Stover: Being a Christian is a tough challenge

Published 9:39 pm Saturday, October 21, 2017

By Larry Stover | Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries.

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is a real challenge today. Most Christians I know put little energy into their relationship with the Lord. As a believer, I must realize that many people are looking at me while sizing up my Christianity.

It’s more than my family. My church people are watching. People in Valley Grande are observing my life every day. Wherever we go, people are watching to see if we meet their expectations for being a Christian.
As I think about that responsibility, I realize just how important it is to have a relationship with God that is a continual reflection of Jesus Christ and his values. As the old saying goes, “I may be the only Jesus that someone ever sees.”

Let’s take a quiz together.  Has Jesus Christ made a significant change in your life since you accepted him as your personal Savior? Are you allowing the Bible to mold your dreams and future plans? Is the Holy Spirit the enabler and facilitator of your daily life? As you look to the future are you confident that God will guide you every step of the way? Answering these questions is as important as the air you breathe. Being a biblical Christian has to be the ultimate passion of your life. If you try to be what the Bible calls you to be on your own, you are in for a big letdown and ultimate failure. The Christian life has always been about being led by the Holy Spirit.

As people around you are watching your life, you must live every day with a Christian worldview.  That involves first of all, an understanding that God is sovereign. That means that the “Ten Commandments” are not “multiple choice” or “true or false.” They are the very foundation of a relationship between us and God as well as the foundation of our relationship with other people.

This Christian worldview included a biblical understanding of God’s moral order as well as his concept of ethical correctness. That means that we do not define morality or issues relating to “right or wrong.” The Bible has firmly established those boundaries and it is our job as a follower of Jesus Christ to pay attention to what he has to say.

The greatest joy of this view is that Jesus Christ died for my sins and in doing so set the foundation for hope and eternity in heaven. Because Christ died for my sins, I am a new creation who has been set free to enjoy all the benefits of a personal relationship with him. The world is trying very hard to dismantle our understanding of the principles of God’s word.

Your families are watching you every day to see if this “Christian Faith” is real or just another option in our pluralistic society. Don’t compromise your convictions. Don’t just tell your kids about being a Christian; show them how to do it. It will be the most important lesson you ever teach them.

We are a battle ground for good and evil. Our kids and co-workers are watching us closely. Are they seeing Jesus Christ in everything you do? Are we showing them how to be a Christian?

There seems to be such a falling away in churches across America. People, young and old, have become so disillusioned by the traditional church.  Attendance is falling off in every sector.

Satan is winning the values war. Guard your heart and mind. Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden began long before she took the first bite. Christians can’t keep flirting with sin and disobedience and expect God to bless their unfaithfulness.  It doesn’t work that way.

All choices have consequences. Regardless of what society tells us, bad choices can destroy us and cause us to lose our spiritual integrity. Everyone needs to count the cost of the consequences of every choice made.
Our families and friends need to see real Christian values in us today.

Let’s line things up with God’s standards and reflect His image as we serve Jesus Christ. Show your kids how to be a real Christian.

The more that you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you the more your life will become “Simply Beautiful.”