infused with the imprint of Jesus that without us declaring it, people will say, “There goes a Christian.”

Look again at the components of love, and you will see each and every one abundantly, and resplendently manifested in Jesus Christ:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 Easy to Read Version)

The blending of our personality with that of Jesus Christ is part of the conversion experience and the Bible declares it thus: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

But conversion is not everything, just like buying a house does not make it a home, so you need to do a lot of work in both cases.

And the work to burnish that image, make it shine reflectively of Christ, is by practicing total, selfless obedience: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Finding it hard to live peaceably with your neighbours? Then try perfecting your love.
Finding it hard to reach across the colour/cultural barrier? Then try deepening your love.
Finding it hard to cope with life’s burdens? Then try relying more on Him who loves you.

It is by being TRULY converted, and DAILY following the directions of our Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that our ability to love and become love is graciously perfected.

And it is only in this state that you become more than conqueror, and can endorse with assurance, and honour, the sentiments of the Apostle Paul when he said:

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Try it SINCERELY, and you will find, that this magnificent love, conquers all.

Enough said.

Books by this author (non-fiction except indicated otherwise)

E-books Published by Amazon.com
If you do not have a Kindle then when you access the site, click on How Buying Works and you will see the FREE apps for Computer, Cell phone, etc Then click as appropriate.

(Please click on the appropriate book link or cut and paste in your URL)

THINGS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW (e-book)
Volume 1  Five tough facts to be faced

STAND UP TO THE DEVIL  (e-book)
Volume 1  You must first identify him

BASTARD: A STORY OF REDEMPTION(e-book fiction)

ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (Hard copy)

ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (e-book)

http://tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-60799-630-9

Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward’s career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013
email drhendersonward@yahoo.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

The Need To Slow Down

Be Still

Photo Art by kevin carden@creationswap

By Zach Wood

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

It’s no surprise we have so many people in the world today who are tired.  They are tired from many things: work, family, friends, extracurricular activities, church functions, etc.  The list could go on and on with how incredibly busy some people have become.  This past Sunday we had a sermon talking about how we need to slow our lives down more and take the time to relax.

So many of us these days are in a rush mode and we don’t stop.  It’s not that we don’t want to, but we have such busy lives that we feel we just need to keep going and going, just like the energizer bunny.  But you know what?  Even the battery in that bunny will soon lose its power and need a new one.  We all need replenishing and a constant, busy lifestyle is not helping.

It’s hard to know the balance of when to be busy and when to rest.  Often, we feel guilty if we do rest.  We don’t feel productive just sitting around, but it’s something our bodies desperately need to become recharged.  We’re in a society that focuses so much on consuming more caffeine, pills and other things to keep our bodies going.  What our bodies need is real rest.  We were not meant to be on the go every waking moment, but often we are.

I would like to encourage all of us, in this fast-paced world, to take Jesus’ words to heart.  He is serious about us coming to Him, laying our lives before Him and getting the rest we need from the weary lives we often have.   Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is to take a time of rest, whenever that is.  Daily would be good.  It’s not healthy to run, run, run all day long and get very little sleep.  We just burn ourselves out.  Where’s the balance?  Hard question.

We need to take notice each day of Jesus’ invitation to get the rest our bodies need so that we can be replenished.  He invites us to come to Him and rest.

About the Author:
Zach Wood
Minister at Eagle Lake Church of Christ
Eagle Lake, MN
http://www.zwdevotions.com
Copyright 2014

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a

Live in the Moment

THISisTheDay

Artwork by Brendan Sceroler@creationswap

By stephanie reck

How many of us live in the regrets of the past, or in the future we are projecting? Imagine living in the moment, not going back and not going forward. Just enjoying each moment as it comes, and not allowing the unknown of the future to steal our own joy today. I believe if we can live in the moment, we could experience peace, calmness, joy, and find contentment.

Excerpts taken from my book, “Wilderness Mentality, Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin,” Chapter 7: Don’t look back, keep going forward: One day at a time.

God tells us not to worry about anything. Today is ALL you have. The things that you go through are temporary. It is how you react to them that can cause you to lose your joy and peace.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you have learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:4-9, MSG

God wants us to come to Him with our worries and struggles. We are not to try and figure things out, analyze everything or worry. God wants us to enjoy right where we are. Don’t worry about the past or future, take hold of today. Embrace today; take it one day at a time. If something in your life has not worked out, then God has a new plan. Don’t waste any more time regretting the past or what lies ahead. That kind of thinking will lead to anxiousness and fear. Living one day at a time, and one moment at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry. Choose to give your anxieties to God, choose to pray specifically for things instead of worrying.

When we begin to think about tomorrow and the “what if’s,” we can lose our grace for today. God gives us His “manna” daily, not weekly or monthly. Don’t be consumed with yesterday’s junk and tomorrow’s what ifs. Don’t dwell on yesterday. Dwelling means focusing on what you should have done, what you could have done and what you ought to have done. Take it one step at a time, one day at t a time.

Sometimes we think we need to see the end of our path, maybe so we can be reassured it’s a good path. But God’s guidance is step by step. We can rest and trust God will light our path, one step at a time. Whatever comes your way, know you can handle it, one day at a time. Don’t “stockpile” tomorrow’s provisions for your life. Face your challenges one day at a time. Looking too far down the road tends to overwhelm us in our thinking. Trusting God requires we believe He gives us our “daily bread.”

Live in peace and not anxiousness and fear of the unknown. Do you really know what is going to happen? I mean really? We can formulate what we think will happen, but that is called worry. Yesterday may have been troubling, but shake it off today. Remember today is a brand new day.

Enjoy your journey as it unfolds, and take life as it comes. Don’t project what you think may happen, and don’t stay bound to your past. Stay present in the moment.

To order a copy of my book, “Wilderness Mentality, Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’ go to http://www.createspace.com/4036785

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2014, Hope Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Reflections on Waiting on God

Feet

Photo by by Laura Merchant

 

By stephanie reck

God understands our pain. It is good to share your heart with Him. Tell Him how you feel, and what you need. He is a friend to us, and is ready to listen to us.

Lord, how long will you keep me this way?  I am desperate for breakthrough. My heart has many desires that have gone unfulfilled. Lord, I have waited for you, let me not be ashamed for waiting on you.

Do you hear me Lord? Are you there? Don’t you see how my enemies have taunted me? I have seen my desires upon my enemies. Grief has struck me like a tidal wave, and my eyes have grown tired from crying. My heart aches for your promises to be fulfilled in my life. I am desperate for your touch. Lord, how much longer will you keep me this way?

God, I hurt so deeply at times, and feel misunderstood. I have been rejected by family and friends. Why are you so afar from me? Why has your presence left me? What have I done Lord, just show me so that I can make this right. Who on earth can I run to but you Lord?

Can you make this pain stop? Can you restore me God? Hope deferred makes the heart sick, God my heart is sick. My hope has vanished like the night air. I don’t have the strength nor the faith to even pick myself up again, but I know you can Lord. I believe you can make these dry bones live again.

Lord, have mercy on me. I have grown weary from the continued trials and testing of my faith. I have felt like Job at times, and have wondered will you restore the things that have been taken from me? I want to believe that I am waiting for restoration like Job and Ruth. I have waited for years for your promises to be fulfilled in my life. I have waited for you Lord. I have never lost hope in you Lord.

I am desperate. I am afflicted on every side. Troubles have come my way as I wait on you Lord. I have been broken, refined by the fire, taken into the wilderness, and pruned over and over again. Is it over yet Lord? Oh, Lord, I have waited patiently for you.

I feel alone and abandoned, but yet Lord, I know you have never left my side. Why does it feel like I have been forgotten at times, looked over? Do others know what I have been through, do they even care? Do they even ask if there is anything they can do, or offer to take me for a coffee? Or do they judge me for the things they do not know, and offer unsolicited “words from the Lord” to me? Does anyone truly see me but you Lord? And Lord if you fail me, where shall I turn?  God, what shall you have me to do? Please Father, not another day waiting in brokenness.

Father, I trust you, even though I don’t understand your ways for me most of the time. I have felt the stings of rejection since my youth, and I have felt I have lived more cursed than blessed at times. I have felt misplaced and misjudged, and have seen my enemies get the very things that I have been praying for. I have felt “slapped in the face” so many times, yet, I still hold onto to you Lord. I have lived with shame because my prayers go unanswered for a time, while my enemies get the desires of their hearts. I have waited in thanksgiving and waited in offering sacrifices of praise. But now Lord, my waiting is becoming like a vice grip to me, and it is strangling the life from me. The enemy has tried to get me to turn from you, and say, “Your ways are not good.” I know that is a lie.

Thank you Lord that I can come to you and share my heart. I know you have not forgotten me. I will wait for you. You alone are my hope.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and He heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

Cry out to the Lord in your desperation. He hears your cries. Talk to Him like your very best friend. He is waiting to hear from you today.

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2014, Hope Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

God Moves Mountains

from the mountain

Photo by Sam Knutsen@creationswap

~ By Deborah Ann Belka

You can move that mountain,
you can scale that obstacle
you can get over that barrier . . .
for with God, all things are possible.

You’ll need to have plenty of faith,
on your own, you will only quit . . .
you have to believe that it is God
who will get you up and over it.

There can be no doubting,
no thinking, this can’t be done
God will give you His strength
through, Jesus Christ, His Son.

You will need to keep on praying,
if His power, you want to receive
asking God for all of His might . . .
then you have to trust and believe.

God’s good at moving mountains,
He’s moved plenty of them before
and now He wants to give you . . .
the strength and power to move yours!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark 11:23

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever
shall say unto this mountain,  Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and
shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe
that those things which he saith shall  come
to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

King James Version
by Public Domain

Copyright 2014
Deborah Ann Belka
bdebby@hotmail.com
http://www.hiswingsshadow.com

http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

Unrelenting Faith

By CD SWANSON

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32 KJV)

Have there been times in your life where you’ve experienced something almost unbearable to endure? Then, years later when looking back, you’ve realized that our fiery trials in fact, prepared us for things to come?

Throughout the Bible, scriptures will often refer to the Lord preparing us for greater things, and to be of service to our mighty God. That sometimes, He will allow us to be “sifted” to strengthen us, and to purify us thereby transforming us. When this happens we can testify and give Him the all the glory and victory, as we become witnesses for His awesome power.

When we go through our trials…prayer, consistency in His word, and an unrelenting faith and trust in God is essential to the outcome of our paths. Jesus explains to Peter in the above passages, that He allowed Satan to “sift” him, but Jesus prayed Peter’s faith not fail when it occurred. Peter needed to keep his trust in God, thereby dispelling evil with weapons of faith through God’s awesome power.

“Lord, help us maintain the process of growth by demonstrating our faith on a daily basis, as we become engrafted in Your word and Your Spirit, and become witness to your glory through each trial and blessing, In Jesus name, Amen.”

CD is a Christian writer who loves Jesus and everyone to know. Contact

 

By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

The Consistent Christian

Worship

Photo Art by lucindy garcia @creationswap

By J. Rubino

consistency – constancy: the ability to maintain a particular standard or repeat a particular task with minimal variation

Christian -believer in Jesus Christ as savior: somebody whose religion is Christianity

Christianity – religion that follows Jesus Christ’s teachings: the religion based on the life, teachings, and example of Jesus Christ

Now that we have established what these words independently mean, let’s define what it means to be a “Consistent Christian”. Based on the definitions above, it should mean something like this: The constant ability to maintain the standards of following and believing in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us seven things about consistency and being a “Consistent Christian”.

They are as follows:
1. It is the way to a good reputation.
2. It is the way to renew our relationship with God.
3. It is in obedience to God.
4. It is done in faith.
5. It is a truth that only God is always consistent.
6.  It reveals good character.
7. It is necessary for discipline.

It is the way to a good reputation.
The book of Ruth in the bible is a beautiful illustration of how a few people remained strong in character and true to God despite the fact that the society around them was collapsing. It was written during a very dark time in history when people lived only to please themselves and not God. It is the story of Ruth, a destitute widow whose faith and kindness went before her. Ruth had a good reputation. At one point, Ruth asked Boaz, a very wealthy farmer who bestowed much kindness upon her, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me  a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10 HCSB)

Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband  how you left your father and mother and homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:11-12 HCSB)

Ruth exhibited very admirable qualities. Boaz had heard and seen that she was hardworking, loving, kind, faithful and brave. It wasn’t enough that she was these things but that she was consistently these things. Wherever she went and whatever she did, it was consistent.

It is the way to renew our relationship with God.
When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A God has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck down the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. (1 Samuel 4:5-8 HCSB)

The Philistines were scared because they remembered all the stories they had heard about how God intervened when the people of Israel left Egypt. However, now Israel had turned from God and holding onto to what they once were. Israel was clinging to its past victories because they had failed as a people to keep renewing their faith in God. People and many churches today do this as well. We try to live on our former glories and memories of past blessings from God. The Israelites has assumed God would bring them victory because he had done so in the past even though they had turned and strayed from him.

We must renew our faith and relationship with God every day. It’s not something that we are to do just on Sunday at church. By reading the bible every day and praying consistently and constantly, we are building and growing in our relationship with God. We must seek him and be renewed by him always.

It is in obedience to God.
2 Chronicles gives us an example of someone who was not consistent in their belief of God and it led to this downfall and death. King Uzziah was only sixteen years old when he began his reign in Jerusalem. He reigned for fifty two years.

He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” (2 Chronicles 2:4-5 HCSB)

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.(2 Chronicles 2:16 HCSB)

Uzziah was not consistent in his relationship with God. Because of his many victories and successes, he became full of himself and disobedient. He knew he wasn’t supposed to go in the temple and burn incense. It was not his place to do so. He knew that his successes were all because of God and not his own abilities yet he chose himself over God. Uzziah then lost his cool and got angry when the priests scolded him and then he was struck down with leprosy and had to live elsewhere. He knew then he had done wrong and went away to live in a separate house from the rest of his family.

God requires lifelong obedience. He requires us to be consistent.

It is done in faith.
King Solomon is said to have been the wisest king in all of history. He was os wise that people came from afar to hear his words of wisdom. Everyone that came to hear the words God put in his heart brought elaborate and expensive gifts.  People knew that he had great faith in God and that God had blessed him immensely. Solomon grew to be a very wealthy man.

Solomon had an insatiable appetite for women, especially foreign women. He had acquired many wives from many different areas.

God had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” (2 Kings 11:2 HCSB)

As Solomon grew old, his wives had turned his heart against God and towards their gods. It was his desire for his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines that caused his faith in God to stumble greatly. He allowed his wives and assisted them even in erecting altars for their gods.

So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. (2 Kinds 11:6 HCSB)

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other Gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. (2 Kings 11:9-10 HCSB)

Solomon was not consistent in his faith to the Lord. He allowed others to come between him and his faith.

It is true that only God is always consistent.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11 HCSB)

God is always consistent. He is the one that never breaks a promise. He is the one whose standards never change.

He is the only perfect example of perfection. Although we will never achieve perfection or consistency in everything we do all the time, it should be our goal to be constant in our love, faith, and obedience to the one that is and was and ever will be.

It reveals good character.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (Psalm 125:1 HCSB)

We all know of someone who is drawn into every new fad and idea of the day.  People such as this are inconsistent and unreliable. The key to being consistent is to trust in God and only him. Why? He never changes. He is not shaken by the things of this world. People who constantly change their way of thinking to suit others or the way world indicates they should be do not have a good character. Their character is one of a person that changes with the wind and seeks to please others in order to gain approval and feel better about themselves. They put their trust in every new scheme or gadget that comes their way. They put their trust in money, fame, and worldly desires instead of placing it in God. Their character is that of the world, not of the father.

It is necessary for discipline.
We, as parents sometimes find it hard to discipline our children. We feel like all we ever do is nag them about things. We scold them and punish them all the time so sometimes we are tempted to just give up. We just get tired of always fussing at them and we are pretty sure they are tired of it too. However, correction that is kind and firm helps them to grow, learn and become wise.  We are to be consistent in our discipline with our children so they will be able to consistently discipline themselves and their children in the future.

A rod and reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. (Proverbs 29:15 HCSB)

This verse in the bible is so often misinterpreted. It does not been that we should all beat our children with a rod. It means we should discipline our children when they do wrong so they will become wise and not disgrace their family. There is nothing wrong with discipline. God is consistent in that he will discipline his children when we step out of bounds. Our children must be taught the same.

J. Rubino lives in Northport, AL with her family and is a firm believer in Jesus Christ.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>