Please Stop! Just Please Stop!

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22 Things Christians Need To Stop Doing…Now! by Chuch Tate

Christian preachers are often talking about the “mission” of God’s people, and this is absolutely right. Christians have a lot to do in this world, and our task to make disciples and take the gospel to the nations is immediate and apparent. But there are also other things that we should seek to cease in our lives. Here, Chuck Tate gives us 22 key things and attitudes that we need to cut out of our lives.

1. Quit expecting the world to like you. Jesus said it would hate you (John 15:18-27, Matthew 10:22).

2. Quit throwing your own teammates under the bus.

“We’re called to build each other up, not tear each other down. In fact, Jesus said that our love for each other proves to the world that we are really His true disciples (John 13:35, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).”

3. Quit gossiping.

This includes sharing “juicy prayer requests” with no intention of actually praying (Psalms 34:13, Psalms 101:5, Ephesians 4:29).

4. Quit replacing prayer with “good vibes” and “positive thoughts.”

No. Just no. Prayer moves the hand of God and the hand of God moves the world. “Prayer is much more effective than making someone feel warm and fuzzy inside. By the way, I’m not saying positive thoughts and good vibes are wrong (and they do make you feel good), I’m just saying prayer trumps them both (2 Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:19, Ephesians 6:18, James 5:16).”

5. Quit saying repentance isn’t necessary. It is. Jesus said so.

“And just so you know, there are 53 references to repentance in the New Testament. Now go repent (Matthew 5:17, Acts 3:19, Romans 2:5, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 1:9).”

6. Quit saying that the “portions of the Bible that make you feel uncomfortable” are irrelevant and nothing more than dated writings.

“All 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verse are the inspired Word of God. So the next time you think about throwing out the Old Testament, just remember that Jesus quoted it numerous times in all four gospels (John 1:1-4, John 1:14, 2 Timothy 3:16).”

7. Quit expecting unbelievers/non-Christians to understand the Bible and/or to live like Christ.

“It’s hard enough for Christians to live like Christ and it’s impossible to do so without Him (until the blinders are removed) (2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:24-25).”

8. Quit acting like the Great Commission (Go into all the world to preach the gospel) is the Great Suggestion.

“It’s a command. Go already (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15).”

9. Quit thinking that it’s OK to be silent about your faith.

“Yes, it’s just as important to represent Jesus by how we live, but someone can’t respond to the Good News without hearing it … and they can’t hear it if no one opens their mouth (Matthew 10:27, Romans 10:14-15).”

10. Quit being more passionate about your political affiliation than your relationship with Jesus.

“If 99 percent of what you post on social media consists of bashing government officials and presidential candidates—you’re doing more damage than good (Romans 13:1-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14).”

11. Quit using the Bible to beat the “hell” out of people.

“That doesn’t work. Ever. I don’t care if you’re right—if you’re a jerk, nobody is listening. Love wins! (No, I don’t mean the book by Rob Bell.) (1 Corinthians 13).”

12. Quit your legalistic rants, knee-jerk reactions, and judgmentalism.

“You’re turning people off. You’re making good news bad news. Jesus befriended sinners. Try it and great things will happen (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32, 1 Timothy 1:15-16).”

13. Quit calling yourself a Christian if you believe there are multiple paths that lead to salvation.

“Jesus said that He’s the only way to heaven. If you don’t believe Him, you’re not a Christ-follower (John 14:6, 1 John 2:4).”

14. Quit living like everybody’s going to heaven and nobody’s going to hell.

“Jesus died so the whole world could be saved, but He said the path to heaven is narrow and few find it. And for the record, He preached more about hell than heaven … but He did it without using a bullhorn and manipulative scare tactics. (Matthew 7:13-14).”

15. Quit acting like you’re better than those who don’t know Jesus.

You’re not (Luke 18:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11-13).

16. Quit criticizing loving believers who take a biblical stand for godly morals.

“Jesus didn’t call us to be politically correct. Develop some backbone. And yes, I said wimp. And yes, I will repent for calling you a wimp (Acts 4-6).”

17. Quit pointing out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own eye.

“By the way, I can hardly see my computer as I type this because of the log in my own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).”

18. Quit being a jerk, period.

“Whatever your position is (on anything), if you can’t communicate it in love, you’re a clanging cymbal and your message is worthless. So yeah, I probably shouldn’t have called you a wimp in No. 16 (1 Corinthians 13).”

19. Quit defending sin. Quit hating sinners.

“These are equally important. Oh yeah, and lose your critical lens (Psalm 97:10, Matthew 22:37-39).”

20. Quit using the phrase “he who’s without sin cast the first stone” out of context.

“The next thing Jesus said was, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).”

21. Quit using grace as a license to live however you want.

“Jesus is grace, so don’t trample Him under your feet (Romans 6:1-2, 1 John 2:4, Hebrews 10:26-31).”

22. Quit using the phrase (when inviting people to church) “come as you are” if you’re going to complain when they start showing up (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32).


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Rededicating Your Life to Christ | By S. Michael Houdman

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“Rededicating your life to Christ” is a popular concept in modern Christian culture. It’s a decision made by a Christian who has fallen away from the practices of Christianity to turn back to Christ and strive to follow Him more completely. The act of suddenly returning to Christ is spoken of indirectly in Galatians 6:1, where the church is exhorted to restore sinful believers by gently confronting them. Rededication is popular among older children and young adults who grew up in the church. Christians who were saved at a young age may come to realize that their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus was incomplete. In a desire to consciously choose to adhere to a newfound, deeper understanding of the gospel, believers may “rededicate” themselves to Christ.

However, falling away and returning to God is not how the Christian walk is supposed to look. Romans 12:1–2explains that spiritual maturity is a gradual, ongoing process. Jesus said that to follow Him we should take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23). And 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Hebrews 12:1 speak of the Christian life as a race, meant to be run every day. Many people rededicate after every sin. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of rededicating, striving to follow Jesus closely, failing, and rededicating again. But habitual sin is not a problem solved by rededicating. It’s a deeper issue that can only be solved with a greater understanding of the grace and love of God.

Still, rededication is a useful tool. It’s a way to deliberately reject sin and renew a love for Christ. The disciples went through a rededication of sorts when they saw the risen Jesus. Their half-hearted devotion turned into a desire to pour out their lives for His service. In the same way, whether because of a conviction about a sinful lifestyle or a greater understanding of the gift of Christ, we can choose to abandon our shallow devotion to Christ and devote ourselves to Him more fully.

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How Can I Be A Good Christian? By S. Michael Houdman

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Wouldn’t it be great if the Christian life had a check list? A recipe of sorts to provide instructions that we could follow to ensure we were being “good Christians”? Few things in life really work that way. In fact, even recipes followed exactly don’t always turn out. They fail to account for effects of the weather, slight differences in ingredients, variance in oven temperatures, or a number of other factors. And “good” is in the taste buds of the eater. So what does it take to be a good Christian?

Many will say that it means reading your Bible daily, praying at least twice a day, serving at church, tithing, supporting a missionary, evangelizing, and the like. These are all great activities for Christians, but they are not what the Christian life is all about.

A Christian is someone who has been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and restored to relationship with God. The Christian life is about getting to know God, enjoying Him and bringing Him glory (Isaiah 43:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:1–5, 22). It is true that when we know God certain actions will naturally result. Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). But before that He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. . . . This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:1–11). Obedience—living the “good Christian” life—flows from a loving relationship. And obedience helps us remain in God’s love and therefore experience His joy.

Being a “good Christian” is not about performing certain actions. It is about growing in love for Christ and allowing His Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and lives. Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the recipe-writer and taste-tester for our lives. As we seek to know God and glorify Him, we also get to enjoy Him (Psalm 73:25—26). The good Christian knows God, enjoys God, and grows in grace.

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Clear Away Your Spiritual Clutter | Sharon Hinck

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“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

As recent empty nesters, my husband and I have begun thinking about downsizing. It’s amazing how much we’ve accumulated over the years. Sweaters seem to reproduce in the back of the closet. Papers bulge in file folders. Bins of outgrown toys fill the basement.

As we sort through things to donate or sell, we have an opportunity to think about which items are really precious or needed, and which things are simply clutter. One of the challenges of sorting out clutter, is that I rarely have to make a simple choice between something good and bad. Instead, there are lots of good things—just too many of them. Working at de-cluttering my home, I thought about the rooms of my heart.

I’ve also picked up some spiritual clutter along my way. I’ve been excited by a particular trend in worship, or embraced a specific spiritual discipline, or grappled with differing theological understandings of certain questions. But every now and then, Jesus reminds me to bring my focus back to what is absolutely essential—the simple core truth of His death and resurrection.

I heard a story once that a leader of the Christian faith, with a wealth of intellect and scholarship at their disposal, was asked to summarize his beliefs. He chose to describe the central truth of the Gospel free from embellishment, in the words of the children’s song, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” When I quiet all my opinions, knowledge, and experiences, and everything else falls away, I can focus on that simple core truth, and rejoice.

Faith step: Are there any good things in your life getting in the way of the One best thing? Invite Jesus to clear away the clutter.

Photo Credit: Norma Cardenas

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What’s in Your Fruit Basket?

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We have a pretty fruit basket that sits on our countertop. It is usually filled with fresh organic fruit. Today, I went to grab a beautiful-looking apple but when I lifted it up, I noticed that it was very light in weight. I looked at the backside and sure enough, it was rotten. It also had corrupted the orange sitting right next to it. Both pieces of fruit had to be thrown away.

The Bible tells us that we are to be careful who we fellowship with. Rotten fruit always corrupts the good fruit. A good piece of fruit never rehabilitates a rotten bunch of fruit. It is always the other way around. Place a good apple in a rotten bunch and it too shall become rotten.

2Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

We, as Christians, are commanded in Scripture to avoid the constant fellowship with unbelievers. We are instead to fellowship with other believers in Christ Jesus.

1Thess 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

We are light in the darkness. We are the salt of the earth and are supposed to be a good example. We are called to show the love of Jesus and to love those who are considered unlovable. But the bible warns us of constant fellowship with the unsaved. We are not called to fellowship with them, lest our own minds become corrupted.

Only Jesus can set men free. Only Jesus can save the unconverted soul. We are to witness, show our light and reach the lost by our love and compassion but ultimately, it is Jesus who will save the soul.

It is not our job to rehabilitate the unsaved…only Jesus can change them—once they get saved. Trying to change your unsaved friend is like trying to patch the hole on the sinking Titanic. If you really want your loved one to change, tell them about Jesus– for He alone can give someone a brand new heart.

Sitting on the phone with your troubled unsaved girlfriend all day long will bring you down spiritually. We are to show the love of Jesus to the unsaved but we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit within us by listening to ungodly conversations.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

You will find that as you grow in Christ Jesus, either your unsaved friend will desire Christ Jesus too by the Light they see in you or they will abandon their friendship with you because they desire not the Lord in their own lives. No matter what, we cannot compromise..Jesus must come first in everything we do and say.

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God

Written by Cobblestone Road Ministries

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Trusting God With No Regrets

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Originally posted by Godfruits(10 Things You Will Never Regret By Putting Your Faith in God)

Put your faith in God! There really isn’t a better life to live by than by His standards! Although life can be filled with many regrets, following God’s righteous path will leave you absent from any feelings of regret. In the life of a Christian, there are some things that you will never regret doing:

1. The Art Of Praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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Prayer is the ultimate communication tool for man and God. Spilling your heart out to your creator will not only bring you peace,  but will also strengthen your relationship with him.

2. Dedicating Your Life To Christ. (Romans 12:1)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

When you throw away your old personality and put on this new personality – that of a Christian- you are setting a fine example for everyone around you. By dedicating your life to Christ, you are committing to living a life of purpose and love.

3. Enhancing Your Bible Knowledge (Psalms 119:105)

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

God’s Word is an vital source for each and every one of us. It enriches our lives every time we read about God.

4. Being Humble (Philippians 2:3)

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”

 Jesus was the most humble being to have ever existed. Hailing from the highest position in the heavens, he walked among humans. Imitating Jesus will prove to bring us much benefit.

5. Loving your neighbor. (Mark 12:31)

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.””

Nothing bad will ever sprout from love. Love is the drive that motivates each and every one of us to better our lives and those around us. If we love our neighbors, no crime would be committed. Instead, we would all be striving towards living in a beautiful utopia.

6. Spreading The Truth About God. (Matthew 6:15)

“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Nothing feels more rewarding than to bring the good news to the people of the nations. We are messengers of God and will always speak about His grace.

7. Put God In Control Of Your Life (Proverbs 3:6)

“in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”

Putting God first and in control of your life will probably be the best decision you’ve ever made.

8. Resisting temptation. (James 4:7)

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

By resisting temptation, you are making yourself free from many negative consequences. Temptation leads to sin, which will poison your life. Abstaining from temptation will evade the dangers of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and many other dangers.

9. Finding Refuge Within God (Psalms 118:8)

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”

Taking refuge in God will prove to be comforting. If he isn’t already, he is our solid rock that will protect and shield us in our time of need.

10. Holding Fast To The Fruitage Of The Spirit. (Galatians 5)

Jesus said that his Father is glorified whenever we execute the fruitage of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, and self-control is everything we need to have in order to live long and healthy lives.

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When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

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If you never wonder whether God loves you, this little article isn’t for you. It’s for those of us who have hit rock bottom, right there at Jesus’ feet. We bring nothing but shame to Jesus, day after day after day. We’re the ones who have catastrophic failures in our Christian walk. It’s a wonder anyone loves us still, let alone God. We are the ones who hide our sin for a long while before stepping out into the light. No one has to tell us we are fallen people—we see the vileness of our heart everyday. And so the notion that God loves us every day, no matter what can get a bit too scandalous for our taste. It’s like hearing that Hitler’s mom was super proud of him—every day, no matter what—at the height of his power. It doesn’t feel right; it doesn’t compute so easily when you’ve met a horrible sinner in person. Especially when you wake up to see that person in your bathroom mirror. Every day. No matter what. There you are with morning breath, a sinner.

I wish it wasn’t always so hard for me to grasp the love of God, yet this is what he wants from me. He wants us to believe he exists and that loves us tremendously…still. As screwed up as we are. He is love, and he loves us.

So. Let’s all just calm down and rest in God’s love lest we run off ruining our lives trying to prove how evil we really are. Not that I’ve tried that or anything, but if I had tried that, I’d tell you that the plan isn’t a good one. Don’t try this at home, people. Trust me, it won’t feel as satisfying as you think to surprise people with how evil you can be.

In the end, no one will be surprised to know that human beings are inherently evil people with evil plans and evil plots to rule over one another. God said it many years ago and humanity’s atrocities continue to affirm this: we are a fallen people. We will all die and turn into dust bunnies. Nothing good will come of our (fallen) attempts to prove how evil or how wonderful we are. Give it up. In the end none of that matters anyway.

Nothing matters except that you choose to believe that God loves you and that he offered his son’s death in exchange for your eternal damnation. Your accepting that gift means you understand that Jesus’ blood continues to wipe your slate clean, every day. God is not caught off guard by your actions. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you any more and nothing you can do to make God love you any less. Just believe it. Every day, no matter what.

Article by Grace Biskie

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