Are you a Cultural Christian?

What is a “Cultural Christian”?

A Cultural Christian is someone who may be born again, believes Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, may have been baptized by immersion, yet still accepts, lives in sin and/or condones what the current culture accepts as proper, OK, passable, not a sin — knowing that it’s against God’s will and law and does nothing about it.

It’s like you have one foot in God’s Kingdom and one foot in the world.

The problem with that is that once you become a born-again believer, you are a Citizen of Heaven and you cannot continue being a citizen of world.

I was a cultural Christian for many years. Of course, I knew my ticket to heaven was secure, but I thought I could continue to do some of the things that I did before and it was OK. It’s wasn’t. I was in a relationship with an unbeliever and after each “encounter” I had this guilty feeling. That was the Holy Spirit inside of me convicting me – telling me that what I was doing was disappointing God. It was against his rules for living a righteous, Christ-like life.

I was a liberal Democrat. I had the attitude of “to each his own” – but condoning and accepting bad behavior is also against God’s will. Now, I’m a Christian Conservative and what’s happening in our country and the world makes me angry. Actually, I’m incensed and disgusted! I don’t recognize America any more – I know our Founding Fathers wouldn’t either. 

A Cultural Christian thinks same-sex marriage is OK. In God’s eyes it is NOT so it shouldn’t be so in your eyes.

A Cultural Christian thinks abortion is OK. It is not in God’s eyes – it’s the murder of innocent lives. It doesn’t make sense that when a pregnant woman is murdered it’s two counts of murder, yet society condones the murder of innocent babies like they were trash.

Get the point?

As a Christian, you MUST read the Bible DAILY! 

With so many Bible apps & websites, there really isn’t any valid excuse not to. Check these out:

You must attend and get involved in a bible-based church.

“Bible-based” is the relevant keyword here. Make sure the church leaders and pastors don’t pick and choose what Bible verses to teach and ignore the ones that God needs believers to hear. Strive to seek the truth.

Live a WWJD? life.

Stop and think before reacting. Say to yourself, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” “How would Jesus handle this issue?” What would Jesus say in response?” “Would Jesus watch this show?” “Is God smiling or is He disappointed in me and my behavior?”

Connect with Christians on the social media sites.

Follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, like them on Facebook. You become like those you hang out with. Striving to be Christ-like is not easy. But it helps when you get together with other committed Christians and talk about the latest news, how you feel and how your friends feel about the issues.

This world is not all there is – Thanks to Jesus!

When I look around at this sin-sick world that I live in, I thank the Lord Jesus that this is not all there is. That I have a HOPE like no other in Christ of an eternal life in a Paradise called Heaven. I like reading Revelation 21.

Here are a few of my favorite passages from that chapter:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared…I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Jesus meeting believer at the gates of heavenAnd the one sitting on the throne [Jesus] said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:1, 3-8

You can take the wide gate just to be popular and accepted into today’s society and culture or you can truly live the Christian life and enter Heaven through the narrow gate:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it…”~Matthew 7:13-14

 It’s Your Choice.

Here’s a hint: Jesus wins in the end! Don’t you want to be on HIS Side? Click here to get to know Christ personally – it is about a personal relationship, not about religion.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

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Conduct Unbecoming a Christian

bible readingIf you’ve served in the military or watched any war movies, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “conduct unbecoming an officer.” It’s a charge with sometimes severe consequences if an officer does something that an officer shouldn’t do.

As Christians, we are supposed to act like Christ. It’s expected of us.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he stresses this:

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~Phil. 1:27a

What’s important are the first two words: “whatever happens” – that means at all times, in all circumstances, no matter what.

There’s no excuse for not behaving like a Christian!

It’s not easy. But God gave us two invaluable tools: the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it. ~Luke 11: 28

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~Galatians 5: 22-26

Each morning, before we start our day, we need to ask God for strength and guidance to conduct ourselves worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Check out these other great blogs:

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
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4 Misperceptions of the Christian Life

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 we read:

Cracked clay jarBut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. Here are 4 misperceptions of the Christian life:

1: Misperception: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life

Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I’m transformed.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

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 the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.~2 Timothy 1:7

You 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 you up, too!

We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.

2. Misperception: 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 me, as I dei to myself.

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.

Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24

We die to ourselves and He lives in us. We have new life – Born Again!

3. Misperception: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is please 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.

Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; James 1:12

The futre glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).

4. Misperception: 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 about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!

  • It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in my weakness as I’m transformed to be more like Him.
  • It’s about our need to die to self 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

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Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
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If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
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Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author & Inspirational Speaker
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3 Parts of Being a Disciple of Christ

Adapted from the sermon “2011 an FCC Odyssey” presented 1/8/12 by Chuck Foreman a First Christian Church of Phoenix

Jesus left us a lot of great teachings, but only 2 commands:

  1. Love one another (John 13:34-35)
  2. Make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19-20)

Our goals as Christians are to help people find Christ and teach them how to follow Him, obey Him and become real-life disciples to see real change in our lives, churches, communities and nation.

The Great Commission

Jesus instructing His Apostles to make Disciples of all the nations Matthew 28:19-20

A Disciples Life Experience happens in 3 areas:

HEAD – Committed to following Christ (lifestyle): Romans 12:1-2; Luke 9:23;

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. ~James 1:22

HEART – Committed to being changed by Christ (attitude): John 13:35; Philippians 2:5-8

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

HANDS – Committed to the Mission of Christ (service/ministry): Matthew 4:19; John 15:8; Corinthians 5:19-20

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…~Ephesians 4:11-12

The Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit are the only things that bring real life change to anyone — or any church!

We must be sensitive to God’s leading and open to change when it seems right.

Learning to travel with God and His People is an adventurous journey — like an odyssey. Let’s live 2012 with WWJD? attitude as true Disciples of Christ

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Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
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Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

But our citizenship is in heaven

But our citizenship is in heaven ~Philippians 3:20

We all long for heaven where God is, but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him right now–to be happy with Him at this very moment. But being happy with Him now means loving like He loves, helping like He helps, giving as He gives, serving as He serves, rescuing as He rescues, being with Him 24 hours a day–touching Him in His distressing disguise. ~Mother Teresa

WWJD? Reflection: Why wait until we die to enjoy heaven? By living out the life of Christ in our daily live, we bring heaven to earth. We bring the attributes of heaven–happiness, joy, peace, security and all else that is divine to those we encounter.

As we walk the steps of Jesus today, let’s remember that we’re ambassadors of a heavenly kingdom and the fragrance of that kingdom lingers behind us as evidence that heaven has come to earth twice–first in the person of Christ 2000 years ago–and again in the Body of Believers He has called to represent Him.

From:
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Great Blessings to you!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
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The Power of the Holy Spirit

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”~Acts 1:8

The Spirit of God gives power to those who want to hear His voice and serve Him. A person may desire to do something and not have the power to do it, but that power can come through receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

You may remember that Jesus was baptized by immersion in water, but He was also baptized by the Holy Spirit. In other words, he was immersed in power, which enabled Him to do the task His Father sent Him to do. Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,” and that He “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (nkjv)

Before Jesus’ public ministry began, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are able to hear God’s voice more clearly and we are equipped for service in the Kingdom of God because we are able to draw on the power (ability, efficiency and might) of the Holy Spirit we received when He came upon us to be His witnesses. This power enables us to do what God wants us to do.

It is important to see that Jesus did not do any miracles or other mighty acts until after He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. If Jesus needed the power of the Spirit, we certainly do, too. Ask Him to fill you with the power of His Spirit today and every day.

You have access to power–turn on the light!

From “Hearing from God Each Morning”(July 17), by Joyce Meyer

The Holy Spirit – God’s Gift to Us – After the Resurrection – part 6

The Holy Spirit – God’s gifts to His believers.

Read Acts 2

The phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” congers up pictures of folks rolling down the aisles of a church speaking gibberish. That’s not what it’s about.

The Holy Spirit is a gift from God when someone becomes a believer in Jesus Christ. You can only receive the Holy Spirit by receiving Jesus Christ into your heart and being baptized.

The Holy Spirit gives believers the power to overcome temptations from the devil. The Holy Spirit also brings us special “fruits”:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22-25.

But you don’t automatically get the fruits. The devil doesn’t like that you’re a believer and he’s going to tempt you and mess up your life every chance he can get. That’s when you call on the Holy Spirit to help you. The Holy Spirit will deliver those fruits and all you need to do is ask.

What you need to remember is that the Holy Spirit is there, inside of you 24/7. It’s how Jesus lives in you when you become a believer.

How do you become a believer? It’s easy. To have eternal life with Jesus, just pray this prayer wholeheartedly and sincerely:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

Being a Christian is a journey of faith with the goal to be closer to God and live like Christ and sometimes it is a struggle for some Christians to live like Christ. It also doesn’t guarantee that life will be trouble free. God sends trials to test our faith. So we must read the Bible to grow stronger in faith.

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Check out these other great blogs:

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar