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Just Because You Don't Like It Doesn't Make It Not So (5 of 5)

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Here it is. The last post in this series. I have tried to start this post a couple of times and well, life has gotten in the way. That is how it is sometimes. I never forget that commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love to read. I love to learn new things, random facts and useless knowledge as well as new skills. One thing I have found as of late is lists are the "in" thing. I find this ironic because folks seem to love reading lists but not making them. Top ten: best movies of all time, places to visit on a budget, friendliest places in America, things you need to buy now, ways to save money, foods to quit eating to lose weight, things you don't see anymore, best guitarist, most expensive colleges in America, job markets, diseases you may have and not know it... and the list goes on. Rarely are any of these "lists" backed by sound data, statistics or facts with substance. Most of the time, they are subjective. Have you tried to search for an objective list? I have. I then try to find the data they used to make the list. I can tell you, not all sources are equal. It is okay though. I have learned if you question them, you get the, "just because you don't like it doesn't make it not so" response. In other words, just because I disagree doesn't make them wrong.

While I disagree with that logic, it isn't entirely false. If the information presented is presented as subjective, then that statement can stand on it's own. If; however, the information presented is offered as objective then it must be backed with facts. There is no such thing as your truth and my truth. There is the truth and your opinion.

Keeping in the spirit of the series and lists, I have created a "top 10" list. It is rooted in truth from the Word and years of growth as a Christian. It contains fundamental things I wish I had learned earlier in my walk with the Lord that I believe every Christian needs to remember.

#10 - People may hate us because of Jesus but they should never hate Jesus because of us.

Matthew 10:22 reads "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (KJV) Jesus told us we would be hated by man for following Him. That is the "cross" we bear here on earth. It is never acceptable for what we say, do, act, etc. as Christians be the reason anyone dislikes or hates Jesus. This is also tied into the third commandment - taking the Lord's name in vain (doing evil in His name.)

#9 - We've forgotten the devil does not live in hell; he roams the earth.

Job 1:7 reads "The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” The Bible is very clear as to where the enemy is, what is in hell at the moment and what the devil does here on earth. Yet, so often we portray him as being the "king of hell" or some equivalent. That is dangerous thinking. We must be vigilant, put on God's armor for we are in a battle.

#8 - The Bible is not a book of answers for all of life's questions.

The Bible is the account of God’s action in the world, and his purpose with all creation. Simply put (in layman's terms) it is a guide for living life to the fullest. It gives us a road map for the perilous journey of life. It is treasury of insight as to who we are. We are magnificent creatures of a God who loves us and gives us a purpose. It is a sourcebook for everyday living. We find standards for our conduct, guidelines for knowing right from wrong and principles to help us in a confused society where so often “anything goes.” As Christians, we believe it is given by God and for us to use as His inspired Word. We are to use it to study, learn and grow closer to Him. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) What you won't find in it is answers to every question you have. That is what your personal relationship is for.

#7 - We aren't called to be like other Christians; we are called to be like Christ.

John 13:15, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (KJV) 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (NIV) Ephesians 5:1 tells us to "imitate God" in all that we do because we are His children. There are several other scripture verses that command us and instruct us but there is not one single scripture that tells us or event hints at suggesting we imitate or be like another person, which includes other Christians. Man, even the best of us, falls short. Anyone, especially a Christian who tells you otherwise, has lost their way.

#6 - Don't pray for rain if you are going to complain about the mud.

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24 (KJV) The challenge here is understanding what is meant. That takes studying the Word. I challenge you to do so. God does honor His promises. When He delivers, which He does, it does not always come the way we picture it in our head. Rain for instance. It may come and when it does, it may leave mud, puddles, flash floods and more. We then, may start to complain about the mess, our shoes being ruined, our hair being soaked, etc. We forgot the prayer was for rain. We got what we asked for. The mud will dry. The puddles will go away. We can fix our hair. Shoes can dry or be replaced. The point is we got what we prayed for. Can't we rejoice?

#5 - When you grasp the concept that Mother Teresa and Hitler will both be judged the same, you will have finally grasped the concept of sin and salvation.

There is no free pass. There are no assumptions. John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (KJV) There is only one way to Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Period. No debate. We do not or cannot know the condition of either Mother Teresa's or Hitler's heart or their relationship with Jesus at the time they died. If we believe what we do and expect it to be true for us, it must be the same for them. It is not how we feel about someone, it is about the condition of their heart. God knows the truth. He knows it about them and He knows it about us.

#4 - Never underestimate, ignore or forget the power of the Holy Spirit.

So often times we take for granted the Holy Spirit because we simply do not understand what it means. We have never taken the time to embrace the gift of the Holy Spirit and foster the relationship, which can literally transform who we are. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as helper, guide, Spirit of God that dwells in us, Spirit of Truth and more. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (KJV) The Holy Spirit endows us with gifts, leads us to truths, helps us in prayer, strengthens us. This is something every Christian has to do on their own. It is part of their journey. It is a very important part.

#3 - Not everyone believes in me and not everyone supports me but my God goes with me and THAT is what sustains me.

Galatians 1:10 tells me "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." That is hard to do when you are a people pleaser by nature. We instinctively want everyone to like us. The Bible is clear that it is a sin to know the right thing to do and not do it. Knowing who I am and staying true to that regardless of what others think about me, especially in today's world, is pretty hard to do. My feelings do get hurt. I may get upset but I never lose sight that what others say about me is not as important as what God knows about me. If I can say I am right with God, I am listening to the Holy Spirit, Jesus is still living in my heart, I may quiver just a little but I will stand tall, bold and know I will be okay. Every Christian should be able to do the same.

#2 - I believe my job is to make the grace of an invisible God visible wherever I am.

For a very long time, I thought you had to be some kind of amazing person for God to use you. I realized; however, God makes all of His creations pretty amazing if you take the time to look. All I needed to do to be used by God, is to say "yes." That is all any of us need to do. The Bible shows us God uses ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary. What makes it all extraordinary is Him. Me - I am never going to be extraordinary on my own. I can allow God to use me as a vessel, equipped with the Holy Spirit, even with the boatload of flaws I have, to accomplish His works. I've learned through the years one of the things I do, and do well, is shine the light of mercy and grace of an invisible God into a world that needs it. Sounds so simple and so small in the grand scheme of things. But when I shine, I burn hotter than the sun and there is no doubt to anyone who sees that light where it came from and THAT, my friends, is a job God gave specifically to me. Oh, I never knew the trials I went through would serve such a purpose but I thank Him and praise Him all the time for allowing me to have such a job!

and the #1 thing I have learned is your faith is only deepened and growing when you put in the effort. That effort can't be hit or miss. It must be daily. It must be as important as the air you breathe.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us "Pray without ceasing." (KJV) Psalm 34:1b reads "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (KJV) Prayer is one step in the process. For me personally, I "talk" to God all day, in everything. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I "vent" but it is a constant conversation, off and on, throughout the day. I also study. I don't just open the Bible and read then call it a day. I study, dig into meaning, context and more. Yes, I have a prayer closet. No, I do not advertise when I enter and exit. I have a desire to learn and re-learn and study. I want to know how I can help others. I want a "clean" heart. I want to be more Christ-like. I also, and this is very important, take time to listen. What is it He is trying to tell me?

There you have it. A top 10 Just Because you Don't Like it Doesn't Make it Not So List for Christians. There is truth in all the items, whether we want to admit them or not. Maybe you aren't quite there on your journey and that's okay. The point is you are on the journey. It is your journey. We serve a powerful God. We serve a God who never fails. We serve a God who wants a genuine relationship with you. Ask yourself, do you know Him personally? Do you really? Maybe you have said the words, even walked down the isle at a church. But does He live in your heart? Is He transforming your life? It is never too late, you are never too old, never too dirty, you've never run to far, there is nothing you've done that He won't forgive. He died for you. Will you live for Him?

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