Being Christian is to me the most important of all identities. What does it mean to you to be Christian?
I am going to define what being Christian means to me with three key words: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
To be Christian means to believe in the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ! That is my faith! I believe that Jesus is God incarnate who came into the world to teach us to love and to die for our sins.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17
All Christians are Baptized into the Body of Christ. In the Holy Sacrament of Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit of God and we become followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Baptism was not something that the Church invented. This Sacrament, like all Holy Sacraments, was instituted by Jesus.
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” Romans 6:3-6
Our faith in Jesus is a relationship with Our Lord and Saviour that manifests itself in what we say and what we choose to do. “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26 Faith and prayer go hand and hand. Our faith relationship with Jesus requires that keep listening to Him and praying for His guidance. “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does listen to the one who worships Him and does His will.” John 9:31 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Romans 15:30
The promise of Baptism is liberty and freedom for those that choose to live in continuous discernment to the Holy Spirit of God living within us. But this is not something accomplished without effort and persistence. Yet if we truly believe in the power of God’s love and in the power of His Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts then we can live in perpetual HOPE.
Regardless of what is happening in our life today, if we have faith in Jesus Christ and we are Baptized as His disciples then we can live without fear, for Our Lord is always ready to help us.
I met a woman years ago who taught me what it means to never stop hoping in Jesus. Her little boy was abducted when he was only four years old. In spite of efforts to locate him, he was never found. His mother never stopped hoping for closure. She never stopped looking for him and she also never lost her faith..
Believing and hoping in Jesus does not mean that on earth we won’t face terrible hardships, but it does mean Jesus will never leave our side.
I know my precious friend that you will be united one day with your precious son and that you will enjoy eternity together. I’m so sorry for your pain. I can only imagine how much God loves you!
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
At the beginning of my spiritual journey I had a miraculous experience. I heard the voice of God speaking to my heart. God asked me a question: “What is love?” Thinking I knew what love was I answered, quite sure of myself: “I know what love is God; love is a feeling.” In response to my answer, the gentle voice of God said, “wrong”. So I paused, lowered my head and asked “What is it then?” God said, “Love is a choice.”
At that moment the Holy Spirit quietly opened my heart and my mind to understand that I needed to rethink all my choices. I slowly began to understand that I was not living in the Spirit of God; I was living a carnal, selfish existence focused on my own needs. I also realized I was far too focused on feelings and quite insufficiently focused on considering God’s will and God’s way. At the time I didn’t even own a Bible, so I decided I best start learning about what Jesus expected of me, so that in the event He wanted to ask me another question I might actually know the right answer.
Are you listening to the Holy Spirit of God as you make choices in your life or are you listening to how you feel? If God were to measure your love, like we measure someone’s temperature, would your love be HOT, LUKEWARM OR COLD?
I know now from studying the Scriptures that God hates “lukewarm” souls: “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:16-17
Being wealthy and comfortable can indeed make us blind to our need for God’s love and wisdom. Let us humble ourselves today to pray for God’s guidance to help us to see how we can give Him glory and help Him in His plan to save all souls.
I invite you to join the global Christian prayer movement that stops daily at 3pm (in our local time zones) to pray for the mercy of Our Lord Jesus upon all people. Three o’clock in the afternoon is the time Jesus died on the Cross for us. Stop at this time (if but for a few moments) and remember Our Saviour Jesus dying in agony to create a place for you in Paradise. Jesus endured so much to purify us and save us, shouldn’t the time of His death be memorialized with a united Christian movement of prayer? Think about how Jesus will smile on us for coming to Him as a united Body of Christ, Christians of all denominations, united in His love, asking for His forgiveness, for His grace, for His mercy upon all souls, especially those committing the most terrible acts of violence.
Learn more here: https://passionofchrist.ca/the-hour-of-mercy/