What does it mean to be a Christian?

What does it mean to be a Christian?

Do you have the moxie?

You do not have to be a conspiracy theorist or a paranoid lunatic to see that the world is in the midst of transformation, be it spiritual or political. Fundamentally our world is changing. Politics around the globe are in shambles. Climate and natural disasters have been increasingly evolving and steadily rising. Religious persecution is happening worldwide, and those of us with religious freedoms recognize the beginnings of oppression. Now, I know there have always been “signs of the end times,” and I am not trying to sound like one of those soapbox preachers on the street corner, but I can’t help but think that in these strange times, I am so glad to have Jesus by my side!

Jesus is the only reason that I haven’t lost my sanity. Now, I have to admit I get angry at how we Americans approach Christianity. I can see that we are often missing one of the main points. We often overlook the weight of sin and the hefty price Jesus paid for us to be free from our bondage. We do not fully recognize the significance of what it means to be a Christian. We can go to church once a week and put in our time, and continue living our lives the way we want. 

So what does it mean to be a Christian? Well, the word Christian means little Christ. When you ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life and invite The Holy Spirit to dwell within you, you become a child of God. Your body is now the temple that houses The Holy Spirit. He is there to guide you in the transformation that is about to take place. With the Holy Spirit now leading your life, changes should commence. Our inward faith should be an outward expression. James 2:14 says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

The Holy Spirit will search your heart and life and start pointing out the parts that do not align with His character. We should also be reading the Bible to learn how to live out God’s principles. It is essential to know what the Bible says about sin and repent from the evils in our life. Jesus loves us so much that he died a gruesome, humiliating death to cover our sins and give us eternal life with Him.

A lie has been peddled to many Christians that Jesus is not concerned with our sin, that He wants us to be happy. It mortifies me that people believe this because it completely discounts everything my Lord and Savior did on that cross. Let me assure you, Jesus is far more concerned with your character than your happiness.

If you have decided to accept Jesus into your life, God dwells within you! How amazing is that? So please, find pastors that preach the truth about sin, read your bibles, and know that Jesus loves you where you are, but he loves you too much to leave you there!

Connecting With God

Connecting With God

Overcoming Spiritual Roadblocks.

Do you ever feel like you are having trouble connecting with God? Do you feel like you are doing everything you are supposed to do, but it feels empty? Do you feel like God doesn’t even hear you? Looking back on my journey as a Christian, I can see some roadblocks that occurred that may have stalled my growth. If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have a few things you can try that may help!

  • Be Emotionally Open and Honest with God. Opening up emotionally was so hard for me. I live my life in a safe little bubble. I do not open up to people much, if at all. I carried this habit into my relationship with God at the beginning of my walk with Him. I knew he knew everything about me, so I didn’t feel like I needed to go over the details. I was wrong; He wanted me to. I needed to. Once I surrendered and told him everything I had done, even though He knew, we had a new closeness. He had become a confidant, a friend, my Jesus. Though Jesus knows everything we have ever done and paid the price for it, he wants you to share it with Him so he can heal you. You have got to confess your sin. You can’t brush it under the rug and ignore it. It will just sit there and keep resurfacing. Once you confess your sins to Jesus, He can heal you and help you clean it out so it won’t come back!
  • Rethink Prayer. Prayer can be tough to master, especially if you are new in your faith. Growing up, I attended Catholic mass occasionally. Catholic prayer, for me, was mechanical and repetitive. Going from that to a Christian church was such a contrast. Prayer in the Christian church scared me. It was loud and emotional. They used churchy words, and some even flailed their arms around. I was so confused about how I should pray because I didn’t feel like my prayers were spiritual enough. I had to flip the word in my head from prayer to conversation. Whatever your background is with prayer, Jesus wants to hear from us. Jesus doesn’t care if you are saying repetitive chants or using spiritual churchy words. He only wants us to talk to Him. If you use those words, cool, but if you don’t, that is cool too. Tell Him what makes you sad, the bible says he grieves with us. Tell Him what makes you happy, the bible says he rejoices with us. Tell Him what’s stressing you out, the bible says to give him your worries, and he will provide you with peace. Talk to Him about your day, your decisions, everything, just talk to Him!
  • Don’t Compartmentalize Jesus. It can be so easy to keep Jesus secluded to your bible study or prayer time, but he’s with you all the time. Try talking to Him throughout the day. Let Him infiltrate your whole life. Find ways to remind your self He is there. I heard Pastor Greg Laurie talking about how he uses his Apple Watch Breathe reminders to remember Jesus throughout the day. I loved this idea, and now every time my watch tells me to breathe, I take a minute and say thank you for something I am grateful for at that moment. I don’t always have time to do the full minute of the breathing exercise, but it is still a reminder that He is there with me at that moment, and I always send up a quick thank you!

These are just a few things I would recommend trying out if you are having some connection issues in your walk with Jesus. Keep in mind that the relationship you are building with Jesus is unique, so do not compare yours with anyone else’s. Give yourself some grace and keep trying, if you are genuinely trying to cultivate a relationship with Him, know that He is ready and excited to guide you through your roadblocks right into His loving arms!