On Being a Blessing to Believers

Psalms 69:6   (NLT)   Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel.

The way we live as believers affects our spiritual family. We cause others to esteem them highly or to look down on them.  Our attitudes, conduct, character, words, principles, and actions go farther and wider, and affect more people than we realize. The last thing we want to do is to give our Lord’s name and our fellow believers a bad rap.

Psalm 69.6 - Be a Blessing to BelieversWhen God calls us to be holy, it is not a figure of speech; He is serious about it; He means business. It is not a suggestion; it is not a joke. Him being holy and perfect is literally true. That’s His basis in calling us to be holy as well. “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 NLT); “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:16)—that’s what God’s Word says. I would say His call for us to be holy is literally true as well. “…work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). That’s a huge implication on us personally, but we realize: it far transcends us.

God doesn’t want us to have even a tinge of wickedness in our hearts. He knows it spreads and it spreads rapidly. It gets bigger; it becomes deadlier; and it destroys more people. We must seriously consider this. We don’t take this lightly. We love God so much; we don’t want to cause others to dishonor Him. We love each other so much; we don’t want to cause others to slander them. We don’t want to cause them any humiliation or harm. We bring light, not darkness; we shine brightly so that God will be glorified. We don’t want to pull our brothers and sisters down to embarrassment; we want to help them soar higher.

We don’t deny our imperfection; we still sin—that’s an obvious fact. But we also don’t tweak God’s Word to accommodate that. This is not a case of either-or; it’s both. Let’s settle that. Now, let’s live in a way that’s a blessing to the Lord and His family.

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Salvation of Our Families

Acts 16:31   (NLT)   They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”

One of the greatest joys we have as believers is the salvation of our entire family or everyone in our household. Although the statement was spoken directly to a specific individual—the Philippian jailer, this is something many of us believers claim for Acts 16.31 - Salvation for Our Familiesourselves. If the Lord did it for him, the Lord can—and we believe will—do it for us and own families as well.

But, is this is a sweeping promise of salvation to all family members of all believers? Experience shows us it doesn’t seem so. Many of us know fellow believers who have family members who passed away as unbelievers. Although, a faithful and direct interpretation of Scriptures, or at least that specific passage would show us that it was a statement made only to one person, it wouldn’t be wrong to believe that for ourselves and our families.

We absolutely desire that everyone in our household be saved. The Scripture’s also explicit about God’s desire for no one to perish but for everyone to come to repentance. To believe this for ourselves is to agree with the will of God. We can let this be our faith statement and stand. To clarify: this does not mean that when one person in the family is saved, everybody in that household is saved automatically based on the merit of one person’s salvation. No; that is not the case; salvation is clearly personal. But it’s an encouragement for our faith to work in agreement with God’s will and our will. Faith matters. We may not fully understand the implications of the Lord’s words, but He told his disciples many times how things will be done according to their faith.

We don’t have control over how our family members respond. But we certainly have control over what we can do. As for us, our faith is: our household will be saved. Praise God!

Cleansed and One

Acts 10:15   (KJV)   15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

We can absolutely trust in God because He is dependable; He doesn’t gravitate between two opposing opinions; He knows exactly what’s true and right; He knows exactly what to do. He doesn’t violate His Words; He always does what He says He will do. He doesn’t acts-10-15-cleansed-and-onebreak His promises; all His promises, in Jesus, are “yes” and “amen.” Our God is immutable; He never changes. What may seem as changes are part of His grand design.

God has absolute, irrevocable, and unchangeable commands; He also has dispensational dealings. Although there are myriad discussions regarding this issue, God’s different dealings with His people throughout history is obvious. There’s definitely a big difference between the age of innocence during the time of our very first parents—Adam and Eve, and our present dispensation of grace.

One of the “revealed-as-needed” truths in God’s plan is the oneness of the Jews and Gentiles. The wall of separation has been torn down through our Lord Jesus Christ. God has created ONE new “man.” All of us in Christ are cleansed, and all are one. Jew and Gentile, man and woman, young and old, rich and poor; democrats, independents, libertarians, green party, republicans, etc.; Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc.—all of us who have placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and have bowed our hearts before Him in surrender—with all our differences—are forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and we belong to one spiritual family.

 

Spheres of Christian Existence

Luke 2:39   (KJV)   39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

We as believers live in variety of spheres: there’s the personal, the familial, the ecclesiastical, and the vocational, professional, or social. The most important is our personal relationship with God. This is our utmost priority. Next responsibility we have is luke-2-39-spheres-of-christian-existenceour family. This doesn’t take precedence over our relationship with God, but we don’t neglect this. The next is our ministry. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God and our family, but we serve our spiritual family and serve in the church. Next is the world around us. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God, etc., but we reach out to them and serve them.

There have been quite a few times when I met different people who were very vocal about their spirituality and their knowledge about the Bible. But when I asked them about their spiritual families (their local churches in particular), they told me that they don’t attend church. I’ve also met people who told me that their family is their church. I remember reaching out to a pastor friend of mine because not only has he stopped living out his calling, he and his entire family even stopped attending church. When I encouraged him to keep “pursuing” his call, he told me that he is pastoring—he’s pastoring his family. I explained to him that yes, we do “pastor” our families—they’re our responsibilities—the familial sphere, but he still had to serve in the context of being a part of the body of Christ. Sad to say, he didn’t change. By the time of this writing, it breaks my heart that his children are still lost.

Different spheres, different responsibilities, proper priorities. God gives us time for all of them. We’re not accountable for what we don’t have. We have twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; we juggle through all our complex schedules and indispensable responsibilities. We don’t neglect any of them. With the right priorities, proper balance, and good time management, we enjoy life to the fullest, yet relaxed and rested. We’re not stressed; we love life; people enjoy our presence; God’s pleased. Thank You Lord for a wonderful life.

Brother’s Keepers

Isaiah 32.2

Isaiah 32:2   (KJV)   2And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.


We are our brothers’ keepers. We watch each other’s back. We protect each other. We have ups and down; it’s good to know we don’t go through them alone. First of all, God’s with us; second, we have each other. When we’re under attack, we come to each other’s defense. When we’re overran by hardships, there’s someone we can go to; when we’re lacking, we help provide for each other; when we’re weak; we’re each other’s strength.  We are God’s hands and feet, eyes and heart for each other.

God’s an extremely gracious Father. He gives us fertile lands; He provides great harvest. He lavishes us not just with material things, but with the more important things such as righteousness, justice, love, joy, peace.  That’s why we’re not afraid. What happens around us doesn’t scare us. God can bless us in the middle of the storm. We can sleep soundly at night. We know He watches over us. We’re confident that we’ll wake up in the morning, and everything will be just fine.

That’s why we don’t hold back from blessing others. We have an inexhaustible resource. No one can steal the songs from our hearts; it’s a song we share with each other. There’s sorrow, sickness, and death out there, but we share the fountains of joy, healing, and full life. We’re not in denial; we’re aware of evil and people who operate in it. People lie about us, accuse us wrongly, while others are indifferent to our plight; they won’t lift a finger to help. At times, we lose valuable possessions, and we look abandoned, void of help. But not so; even the seemingly most unpleasant situations are for our best. Knowing this, we’re not bothered; we’re not bogged down with worry and self-pity. We go out, with songs in our spirits, joy in our hearts, we lock arms with our brothers and sisters, and we march together, facing every day and everything together.