Saturday, September 29, 2018

Becoming More Like Christ Each Day

Let your roots grow down into Christ, and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth.”  -- (Colossians 2: 7. LB).

Did you know that you were created to become like Christ? Well, you were. However, each person has to first develop a relationship with Christ, and in order to do that they must first hear about Christ, then in belief ask Him into their heart, while choosing to live for Him. Only then can a person become more and more like Christ.

We know that everyone is born with the ability to recognize God. At the time of conception, i.e. at their creation, God is with them throughout each person’s development. Then once a person is born, God is still there for them throughout all their days here on earth. As the Psalmist tells us: “You (God) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  -- (Psalm 139: 13-16. NLT). Throughout each person’s life God is there for them just waiting for them to acknowledge Him and His Son, because God wants to bestow upon them His endless love and constant protection.

Even though every baby is born a sinner, before they become toddlers they can understand who God is. There is just something in their soul that recognizes and longs for a relationship with God. But as a child grows up in this world and faces the evilness within, the longing for a relationship with God can be pushed so far to the back of their minds that they no longer recognize God. However, they will continue to long for a relationship with God even though they don’t realize it consciously and don’t know Him. That is why so many young people, by the time they are in their early teens, are totally lost but yet they are still looking for something to fill that hole or void within their souls where God belongs.

Many People Refuse to Believe in God.

Many people did not have parents who introduced them to the Bible and God and they refuse to believe in God or Jesus Christ. Sadly, even some people who were raised with godly parents refuse to acknowledge God and His Son, Jesus Christ. These are people who are constantly searching for something, but at the same time refuse to see what is right in front of them. Little do they know, but there may come a time when God no longer pursues them to become one of His children, because eventually the Holy Spirit will quit calling out to them. The Apostle Paul explains these stubborn and sinful people’s situations this way: “God shows His anger from Heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put the knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse whatever for not knowing God.  -- (Romans 1: 18-20. NLT).

Along with all people’s ability to recognize God as their Creator and Father, people have also been given the free will to choose to serve God or not. For, God will not force anyone to love, obey, or serve Him. Yet, with the ability to recognize the truth of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, many people will still not acknowledge or believe in Jesus Christ. However, those who do choose to recognize and believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, will be blessed in so many ways.

In creating us individually, God has given each person a unique personality and special talents, gifts, and insights that can be used in serving Him and in serving and caring for others. Unfortunately, because we live in a fallen world that constantly presents problems, trials, and difficult matters or situations to us in many different ways, all these things when taken individually or together can then affect our lives in a either a positive or negative way, depending on each person’s specific personality and intellect and the way they handle the matters in life. In addition, some people’s personalities are more prone to participating in the evil things of this world. Moreover, some people just cannot contemplate the goodness of God, because their minds only think about simple things or only things that are right in front of them, as they are presented with the negativity of this world that they encounter. Others are simply unwilling to look at God’s creation or are unwilling to contemplate His power, love, and divineness.

We can choose the path that we take.

There are many other matters or situations that can impact a person’s life in such a way that it will override a person’s innate knowledge of who God is. Sadly, these matters, events, or situations can range anywhere from physical and emotional abuse by family, strangers, or even so-called friends to events or matters that are subtle, unexpected, or hurtful. So, whether or not a particular person can handle a negative situation or event in their life depends upon the character of that person and the depth of their faith and trust in God. In fact, how a person perceives, thinks upon, and views everything in life ultimately depends on their personality, their ability to think things through, as well as how they look at the world around them, and how they choose to handle each and every situation; all of which will then determine their willingness or not to pursue having a greater relationship with God.

There are also people who, because of their circumstances or because of their pridefulness, or their desire to accumulate power along with their willingness to accept unfounded philosophical ideas of their own or of others’ making, will actually defy goodness, truth, honesty, love, consideration, or kindness toward others. In addition, they may even lack principles, values, and ethics as well as integrity and honesty. Usually, these are very unhappy people. But, in such cases, God knew even before they were born that it would take some type of momentous event to get their attention, but even at that God knew that many of these people would still refuse to believe in Him and His Son. These individuals would simply refuse to see things differently or change the way that they perceived the world. They do not think upon their own, use common sense, or search for answers that God has ready if they would just ask. Instead, they succumb to group think, selfishness, and the desire to be their own god.

However, God also knew that some people that He created would willingly choose to look at life through the eyes of goodness, kindness, caring, and love. These individuals, like Abraham, would search for the truth and find God. God knew that still other people would be able to see Him within all He had created and seek Him out. Indeed, it would be these people who could be saved from their sins and saved from the sins of this fallen world. But in order to Save them, God would have to sacrifice His Only Son. Because, it would take the blood of Christ to wash away their sins and make them righteous before God. However, each person would still have to make a personal decision for Christ in order to have their sins forgiven and in order to be made righteous before God. This means that everyone who hears the Gospel message or who sees God and His Son in all Creation will have the opportunity to believe in Christ as the risen Son of God and will have the opportunity to repent of their sins.

God has given us the ability to become more like Christ.

Individuals who have heard the Gospel message of Salvation given to us through Jesus Christ, and who will then turn their lives around and believe upon Jesus Christ as their living Savior will indeed be Saved. It is these people who will then have the opportunity to become more and more like Christ as they live for Him daily. In fact, the Bible specifically tells us that we were created to become more and more like Christ every day, for

God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape our lives there in Him.”   -- (Romans 8: 29. The Message.).

In fact, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in Heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – kings, kingdom, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through Him and for Him. He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together.” -- (Colossians 1: 15-17. NLT).

Actually, from the beginning even before the world was created, God’s plan for humankind was to make them like His Son, Jesus Christ. We know this, because at the time of creation, the Trinity of God, i.e., the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit said, “… Let us make people in our own image, to be like ourselves. … So God created people in His own image; God patterned them after Himself; male and female He created them.”  -- (Genesis 1: 26, 27. NLT).

Obviously, we were not created to look like God or to be God. Rather, we were created to reflect the glory of God through the lives that we live for Him. It is God’s character and the character of Jesus Christ, His Son, that we are to reflect back to God and to reflect upon others who do not yet know or have a relationship with Him. So, what characteristics are we to reflect back to God and upon others? Well, part of God’s character and the character of His Son is reflected in our love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, truthfulness, forgiveness, and integrity as we interact with other people. For, God, the Trinity, has all these characteristics and so much more.

However, it is not easy to develop even some of the characteristics of God. That is because humans are born sinners who often do not even realize that they are sinners. But recognizing that we are sinners and then asking for the cleansing of our sins through Jesus Christ is how we are Saved for all eternity. It is through our belief on Jesus Christ and His gift of Salvation that we can then develop some of the characteristics of God and His Son and then live by those good characteristics and attitudes. In developing these characteristics and attitudes, we can live by truth and love which can then be reflected in our giving glory and honor back to God? But to do so, we first have to be made righteous in the sight of God. We have to be imputed with righteousness through the cleaning blood of Jesus Christ. But, in order to be imputed with righteousness, we first have to come to know Jesus Christ, God’s Son, personally while repenting of our sins and desiring to live for Christ.  Only then with our Salvation re-birth can we become a new creature that can gradually become more and more like Christ. But in order to become more and more like Christ, we must choose to grow in our knowledge of Christ and choose to grow more like Christ in our behaviors and in our use of words. So,

How Can We Become More Like Christ?

Well we must start with understanding what our new birth in Christ should look like. This means then that we have to understand what the full “image and likeness” of God is and what it means. The full “image and likeness” of God looks like Jesus Christ! For the Bible tells us that “[Jesus Christ is] the exact likeness of God.” – (II Corinthians 4: 4. NLT). Scripture also tells us that “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in Heaven and earth.”  -- (Colossians 1: 15. NLT.).

We are also told in the book of Hebrews that “The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about Him represents God exactly.  -- (Hebrews 1:3. NLT).

With our own Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son, we are given the opportunity to reflect the nature and goodness of Christ to the rest of the world. If we become more and more like Christ, we, too, can then give God glory and honor as we represent the glory of the Son in the things that we do. But in order to do this, Scripture tells the Saved person that with your Salvation you must “… throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness – righteous, holy, and true.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 22-23. NLT).

So, in order to become more like Christ, we must turn in a new direction with our life. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in all that we do. This means that we must make a conscious determination to commit our daily living to representing Christ in all that we do. We have to care about right and wrong and want to do what is always right in the eyes of God. We have to clear our minds of the darkness of this world and focus on the truth and righteousness of Heaven. In other words, we have to work at becoming a more godly person every day.

With our re-birth and with our pursuit into the likeness of Christ, we must “put away all falsehood and ‘tell y[our] neighbor the truth,’ because we belong to each other.” – (Ephesians 4: 25. NLT). The Apostle Paul gave this verse to the Ephesians, because God does not want Christians to lie. God does not lie. Moreover, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.”  -- (Proverbs 12: 22. NASB). We are also not to let anger, which is a worldly emotion, get the best of us. For, anger is not representative of Christ. In fact, Jesus said, “But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone and idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.  -- (Matthew 5: 22. NLT).

Christlikeness means, too, that those who are Saved are to “begin using y[our] hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow upon the Holy Spirit by the way you live. … Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind, to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving, one another, just as Christ has forgiven you.”  -- (Ephesians 4:26-32. NLT).

We are not to try to become a god. But God does want us to become godly, and in so doing, become more like Christ so that we can represent Christ to the rest of the world. Becoming godly means that we take on the values, attitudes, and character of Jesus Christ. We are to “Take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.”  -- (Ephesians 4: 22. The Message).

However, in order to live a godly life and be renewed from the inside out, we must listen to the Holy Spirit who indwells all truly born-again Christians. For, “as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.”  -- (II Corinthians 3: 18. NLT). And, if we listen to the Holy Spirit and do the will of the Lord within our lives, we will become more and more like Christ. In fact, all born-again Christians have been given the desire to obey God through our Salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But, to become more and more like Christ, we have to do more than just desire to become more like Him. We have to train ourselves to constantly think about developing and acquiring the characteristics and attitude of Christ. And we need to read and try to obey the Word of God. Only then can we become more like Christ which will then be seen by others within our behaviors, words, actions, and within our service to Christ and the Heavenly Father. This service will be displayed through our kindness and loving actions toward others.

Every day people will be able to see that there is something different about those individuals who are becoming more and more like Jesus Christ; as they display kindness, caring, and love toward others. People will see their good behaviors, actions and words. People will also see the joy and smiles upon the faces of truly born-again Christians who are reflecting the love and goodness of God and Christ out upon their little part of the world. These Christians will also show the characteristics and attitudes of Christ when they reach out in service to others. Indeed, our service to God and others can in many different ways be seen as not only a reflection of our love for God, but also as a reflection of the acquisition of the characteristics of Christ. In other words, people can see that we are living for Christ in all that we do. Our Christian life then becomes a way of sharing the Gospel message which will then open the door for the Good News to be shared.

 Active Relational Christian Mentoring is just one of the many ways that we can show the world that we are emulating the actions, attitudes, and characteristics of Christ within our own life. Have you reached out to mentor and help another woman? Have you shared your love of Christ with another person? Can others see Christ in you? If you want to learn more about the service of Christian mentoring and the importance of becoming more and more like Christ, please check out my book: The Three-Stand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring. You can purchase the book from Amazon, Christian Faith Publishing, or Barnes and Nobel. The following is a link to Amazon.

Accepting Christ as Your Savior.

Accepting Christ as your Savior, or giving your life to Christ is so simple. All you have to do is believe on Jesus Christ as the risen one and only Son of God. But, you need to understand that you are a sinner, for we are all born sinners. “For all have sinned, all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” – (Romans 3: 23). You also need to understand that we must pay for our sins. In fact, the Bible tells us that “the wages (payment) of sin is death (eternal death).” – (Romans 6: 23). Yet, with our belief in Jesus Christ and with the repentance of and the turning away from sins, “God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty.” – (Romans 3: 24).  God did this through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ whose blood takes away our sins. “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.”  -- (Romans: 3: 25.).
God loves you so much that He sent His Son to earth to die for your sins. But the grave could not contain Him, for three days later Jesus Christ arose from the grave conquering eternal death. Christ's sacrifice on the cross is that payment for our sins that will give all who believe on Christ as the risen Lord the right to eternal life with God and Christ.  If you believe that Jesus Christ died and arose from the grave and that He is now back in Heaven preparing a place for you, then you have been Saved. All you have to do now, is to tell someone that you have repented of your sins and have accepted Christ as your Savior, and that Christ is now truly living within your heart. Congratulations! You are a child of God’s.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Importance of Communication within Relationships

I have been remiss in communicating with you the last three weeks. That is because I have been very busy communicating with my Bible Study group and with others. That is not an excuse, but just the reason that I haven’t gotten this blog out sooner. I should know better, because communication is extremely important in life. Without communication we cannot develop relationships, and without the development of some type of relationship we cannot actively mentor another person. As we have discussed in the past, relationships are not only very important in our own lives, but are also important to the lives of other people as well.  In fact, it is extremely important to develop relationships with other women not only in order to be there for them when they need help, but in order to be able to communicate with them so we can know when they need our help.

Communication is how we develop a relationship with another person, i.e., if we know how to communicate with respect and kindness. Communication covers so many different avenues or methods, and we are not limited to only one type of communication. For example, we can talk directly to another person, we can tell someone else to let another person know that we are thinking about them or praying for them, we can pick up the telephone and call a person, or we can text the person, especially if we don’t have time to talk on the phone.

In our technological world today, there are even more ways to communicate than the previous tried and true ways of communication in the past. We can now communicate using such things as twitter, emails, messenger, Facebook, Snap-Chat, Skype and a few others besides just the tried and true methods of face-to-face communication, telephoning, actual letter writing or the writing of notes of support that we can send out to someone when they are needed. With all the latest technology and the ease of staying in contact with another person, one would think that actual communication would be even greater than it has been in the past. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. Today, we often fail to communicate adequately, let alone communicate to understand what someone is going through or thinking. 

Yes, we have all these new technological communicating methods or tools, but in our fast-paced and often ungrateful and rude society, these various technological means of communication have just allowed us to by-pass decency, concern, caring, etiquette, and kindness. Instead, of taking the time to talk to people and to discuss our differences or ideas on certain subjects, many people now use these new communication tools as a quick means of saying hateful things, of posting some political rhetoric, of showing others how stupid they think that someone is, or as a quick method of supporting some agenda. Those so-called newer methods of communication often just end up encouraging hateful words and personal diatribes of communication, which are often used as a means of telling someone how superior the so-called communicator thinks he/she is over another person.

In the end the one who is posting all the hateful words via twitter, emails, texting, etc. is not really communicating (i.e. they are not allowing for an actual back and forth discussion that allows both parties to glean some type of understanding from each other or that will allow one or both parties to learn something new about the other person.). Instead, some people who are using the new fast and simple means of communication are actually telling the world about their insecurities, hurts, and anger, as well as sometimes presenting their lack of etiquette and couthfulness to the world.

Communication as a Two-way Endeavor

What happened to just common courtesy or simple caring about another person? Part of the problem is that we have forgotten that true communication is supposed to be a two-way endeavor. Rather than just saying or shouting out what we want to say, we need to think about the other person and we should want to hear their response to our statements or questions. And instead of thinking that everyone else should want to hear what we have to say, we should want to hear what the other person with whom we are communicating has to say and what their opinions are on different subjects that are supposed to be discussed. That doesn’t mean that we have to immediately accept what they have said as the answer to all our questions or as a means of perceiving the world around us the way that they do, but it should mean that we are willing to mull over what they have said and then politely explain why we agree or disagree with their thought process on the subject matter.

Running down another person has never gotten anyone anywhere and it certainly will not make friends. Many times it just shows their ignorance. Moreover, not being willing to even engage in a give or take conversation will actually stop the conversation in its tracks.  And, if the conversation ends in belittling or yelling, either on one side or both sides, one or both of the two people trying to communicate have just made themselves an enemy or at the very least have given the other person a reason to never want to talk to them again.

When God gave us voices and brains with which to form logical sentences and to be able to communicate with each other, He did not plan on us belittling, conniving, and ultimately hurting each other with our words just because we have the vocal ability to do so within our ability to communicate. But, God did know that all (i.e., each) of us would have to overcome living in this fallen world after Adam and Eve sinned. Part of the overcoming of the evil within this fallen world is the ability to overcome the evil that is within ourselves; such as selfishness, sinfulness, jealousy, immorality, idol worship, pride, greed, and the desire for power over others among the many other fleshly evils and sinfulness that can arise in the hearts of men and women.

Salvation and Heavenly Bodies

There is only one way to overcome our fleshly desires and our innate evil and that is through the Cross. We are all born sinners and can only be forgiven of our sins through belief on the One and only Son of God, Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for our sins. Christ arose from the grave and overcame eternal death. In belief on Christ, we can have eternal life. In fact, through Jesus Christ each of us can live better and more caring lives here on earth knowing that we will one day reside in Heaven with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, when we discard our physical bodies in this earthly death, or if Jesus returns before we die here on earth we know we will receive new heavenly bodies in the air. For, if we have believed in Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God who is now in Heaven preparing a place for us, we will never die again, because we will live forever, i.e., eternally with Christ.

Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies. … It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.” 
-- (I Corinthians 15: 42-44, 52-54. NLT).

Do you know Christ as your Savior? If not, you can communicate with God and Jesus Christ through prayer asking for Christ to forgive you of your sins and then being willing to accept Christ's Salvation. If you still need some help understanding the path to Salvation, please reach out to a born-again Christian. That Christian can share the Gospel message with you and pray with you. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For, it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”  -- (Romans 10: 9-10.

Communication is Important for any Type of Active Mentoring.

Whether you are sharing the Gospel message, helping another person through some trial or just helping empower them to be able to do something they could not do before, you need to be able to communicate with them. Good communication requires a heart that cares and is willing to listen to what the other person has to say. Only through two-way discussions are people able to listen and learn from each other. The same is true when it comes to listening to God and the Holy Spirit and then talking to Him about your needs. And, just like we are to praise God for the great and wonderful God that He is and for all the things that He does for us, we are to also be willing to praise our mentees for their accomplishments and their willingness to learn.

When mentoring another person, whether it is a friend, a spouse, a child, or co-worker, we have to be able to communicate with them in a way that does not alienate them or hurt them. We also have to be willing to listen to what the other person has to say and then be willing to hear their needs within their communication with us. We certainly cannot allow pride in ourselves or pride in what we think that we know to keep us from being caring, kind, and understanding listeners. And, sometimes we have to throw out preconceived ideas about a person or the subject matter in order to get to the truth and to understand the other person better.

The failure to communicate with the other person, i.e., the mentee, can destroy a relationship or it can keep a mentoring relationship from forming. Yes, communication takes time. It takes time out of our own lives, but the reward of gracious, kind, and caring communication with a mentee is greater than we can even imagine when we see the mentee being empowered to be more than they ever thought they could be.

So, whether you are communicating with your friend, your spouse, your child, a family member, a co-worker, or even an acquaintance, please remember that true communication is not only you doing the talking, but is also allowing the person with whom you wish to communicate with to talk too. For good communication is a two-way street, and it is also having the determination to try to understand that other person and their needs and desires. Good communication has nothing to do with anger, hatefulness, meanness, or selfishness. Now, go out and communicate for God.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Our Present Future and the Word of God

“We spend our lives dreaming of the future,
not realizing that a little of it slips away every day.”
– Barbara Johnson

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”  -- Mark 13: 31. NKJV.

We live every day of our lives thinking about what we are going to do tomorrow. We also plan for future vacations, growth, accomplishments, and career goals. Even when we are planning for our day each morning, we are thinking about future moments in our day and how we are going to handle each one. Seldom do we think about the moment that we are living in the here and now. That is because we are living a fast-pasted life, and some of us can’t or won’t slow down to “smell the roses” even if we had the chance, because we feel the need to always be on the go, or we are thinking of future moments and achievements we can make here on earth.

 Consequently, many people miss out on the little things that can make their lives so special. One of those little things is recognizing what God is doing in their lives. In other words, most people forget to focus on the blessings that God is bestowing on them and more importantly, they forget to praise and thank God for all that He does for them moment by moment. Some Christians are also so focused on the themselves and their distant but daily future on this earth that they can’t find the time to even share the Gospel message with another.

One of the most important things that all Christians need to focus on, though, is not so much on what they are doing or planning for their future lives here on earth, but on what they are doing for their present future on a daily basis. I know that sounds funny. How can we have a present future? That sounds like an oxymoron. But, from the moment that a person asks Christ into her heart she is “born-again”. That person is then living in their present future moment by moment. The Apostle Peter explains a born-again person’s present future and eternal future by connecting their future to the Word of God. Peter says:

For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but of imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God. For,
All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls off,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever.’
And this was the Word which was preached to you.”

The New Living Translation of the Bible (NLT) translates this same verse:

For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal Word of God. As the prophet says,
People are like grass that dies away:
their beauty fades as quickly as the beauty of wildflowers.
The grass withers,
and the flowers fall away.
But the Word of the Lord will last forever.’
And that Word is the Good News that was preached to you.”
– I Peter 1: 23-25. NLT.

In other words, at the moment of our re-birth we have put on immortality. The Apostle Paul also wrote: “For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: ‘Oh death where is your victory? O death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’– (I Corinthians 1: 53-57. NASB).

In other words, at the moment of our Salvation we have taken off the perishable and the mortal and we have put on the imperishable and immortality, so that we can begin living in our “present” future; a future that started at the moment when we gave our heart to Christ and it will culminate in a future eternity with God and Christ in immortality. Our present future then is what we are building upon day by day as we live for and work toward our future eternity with God and Christ while sharing in our present future the glorious Words of God with other believers within the present and future Kingdom of God. In order to truly live for our present future, though, each believer must begin to focus on the enduring Word of God through which they have become the imperishable seed, and then actively share God’s Word with everyone they encounter who has not heard the Good News. Believers must also focus on living out the Word of God in such a way that others can see Christ in their life. In other words, believers should be working on their present future daily which will culminate in their eternal future.

It is therefore important for Christian believers to quit focusing entirely on what is temporary on this earth, i.e., on obtaining only the temporary things of this earth like power, status, collections of items, etc. Instead believers need to focus on what is permanent, imperishable, and incorruptible, which is the sharing of the Good News, while living out their eternal life each day with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. For, everything that a believer does after they have given their life to Christ will have either a negative or positive influence on each of their day’s present future as well as on the eternal future that they will one day experience in Heaven with God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Sacrificial Giving.

To focus on the present future, believers must read the Word of God daily to learn the Truths of the Bible and to know what God wants for their lives. Reading the Word of God will help them take their eyes off of themselves and will help them to be able to reach out to meet the needs of others. Reading the Word of God will also show them how to give sacrificially by following Christ’s example of sacrificial giving. For it is:

Through the written Word we discover the Living Word – Jesus Christ.” – (Billy Graham in Quotes. p. 141., c. 2011).

One of the ways that believers can give sacrificially is to become active relational Christian mentors for the Lord. For, it is through the sacrificial giving of our time and energy as well as through our expression of sacrificial love that we can reach out to another woman and help meet her spiritual needs as well as to help her learn something that she may not have been able to learn without our help. In fact, no matter what kind of help you might give her during your mentoring, whether it be counseling, coaching, teaching, sponsoring, spiritual guidance, accountability mentoring, or the sharing of your gifts, talents, or knowledge, you are doing work for the Lord. You are actively and relationally sharing and expressing your love of Christ and His love for her through your actions, expressions, kindness, and caring. Also, by engaging in Christian mentoring you are not only helping another woman, but you are working on your present future which will lead directly into your eternal future.

Finally, within your own active relational mentoring you are empowering another woman to be all that she can be for the God, herself, her family, and her friends. And, just as importantly, you, as the mentor, are growing spiritually each and every day as you focus on the Word of God in order to be prepared for your life and your mentoring within your present future. Furthermore, the Word of God is also preparing you to teach, and the Word is preparing you to handle answers to questions that the mentee may ask you. Moreover, reading the Word is also preparing you to give a word of encouragement from the Word of God when needed. The bottom line, though, is that as a mentor, you are preparing another woman to use the Word of God for her present future which will then lead into her eternal future. You are doing this through your Christian example and your understanding of the Word of God. At the same time, by studying the Word of God, the mentor is being prepared for her present future and her eternal future. For,

While we read the Word, its message saturates our hearts, whether we are conscious of what is happening or not.– (Billy Graham in Quotes, p. 143., c. 2011).

What then is So Important About the Word of God?

The Bible, i.e. the Word of God, is not some piece of hearsay or someone’s opinion as are other so-called religious books written by false religions. It is not some piece of questionable knowledge that can be found on the internet, or information that is still subject to an author’s biases, degree of knowledge, or political agendas. Rather the Holy Bible is completely true and it is the Word of God that was given to God’s Holy Spirit inspired writers. For, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  -- (2 Timothy 3: 26-17. NASB).

These verses tell us that the Word of God is not only the source of all we need to know and learn about conducting our life here on earth, but the Word of God is good for correcting and helping people. Therefore, it is also good for Christian mentors to use as their resource in mentoring. This means, too, that the Word of God is the foundation for who we are, and that it is the foundation for who we can become as a child of God’s. Most importantly the Bible, God’s love story, presents the path to eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Indeed, it is with the following words that we learn just how much God loves us. “For, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  -- (John 3: 16. KJV).

God’s offered gift of Salvation is explained within the pages of the Bible. God’s mercy and grace is also explained within the Bible. And, God’s knowledge, wisdom, and direction for our lives can be obtained from reading and meditating on the Word of God. Moreover, God’s Word is the greatest mentoring resource of all time. Furthermore, we cannot know how to mentor others in the Word of God and in God’s Truth and Salvation without knowing the Gospel message and without knowing that Truth can only be obtained from reading the Word of God. This is why every born-again Christian woman should be reading her Bible daily, meditating on the Word of God, and praying faithfully through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

The Bible is not just a collection of poetry, songs, prose, fables, dramas, or myths, although there is poetry, songs, prose, and dramas within the Bible. Nor, is the Bible, as some people believe, just a list of all the horrible things people do to each other or just the recorded promiscuous and evil acts of human beings. Rather the Bible is a true record of the relationships between people who were living in this fallen evil world during biblical times. These stories are there for us to learn from and for us to gain wisdom and to hopefully not repeat some of the same mistakes that others have made. Furthermore, God does not try to sugarcoat the truth of the human race, but instead shows us that some of those recorded relationships were built upon God’s love, while others were built upon the evil emotions of some people and the basic evil desires of this world.

Most importantly, the Bible is also a record of how God’s love can help people navigate and walk honorably with truth, faith, beauty, and love during their journey within this fallen world. The Bible also tells us how to develop a beautiful relationship with God for all of eternity; a relationship that is built upon our trust, faith, and love for God and His Son. Moreover, loving and living for God and His Son, Jesus Christ, means that we can then have better earthly relationships as well.

In fact, the Bible is not a human book at all. For the Bible is the inspired Words of God given by the Holy Spirit to His chosen men to record. These chosen men used their own vernacular as well as their own historical, cultural, and personal backgrounds to establish the biblical context. Therefore, it is through these God inspired authors that we are able to get to know God and Jesus Christ personally. It is also through these authors that we get to understand what God expects of each of us and how we are expected to conduct our lives. Thus, reading the Bible and then being able to share our godly insight with other women is an honorable and loving service that we all can perform for the Lord. Ultimately then, it is through the Word of God that we can share the Good News of Salvation with those women who have as yet to come to know Christ as their Savior. It is also through the Word of God that we can live out our present future in anticipation of our eternal future.

The Word of God Offers Us Salvation.

The Word of God is not just a bunch of stories or just the history of the Jewish people, as some would like you to believe. Yes, the Bible is about the Jewish people whom God chose to be His representatives to the world. But the Bible is actually a microcosm of human life illustrating our human foibles, needs, desires, and blessings as well as our disobedience to God and our failure to honor and glorify God, as told by God’s inspired writers. Moreover, the Bible is also God’s love story toward all people and within that love story, the story of God’s ultimate sacrifice to save people everywhere from eternal hell.

It is because of God’s all-encompassing love for us that He paid the ultimate price for our sins; for each and every one of us are sinners. Indeed, we are born sinners as we are the children or the offspring of Adam and Eve who originally sinned against God and were then thrown out Eden. Their sin not only meant that they were sinners, but that their descendants would each be born sinners too, and their descendants would not only live in a sinful fallen world, but they would each sin every day of their lives whether in seemingly small acts of sin or large ones. Then because of people’s innate sinfulness, the result of this sinfulness would not only bring physical death, but without cleansing from our sins, each person would also receive spiritual death within an eternal hell. However, for those people who turned from their sinful nature and lived for God, there would be something greater, i.e., eternal life or an eternal future. New believers should then live and focus on being of service to God and others within their present future which ultimately then leads into their eternal future with God and His Son.

 Unfortunately, before Christ died and arose from the grave conquering eternal death, people could not turn from their sinful nature on their own. Remember, God cannot look upon sin, so God knew that people would have to be cleansed from their sins if they were to receive eternal life with Him. That righteous cleansing could only come in the form of the ultimate blood sacrifice to be given through the life of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So, God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cruel cross for our sins. Was that the end? No, for there was the glorious outcome from God’s sacrificial love in the giving of His Son to die for us. That outcome was that death could not conquer Christ. Hallelujah, Christ arose from the grave on the third day thus conquering eternal death!

Now, with Christ’s cleansing blood, those who believe on the risen Savior, Jesus Christ, can have eternal life and can be saved for all eternity, i.e., if they believe on the living Son of God. And, that glorious eternity starts the moment that a person is born-again. Now, each born-again Christian can live for their present future which is to live and produce fruit for the Kingdom of God. Then every piece of godly fruit that they produce for the Kingdom of God will be stored up in Heaven as rewards and crowns for their eternal future with God and Jesus Christ.

Everything that we do in our present future for the Kingdom of God will be recorded in Heaven for our eternal future with God and His Son. Within their present future, believers are to engage in servanthood for the Lord, like the servanthood of Active Relational Christian Mentoring. But to become the best active relational Christian mentor that we can be, believers must focus on the Word of God, the Bible. Billy Graham said,

A computer … has no worth unless it is programmed … The believer has tremendous potential, but that potential cannot be used until he is programmed with the Word of God.”  -- (Billy Graham in Quotes. p. 144., c. 2011).

To reach our potential within our present future, each believer must commit to working for the Lord in some ministry or another, whether it is just writing cards to the sick or needy or it is within some service such as missions. But whatever, service you are called to do for the Lord, please consider actively mentoring another woman for the Lord. Moreover, no matter what service you are called to do for Christ, remember to study the Word of God daily. The Reverend Billy Graham put the importance of being in the Word of God like this:

Oh that we would hunger to be filled with the Word of God; for there is no greater armor, no greater strength, no greater assurance that He is with us, and in us, when we go forth in battle equipped and nourished by His instruction and determined to stand firm on His promises.” – (Billy Graham in Quotes. p. 144., c. 2011).

One Last Thing!

If you do not know Christ as your personal Savior, but want to, you can easily become a born-again Christian.

There is nothing hard about giving your life to Christ. All you have to do is believe not only in your mind, but in your heart that Christ is the living Son of God. For, if you believe in your heart that Christ, the Son of God, gave His life for your sins, died on a cross, was buried and then three days later arose from the grave, you will be saved. For the Word of God tells us in Romans 10: 9-11:

That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For, it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in the Him will never be put to shame.’”

And the Word of God says:
Whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be Saved.”  -- (Romans 10: 13.).

Judgement day will come at some point, as all of us will die a physical death someday, i.e., unless Christ returns first. Those that die having given their heart and soul to Christ will have a future eternity with God in Heaven. However, those who die having rejected the Good News and Christ will have a judgment day that will bring them eternal hell. I hope anyone who reads this blog and who has not already given their life to Christ will come to the realization that God loves them so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take upon His shoulders their sins and to die on a cruel cross, but that He then arose from the grave conquering their eternal death.

Please don’t go another day without making a decision to believe in Christ. For, we are not guaranteed tomorrow or for that matter we are not guaranteed the next moment. And if you die before believing in and making a commitment to Christ you will go to hell for all eternity.  Christ said,

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the only begotten Son of God.”  -- (John 3: 17-18. NASB).

Believe, confess your sins to Christ, and then ask for His forgiveness. If you truly believe and are repentant, you will be forgiven your sins and Christ will come into your heart. Then tell someone what Christ has done for you. Tell them that you were Saved by His grace and mercy. Then start reading the Word of God, i.e., the Bible, daily to learn how to live for Him and to learn how to live in your present future with love, caring, kindness, self-control, peace, patience, honesty, truthfulness, and joy. Finally, find a church family that believes in the Bible and Jesus Christ. For, Christ wants His people to communicate and help each other. You will finally understand that the peace that comes from knowing Christ as your Savior is unexplainable in earthly terms. But it is wonderful! It is eternal!


If you would like to learn more about Active Relational Christian Mentoring and the importance of sharing God's Word you can get my book entitled: The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring from Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Christian Faith Publishing Co., iTunes, or Google Play. The following is a link to Amazon.