Blue, Are they a Christian Here or There? – Checking the Clues 5 - Purity 540
Purity 540 10/02/2021 Purity 540 Podcast
Today’s photo looking out at Maria Island from the vantage point of Raspins, Beach comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography who captured this stunning view on the first day of their recent vacation in Tasmania. In his comments Dave questioned whether or not he was able to truly capture how amazing the view was, but he encouraged his friends to go and visit Tasmania to check it out for themselves.
Dave’s encouragement to his friends to go see the sights in Tasmania points to the fact that “seeing is believing”, that to truly understand or “know” something, we have to experience it firsthand.
In the Bible, when Jesus noticed two of John the Baptist’s disciples following Him, He asked them, “What do you seek?”. When they replied them wanted to know where He was staying, Jesus invited them to “Come and See.” Knowing that these curious disciples wanted to know more than just what His accommodations were like, Christ’s response challenged them to commit themselves to follow Him. The disciples accepted Christ’s invitation and thus started the journey that would result in their selection as Apostles and the worldwide spread of Christianity. In order to know the Truth of God’s Word and the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we all must choose to follow after Christ and “come and see” it for ourselves. We can’t live vicariously through someone else’s faith in Christ, we must make Him our Lord and Savior and choose to follow Him by ourselves.
Well it’s Monday and as I chose to contemplate what “clue” of the Christian faith we should investigate this morning, Blue, the precocious star of children’s television now living in my imagination, introduced me to a friend that was going to lead us into a whole new line of inquiry. The friend is a funny little man with a red hat that who introduced himself as “Sam.” Maybe because Blue clued him in that my hearing isn’t the greatest, he repeated his introduction by saying: “Sam I am”.
Sam’s first question was simple but when I considered it in terms of the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith, it proved to be quite profound and probing. In considering someone’s Christian faith, Sam invited us to consider the person and ask ourselves:
Are they a Christian, here or there?
While the full scope of this question will be considered in the days ahead, Blue indicated that we should examine it in just the context of where we found ourselves this Monday morning.
Yesterday being Sunday as the “Lord’s Day” was the day where Christians all over the world traditionally gather for corporate worship. Today being Monday, most people generally go back to their “normal routines” or home life.
So with the question of “here or there”, Blue and I decided just to look at it from the perspective of the transition of these two days., Sunday and Monday, and two places, “church” as a generic term for the place of worship or corporate gathering, and “home” as a general term for life outside of that corporate gathering place.
As a reminder, our investigation into the authenticity of someone’s Christian faith is motivated by selecting a Christian life partner and choosing someone to spend our lives with who isn’t a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
So the question today is: Is the person we are interested in a “Christian” just on Sunday and just at church? Or are they a Christian both “here or there”?
Now while everybody tends to display more attributes of their Christianity on Sunday and at “church”, consider how dramatic a difference there is in your potential mate’s “Christianity” on the days of worship versus the other days of the week as well as between their attitudes and behaviors “in the church building” and in the comforts in their home.
Would you know that your potential mate is a Christian if it wasn’t Sunday?
Would you know that they were a Christian if they didn’t “go to church?”
The more dramatic a shift from the sacred to the secular the more likely the possibility that the person you are interested in has “little faith”, or quite possibly “no faith” as they could just be “going through the motions” of “religion” and have not established a relationship with God by making Jesus their Lord and Savior.
Now while we could go on and on with our speculations about a person who seems to shift from the sacred to the secular with a jarring rapidity that could give us whiplash, instead of looking at “our neighbor” and potential mate’s questionable faith, it might be a good idea to ask ourselves what we are looking for in a “Christian” mate or what we are willing to settle for.
As someone who knows the benefits of a Christian disciple’s lifestyle and encourages people to live by faith and follow the Lord by “living in the Spirit”, I know that there is a wide range of faith levels within the body of Christ, from those with little or immature faith to those with “great” or mature faith.
So what do you want?
Do you want someone who just goes through the motions or will just “go with you to church” or do you want something more?
Our Lord and our imaginary friends, Blue and “Sam I am”, really have a way of making us think! Our investigation of someone’s Christian authenticity makes us not only question what we are seeing in their faith lives, it also requires us to know who we are in Christ and to know what we are looking for.
If we are truly following the Lord Jesus to “come and see” what He has for our lives, we have to make sure our own shifts from the “sacred to the secular” aren’t so dramatic. We can’t rightly judge and expect others to have a faith level that we haven’t experienced ourselves. Otherwise, they would have the right to question why they should be with us!
The “clue” of what someone’s faith is like “here or there” is a good one. If we want a “real Christian” as a life partner, we will want to find someone who wasn’t as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from Sunday to Monday, or from “in church” and “out of church”, because if someone really is a disciple of Christ they will seek to follow Him all the days of their lives and in all sorts of environments. Authentic Christians would seek to represent the kingdom of God every day and every where they go.
But we must also examine ourselves and decide if we are for “real” and make decisions on how much faith is “too little faith” for the person that we will spend the rest of our lives with.
So keep walking and talking with God. Know who you are in Christ and what you want in a Christian life partner. Relationships can be a lot of work in and of themselves and having “enough faith for two” was never a burden the Lord wants to put on us. So use the eyes, ears, and mind that the Lord gave you to examine the attitudes and behaviors of those you are interested in to discern what their faith level seems to be and make an informed decision when choosing the one who will walk with you from here to eternity.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Today’s verse indicates that Christians have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in their bodies and that their bodies are to be used for His glory.
If we are to consider today’s verse seriously, we will be convinced that the Holy Spirit is in us and that we are to care for our bodies and surrender our bodies to the Lord’s purposes.
So should we get tattoos or piercings? Should we have abortions? Should we overeat?
Are any of these things going to give God glory? Or are these things examples of ways that we decide that we don’t agree with today’s verse and will choose things that may not be according to God’s perfect will for our lives.
The first step of Christian Discipleship is to choose to believe that God’s Word is true. The second step is to live by it.
I am pressed for time today so I will let the listener to consider those questions and ask themselves: Is my body the temple of the Holy Spirit? How should I treat it? What would God want me to do with it in these areas.
In this word we have free will and liberty in Christ, but as Christians we should consider what we do according to the fact that our bodies are not our own and that God has written His word to guide us in our decisions regarding them.
So use your body for the Lord’s glory and choose the best course for your decisions with the Lord’s wisdom in mind.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s The Blended Family’s God’s Recipe for Success.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
IV. Steps to Solution
Let's face it, some of us will never make the perfect chocolate souffle... no matter how hard we try. But that doesn't mean we can't produce something wonderfully good! Does it really matter if the coconut cake slopes ever so slightly or the peach ice cream never sets up very hard? The important thing is to keep on trying when you feel like giving up. Stick close to God's recipe for loving others, and He will bless your efforts.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)
A. Key Verse to Memorize
"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." (Romans 14:19)
B. Key Passage to Read and Reread
- Know that you are chosen by God.... v. 12
- Realize that you are loved by God.... v. 12
- Reflect the character of Christ (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience).... v. 12
- Lift up and support each other.... v. 13
- Forgive those who offend you.... v. 13
- Act in love.... v. 14
- Know that love builds unity.... v. 14
- Live in peace with one another.... v. 15
- Have a thankful heart.... v. 15
"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (Colossians 3:12-15)
C. Remarriage Readiness Test
- Do you understand why you married your first partner?
- Have you recognized and confessed your part in the broken marriage?
- Was there an honest attempt to work through the relational problems in your first marriage?
- Have you learned to be content as a single?
- Have you developed a healthy identity as a single or a single parent?
- Are you capable of being responsible with your finances?
- Have you determined why you desire to remarry?
- Do your children have a healthy, well-working plan of visitation with their other parent?
- Have you considered and consulted your children regarding their feelings about your remarriage?
- Have you given up the unrealistic dream of an "ideal family"?
- Have you committed to remarriage only with someone who has a personal commitment to Jesus Christ?
- Have you made the issue of remarriage a matter of prayer, and are you seeking God's will for your life?
"Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools." (Proverbs 16:22)
Biblical Counseling Keys: The Blended Family: God's Recipe for Success.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship