There are many influences in this world. Many things that we could be fearful of taking the hearts of our kids, because they are tempting indeed. But, if we want our boys, our children, to grow up and be good men and good people, then the foundation we build under them has to be Christ Himself...which is far greater then anything in this world. "Greater is He that is in me, then he that is in the world"!
We teach them to be like Christ. To model their lives after Him. We teach them that we live in a fallen world and that Christ is our focus and example on how to live our Christian lives in this world…and anything or anyone that even unwittingly tries to get our focus off of Christ and points us in another direction, is also of the world. In our walk, Jesus is our destination and all is made clear in Him.
We need to teach them that we are not to try and leave the world, but to continually grow to become more like Christ and be a light to it. This ability happens within a close relationship with God. Each step taken in faith, prayer and time spent with Him...as any open and honest relationship takes both to make it happen. Then in this relationship, they grow closer together and things happen that can only come from an ever growing intimate relationship with the Lord. In this union, our hearts become opened to the power and love that we have to have in order to fulfill His commandment to love God and our neighbor in the way that He intended.
Some people are trying to deal with the world the world's way. But then a person’s heart gets hardened when they've put their eyes on the world and what it is doing, instead of on Christ. The world numbs the feelings, and a mind turned that way brings little profit…as it speaks about in the following verses. Eph. 4:11-32~
11Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
17 This I say, then, and give witness in the Lord, that you are to go no longer in the way of the Gentiles whose minds are turned to that which has no profit, 18 Whose thoughts are dark, to whom the life of God is strange because they are without knowledge, and their hearts have been made hard; 19 Who having no more power of feeling, have given themselves up to evil passions, to do all unclean things with overmuch desire ((Unclean living is not always just referring to sexual sin, as you’ll see))
. 20 For this was not the teaching of Christ which was given to you; 21 If in fact you gave ear to him, and were given teaching in him, even as what is true is made clear in Jesus 22 That you are to put away, in relation to your earlier way of life, the old man, which has become evil by love of deceit; 23 And be made new in the spirit of your mind, 24 And put on the new man, to which God has given life, in righteousness and a true and holy way of living.
25 And so, putting away false words, let everyone say what is true to his neighbor: for we are parts one of another. 26 Be angry without doing wrong; let not the sun go down on your wrath; 27 And do not give way to the Evil One. 28 Let him who was a thief be so no longer, but let him do good work with his hands, so that he may have something to give to him who is in need. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for giving necessary teaching, and for grace to those who give ear. 30 And do not give grief to the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were marked for the day of salvation. 31 Let all bitter, sharp and angry feeling, and noise, and evil words, be put away from you, with all unkind acts; 32 And be kind to one another, full of pity, having forgiveness for one another, even as God in Christ had forgiveness for you.
It is time for Christians to behave like Christ. Not my idea or your idea of Christianity,...but Jesus' idea. To exemplify Him in everything...even how we handle ourselves during an election, or at any other difficult time.
No one person can get a President in, only God does this. So, we may think our primary job is to work hard to get a candidate in...and by any means...but, our first job is to make sure our heart and attitudes are right before God before we do anything. Then, we should also remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
God won't wink at excuses....excuses because we want the other guy in, or we want him out. Are we hating, slandering, and angry? These are of the flesh, and also shows what’s in our hearts...because what comes out of our mouth, is coming out of our heart.
Also, God hates all sin....not one over another. Gossip is one of the 7 abominations (Prov.6), yet these are overlooked continually in most churches. This is why Christ came. He came for all, and He is not a respecter of persons. So joining a movement to pick on one group over another is acting as though they are sinning more then *you*...which is also of the flesh. As this is exactly along the same line as what the Pharisee in scripture did, who pointed at another and said, “Thank God I am not a sinner like him!“…verses the man who beat his chest and pleaded with God to have mercy on him, a sinner.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don't cheat, I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery. I'm certainly not like that tax collector!
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
So, do you have the attitude of the Pharisee? God said that if you are picking at 'specific' others, and pointing out their sins publicly, then you are not of God. There is no other reason to do this other then you think that you have been less of sinner than someone else. > This should NOT be the practice of Christians and churches!! This ought not be what Christians are known for!!
St. Paul as He followed Christ, did not do anything to get in the way of sinners being saved...nothing! As explained in 1 Corinthians Chapters 9-11. Paul was wonderfully clear at explaining how he ministered....so, we follow Paul's example, as He followed Christ’s. (11:1)
Being a lover of gay marriage, or being a lover of freedom - there is a big difference! The more we fight against other’s (non-violent) freedoms, the more we put our own at peril! This is supposed to be a free country where we are free to live out our (non-violent) beliefs...or are only certain people allotted freedom because they conform to those groups who are bigger in size or have more power? So then, if that is the case, the bullies and their religion wins....but Christ never sided with the bullies or religion.
((Religion being; a system of specific rules and practices adhered to by its followers. Bully being: someone who hurts or coerces others to get what they want)).
So, this means that our country DOES give preference to certain beliefs, and then bullies others who don't conform!? Yikes!
Also, I do not believe a lot of people in this country are truly against being pro-life. What they are against however is: essentially strapping-women-down and making them do something against their own will…and, the imprisonment of young women and girls (as many in this situation are) because doing either in many women's mind, is going backwards to the ways of the crusades. So, if we are going to make laws against abortion, then we have to consider the people that will be imprisoned...and therefore go about this differently.
Moreover, we Christians need to learn to be servants and get our hands a little dirty. Reach out to these young women, and not only save their babies, but also bring them to the One who can save their souls! This is a perfect opportunity to show Christ to a very hurting segment of society. Although, I guess human nature would want us to take short cuts, and make laws against the things we are against...so, we don't have to think about 'it' anymore.
We also MUST not put the cart before the horse. We cannot expect sinners to stop their sinning and make them live like Christians until they have Christ inside their lives. Then God changes them, by working in their hearts...which is somewhere only God has access to. SO, trying to get sinners to stop being sinners before they give their lives to Christ is not biblical, and it‘s ludicrous to boot! Our job is to be a light, draw people to Christ, then He will change them. We are not in a club trying to recruit members!
Yes, our light...which is living with an attitude of love and allowing for the power of the Holy Spirit...naturally convicts and tempers the sin around us...that is, if we don't put a bushel over our light and the attitudes of our flesh are staying out of the way! But, it is still God that changes and saves from the inside out.