The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Christian Living

“In baptism, new Christians become part of a body of fellow believers who are called to spiritually encourage one another and hold one another responsible for consistent Christian living.” - Tony Campolo

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

Spirit: “those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a person, nation, or group or in the thought and attitudes of a particular period” - New Oxford American Dictionary

What does it mean to be a Christian? Does it mean going to church a certain percentage of the weekends? Does it mean putting a sticker on your bumper or back window? Does it mean telling everyone who can possibly hear, about your beliefs? Maybe. Sometimes. Possibly. How often have we heard how much this country and world is declining, because faith isn’t expressed the way it was 50 or 60 years ago. And if we went back 60 years we’d hear the same thing I’m sure. And the same again 50 years before that. When did Christianity peek in our world? Was it during the inquisition? Slavery? Maybe it was 60 years ago, when segregation was normal in the most “Christian” part of the United States. “By their fruits you will recognize them.” (see Matthew 7:15-20) Jesus said that talking about false prophets. You think we have any false Christians around? Of course we do. We have to be careful not to mix up labels and morals. For many, sadly, Christian is just another team to be on and root for. Like the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, or Democrats and Republicans. Many of us were born, raised, and bleed Christian, and that’s that. Never mind the living out and acting like Christ and the Gospel part. Jesus also said this, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” - John 3:5 No one is, or has ever been born a Christian. At some point all Christians must accept the Holy Spirit into their lives. At some point we must all be changed, from the inside out. That change will be noticed. It will change the way we live, view the world, and think about others. That change comes with fruit. That fruit can be recognized. It’s the fruit of the spirit and it manifests itself in what we do. Maybe we could be more Christian as a world and nation. Maybe we have declined in our faith and our knowledge of God and Jesus. But let’s not look back as if at some point in history Christianity had been perfected or that the world was better. Maybe it was. I don’t know. However, the point is moot. Because we live in a world that is always ripe for ministry. We live with people who need the Gospel. We are neighbors with people who could use Jesus. They’re not on a different team to compete with. They’re our neighbors and Jesus said to “Love [our] neighbors as ourselves.” (see Mark 12:31) It’s not about how often we go to church, or how forcefully we proclaim our so called faith. It’s about how much we love. How much we actually love Jesus. How much we share love with others. How much love we have for those in need. I would never accuse someone who claims to be Christian of not being one in actuality. But we could all use a good look in the mirror, asking ourselves if we are living like a follower of Christ. Because… Are we?

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,

Jake

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