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Moving Forward

January 1, 2011

I have a challenge for you: hop on your bike and try to keep your balance…without pedaling.  Just stay stationary, pick up your feet, and see how long you can keep your balance.  Not too easy, is it?  Yet when you start pedaling and moving forward, keeping your balance becomes as easy as, well, you know…

Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving.”  How true. Although conventional wisdom would seem to say that staying put and focusing on the task at hand is the best way to achieve success, sometimes the opposite is true.  Sometimes you just have to get going, keep your eyes on the prize, and watch the pieces fall into place.

I’m sure you’ve heard phrases like “the Christian walk”, “walking with God”, etc.  There’s a reason that the Christian life is compared to “walking with God” and not “chilling on the couch with God.”  God loves you too much to leave you the way you are.  He has big things in store for you, but in order for you to achieve them, you have to get going.

How would you currently categorize your Christian life?  Were you recently saved, or have you been a Christian for a long time?  Is your Bible a little dusty, or do you have a daily devotional time?  Do you hide your beliefs, or do you wear the Cross proudly on your sleeve?  Regardless of where you currently are, I challenge you to make 2011 a year of moving forward in your walk with God.  Set some goals to achieve in your relationship with God and others this year. Here are some of mine:

1. Read the Bible in 2 years

This can be done by reading about 11.5 chapters per week.  Great spiritual discipline.

2. Verse memorization

Committing verses to memory can be extremely rewarding and helpful in times of sorrow, stress, depression, anger, temptation, etc.  I have a list of 124 verses that I would like to memorize in 2 years time, about 1 per week.  (Remember Charlie’s List?)

3. Regular fasting as God directs

Taking a break from the preparation, consumption, and eating of food, from tv, from shopping, etc. and instead using that time to draw closer to God in His Word and in prayer is extremely beneficial.  Remember, Jesus gave us instructions for when we fast, not if we fast (Matthew 6:16).

4. Share the Gospel with at least 3 friends from school before graduation

“How many times have we watched it slip by?  The opportunity passes and we wonder why…”  I can recall all too many opportunities that I watched slip by.  Before I graduate West Virginia University, I vow to let God direct me to share the gift of eternal life with at least 3 friends that I have made during my time there.

Wherever you are with God, make a short list of spiritual challenges that can draw you closer to Him.  And then get going.

Ashamed of the Name

December 12, 2010

Acts 11:26 tells us that the followers of Christ in Antioch were the first to be called Christians.  Note that they did not choose this title for themselves, but “they were called Christians.”  It was a derogatory term given to them: Oh, you’re one of those Christians, aren’t you?

Apparently, after a while they said to themselves, “You know what?  Yeah, I am a Christian.  What of it?”  They were proud to bear the name of a follower of Christ, and now there are millions of Christians worldwide.

Yet many Christians today choose to hide their faith.  They’d much rather blend in with the crowd than stand out as being different, fearing that they’d give the world a foothold to criticize them for their beliefs.

But the believers in Antioch were so proud of their faith in Christ that they readily identified with His Name, despite the fact that they were being mocked with it.

Are you proud of Christ?  Or are you ashamed of the Name?

Mark 8:38 – For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man will also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.