CHRISTIAN BY NAME ONLY

Heart versus Mind...

A few days ago I made a Facebook post that stunned me enough to reflect on the quality and nature of my so called “Christian Life”. So, as promised, I am following up with additional food for thought.

The FB Post on May 25th goes like this: “Tonight I realized that when you believe in your MIND and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you become a Christian by name only. This was stunning to me, because of my revelation of Romans 8:9-11…

To begin, let’s reflect upon Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

Based on my FB post and the contrast of Roman’s 10 one could conclude that knowing about Jesus in your mind is different than knowing Him in your heart.

I know about a lot of things, but have not made some of these thoughts core to living my life. For example, I know about the value of eating healthy foods, but have not embraced the entire message with my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am not out of control with my eating habits, but neither have I implemented all that I learned about.

If I actually believed in my heart all that I have learned about nutrition and health, there would be evidence of it in my life. There would be a demonstrated commitment to a heart-felt belief. Hence, I am “health-conscious” by name only.

In other words, my thoughts about health and nutrition cause me to be aware, but not committed from a heart-belief that is actually transformational in nature producing evidence of my belief through reaching a healthy weight.

Now let’s look at the revelatory nature of Romans 8:9-11 (GNT)
But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

10 But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin.

11 If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.

You see, the “if, in fact” statement is really important when it comes to discerning the difference between “knowing about” and actually “knowing”.

If, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you, there is evidence by His fruit being seen in your everyday life, especially the difficult circumstances.

In taking an honest assessment of the results in my life that give evidence of “knowing God” through a heart-felt belief, I see changes in my life. But I also realize that in some areas I am “Christian by name only” because there is no fruit… It seems important not to share personal examples right now, because I need to process this post further myself.

In summary, I see two possibilities for “Christian by name only” that concern me…

  1. The individual that has actually experienced Romans 10:9-10 shows evidence there of, but also areas in their lives that show head knowledge only.
  2. Individuals that have inherited the label, Christian, because of growing up in a “Christian home” or by being born in a “Christian nation”.

Option #1 there is hope for positive growth that produces fruit for everyone to see.
Option#2 is a form of deception that gives an individual a false sense of security about their life…

Makes you think, doesn’t it…

Not sure, but I believe my next post will delve into this topic even further…

Let me know your thoughts and questions when you get a minute!

 

MIRRORS AND IMAGINATION

What do you see...

What do you see when you look in the mirror each new day? What do you see on the screen of your mind when you consider your value, your identity and sense of life purpose?

Reflection is a valuable action step to take in each new situation of your day. Why, because   your decisions are abased on “how you see and hear things”, not necessarily reality or facts.

For example, my day is all planned out, but the schedule is tight. I am driving to my first appointment and notice a traffic jam on the road ahead. My natural eyes can see stopped vehicles, but I don’t know why. Depending on what I believe about myself, life and traffic jams, I will create scenarios on the screen of my mind that will cause either a positive or negative experience.

What I “see” creates scenarios not necessarily facts. 

Another example looks like this… I determined to become a life coach, so I researched different schools and training institutes and even downloaded applications. Life responsibilities started to grab for my attention so I walk away from my research.

With so much going on, I looked at the possibility of becoming a life coach, but did not look at the reality of becoming one. Kind of reminds of a passage in James chapter one is from the Message Bible.

22-24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatter-brain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. 

Seeing and listening are one in the same. Both create scenarios… 

With these thoughts in mind, why not take some time through each day over the couple of weeks to learn more about what you see and hear so that you can be honest about the scenarios you are creating? Perhaps you can create some new and positive outcomes, by noticing what you are creating!

Have a great week!, Rob

 

FAITH HAS EYES

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

Read through Hebrews 11 from the New Living Translation to see how FAITH HAS EYES. 

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[b] that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

WHAT ARE THE EYES OF YOUR HEART LOOKING FOR TODAY… 

Hebrews 1:1-3 (NLT)

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Testimonies are awesome, so please share you faith stories when you get a minute!

Have a great day!

UNDISCIPLINED THINKING…

PRODUCES NEGATIVE OUTCOMES

Undisciplined patterns of thought steals your time, your energy and blocks your innate, creative problem-solving ability.

Today, I want to offer you an opportunity to change your life, by identifying and then changing your defeating habits of thought that produce unnecessary pain and heartache in your life.

Let me be right up front with you, I am not offering you an easy answer, but one that works! I will show you that positive change is possible when you add perseverance to your faith!

So, why do we keep thinking the worst about specific challenges in our lives? Because the invisible nature of undisciplined thinking is in the way!

Think about the possibility that you may have programmed your brain for survival or just to getting by, rather than overcoming and success?

  • Remember, your brain must produce what it programmed to produce.
  • It can’t go beyond the patterns of thought you have given it power to produce.

If you have given your brain the power to produce something negative, then you can give it the power to think something positive… right?

I know it can feel impossible, but feelings will change as you purpose to activate discipline and perseverance that leads towards the change you really want.

Right now your brain feels like the change you want is not possible because it believes what you programmed it to believe. Let’s keep in mind the principle; since you can train your brain to think negative, you can train it to think positive!

You have to intentionally change your programming through repetition and emotional involvement if you want to experience the change that you determine to be important, worth fighting for… 

  1. Affirming statements will help you change your thoughts, but are not enough. Make them but purpose to implement each step.
    • I can do this
    • I have what it takes
    • With God all things are possible
  2. Set exciting achievable goals based on your desired outcomes.
    • Ask yourself, “Why is this goal important?
    • What is at risk by realizing this goal?”
  3. Watch for the obstacles because you will feel resistance form the familiar!
    • Your excuses have been there for a long time.
    • People close to you may have reasons for the same problem and will offer them to you.
    • Media is often suggesting the way you should be…
  4. Focus on the new behavior or outcome that you really want.
    • Remember you have been focused on what you don’t want for a long time and you keep getting what you don’t want!
      • I can’t go one step further!
      • It didn’t work before!
    • I will feel so much better!
    • I will look like!
    • I will be able to…!
  5. Invite Holy Spirit to help you, when your will-power wants gives out! Better yet, ask Him to help you at the very beginning of the change you desire!

No one else will believe in you like you have to power to do. However, having a coach to help you to learn to persevere is really helpful!

Write down your desired change! Review this post often! You can do this, because you have what it takes!

Sincerely,
Rob

PS, post your testimony of positive change in your life!