Are you questioning if Christianity in America is on the decline? Maybe you’ve witnessed family and friends gradually reduce their attendance to church services and events? Or perhaps, you are the one “declining” by sleeping in one or two Sundays each month because you didn’t feel like getting out of bed? (Just too tired to worship, aye?)
May I remind you–You Are Loved–and God misses your exact presence in His house! He misses your beautiful smile. He misses your heart. He misses you singing worship songs off key! God misses every thought, word and deed that you aren’t sharing with Him when you remove yourself from His presence.
God created you to have a relationship with Him and He truly misses it when you stop calling His name.
We all go by different names. Many people know me as Debra, though I am also known as Debbie, Mrs. Pedrow, Mom, Aunt Debra, and D. Just like you, I also have names that not only identify my person, they describe what I do and who I am.
I was born a daughter, sister, granddaughter and niece at the moment of my birth. I soon became a cousin, neighbor, friend, student, Girl Scout, Rainbow Girl, Christian, Color Guard, babysitter, artist, employee, wife, mother, Girl Scout mother, volunteer, writer, mother-in-law, and much more.
Each “name” offers clues to who I am and the direction of my heart. And God’s names, all found in the Bible, also offer insight to the reader as to what His true being and character are.
Stop feeling guilty! Jesus offered himself as the true sacrifice for our sin. Stop rejecting Him! Jesus willingly died for all of mankind. Jesus knew my name as He hung on The Cross—and He knew your name too! He willfully endured punishment we deserve, in order to save us from the sufferi.n
Sin, like breaking the law, can not go unpunished. Penalties are required for transgressions. But God, in His loving nature, chose not to have mankind pay for our own sin. He mercifully planed to send His own son to pay the price for our wrongdoing.
The February 26 vote is in for the Methodist church. This particular vote was on whether or not to ordain gays and lesbians in relationships, allow clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages and hold such ceremonies in a church— all practices which have been noted as not following biblical views. A New York Times article describes the vote as:
After three days of intense debate at a conference in St. Louis, the vote by church officials and lay members from around the world doubled down on current church policy, which states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The vote served as a rejection of a push by progressive members and leaders to open the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
I agree that there was much debate, as it was stated in other articles. And yes, the Bible is direct that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” However, I do not see the Methodist vote as closing the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. From the beginning regarding marriage, the Bible has always stated truth:
Last week my post—When did “a cross” become “The Cross”?, revealed the true message of The Cross. “Through Jesus’ resurrection—He once was dead then came to life three days later—a cross turned into The Cross!”
“Literally, a crossis itself not power. But, The Cross, the means by which Jesus sacrificed Himself to death and now symbolizes eternal life for Christians-that, dear believers, holds power. It is truth we Christians need to remember daily.”
It was on The Cross that Jesus shared His final words. Often, people are intrigued to know the dying words of someone about to take their last breath. In fact books have been written on this very topic. Famous last words of five well known men include:
*I’m excited that I’ve recently partnered with Holyart and they are sponsoring today’s post. Thank you, Holyart!*
To understand the significance of The Cross, one must first imagine the horrific scene on Calvary hill. It was immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus hung, His earthly body nailed to a cross.
In those days, a cross was a means by which convicted criminals were put to death. Crucifixion was perfected by the Roman empire as a manner of execution; the convicted were humiliatingly stripped bare then nailed to a cross hung outside the city walls for all to gawk at as one died.
Jesus, the most innocent man in all the world, was found guilty of crime and sentenced to death on a cross.
There is no shortage of news headlines endlessly announcing attacks made against anything Christian. The hate is very outspoken — there seems to be no filter applied.
No matter if you are Vice President of the United States (Mike Pence) or his wife who teaches at a Christian school (Karen Pence); are Christian young people attending a pro-life rally (Covington Catholic H.S.) or a simple baker trying to run your personal business according to God’s Word (Jack Phillips) — verbal and written abuse against Christians continues.
So. . .what does God say we are to do in all circumstances?