Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. This happens when we don’t immerse ourselves in the Bible daily. What does a true follower of Jesus look like? Let’s dig in…
In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote:
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.” 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NLT
Here are 4 myths or misconceptions of the Christian life:
Myth 1: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life
Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I am transformed.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT
Just like jars of clay, we are vulnerable, breakable, but we hold invaluable messages. Any power that we have is from God not from ourselves.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
I have to remind myself of this every single day! I have to put my trust in God and in NOTHING of this earth! You, too, can trust God — you’ve seen Him work in your life so you believe and speak accordingly. The same God who raised Jesus, will raise and hold you up, too!
We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.
Myth 2: Once I’m saved, I can do what I want and play it safe
Reality: I need to die to myself and be a witness for Christ
We carry the death of Jesus in us so His life may be revealed in us, as we die to ourselves.
Paul faced a lot of hazards on a very regular basis: threatened, hardships, beaten, people trying to ruin his ministry, etc. But he had given up his life for the sake of Christ. The death and life of Jesus are present with us all the time. Death through baptism, and life by the Spirit living in us.
3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.Romans 6:3-11 NLT
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20 NLT
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”Matthew 16:24 NLT
Myth 3: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is pleased with me.
Reality: God’s power sustains me through hardship and distress and as I endure, I become more like Jesus.
We will all face trouble to some degree. Hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. Our light and momentary troubles strengthen us.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:3-5 NLT
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.James 1:2-4, 12 NLT
The future glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).
Myth 4: life is about this world and the here and now. What can I get in this life? It’s all about me.
Reality: It’s all about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!
- It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in our weakness as we’re transformed to be more like Him.
- It’s about our need to die to ourselves and to be witnesses for Christ
- It’s about God’s power sustaining us through hardship and distress and as we endure, we become more like Jesus.
Adapted from “Misconceptions Message” delivered by Pastor Jon Taylor, 2/14/10, First Christian Church of Phoenix
Who Do YOU Follow?
Do YOU follow Jesus? Or do you follow a church? Following a church means you live by the church’s man-made rules, rites, rituals and regulations that have nothing to do with what Jesus preached and taught in the Gospels. Wouldn’t you rather live like what Jesus wants and expects from you?
Eventually, EVERYONE will stand in front of Jesus when we die — and death is inevitable. AND you surely don’t want Him to say “I never knew you!” (Matthew 25)
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
The Voice of Truth
The Potter’s Hand
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.Isaiah 64:8 NLT