Peace and blessings to you and your family. I’m excited to share with you weekly devotions that I have entitled The Pastor’s Heart. I will focus on things that God has spoken or revealed to me in prayer or study of scriptures. My hope is that it will encourage inspire and cause your relationship with the Lord to grow. Find a new Pastor’s Heart here every Friday. I pray you enjoy these devotions as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.
This Week’s Pastor’s Heart:
Friday, July 3, 2020
What Is a Christian?
Acts 11:26 – “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
I will never forget God speaking to me to start Antioch Christian Church. The instructions were burned in my heart to the degree that I could not get comfortable focusing on anything else. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t hide in another church, even though I tried. He led me to this scripture in Acts for a foundation and type of church He wanted me to build. I had to study this and other scriptures until it became a part of me. I was scared, yet humbled and honored at the same time to be chosen for this assignment. My instructions didn’t come from a man, they were a revelation from God. I did the best I knew how so I could obey and keep those instructions. Today I am very concerned that Christians are allowing men to define who they are and what they should believe. We must remember that we were redeemed with incorruptible things. The blood of Jesus was shed to totally pay the price for our redemption. The blood Adam gave us caused us to die. The blood of Jesus caused us to live and inherit eternal life. Truth will always be under attack as long as we have a devil running to and fro in the earth. That is to be expected. However, as a Christian we cannot be ignorant of his devices.
Being a Christian takes precedence and priority over everything else. With the advent of social media and various media programs, labels are often attached to groups of people. To the unsuspecting, it’s easy to begin to believe that the label is greater or equal to who we are as Christians. I’m often asked am I a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. The answer is I am a Christian. I am a child of God and follower of Christ. I can not be labeled by anyone who didn’t save me from my sins. When I cast my ballot I am FOR what God is FOR and I am against what God is against. Period. I don’t judge or prejudge. I look at the fruit in a man’s life. God has given us His spirit and discernment. It should not take long to identify the fruit of a follower of Christ. In essence, no one should have to say they are a Christian. We should be able to identify them based on their likeness to Jesus. Jesus tells us to identify people by their fruit. He never added anything else to this command. It’s not complicated. As a Christian, all sin should bother me, not just some. There is far too much picking and choosing among sins. It’s all abominable to God and should not be condoned by Christians.
My instructions were to teach people how to live not to line up behind an agenda or a political party. Christian lose their lives and their agendas to take up the cause of Christ. I had my own plans and did not want to give them up. Yet when He called me, I laid my plans down and picked up His for my life. It was the best decision I have ever made. It actually frightens me to imagine the kind of life I would have today had I kept my plans. I know I would not have the family I have today and certainly would not have the church family I have today. Being a Christian is going to cost you greatly but it is absolutely worth the cost. Look at the investment Jesus made for us with His own blood. Christian leaders and pastors lose credibility to teach people truth when they lead or pastor with a personal agenda. My instructions were to preach the gospel to every creature without prejudice or partiality. I cannot be concerned if truth was rejected or if it was not received. I cannot be concerned with whether I get invited into influential circles or not. Christians do not seek fame nor tailor our messages to be popular. Christians seek those who are lost and love, encourage, and embrace them regardless of who they are or how much money, power, or influence they may or may not have. It’s time to get back to preaching the gospel in our churches. It is the power of God that saves, heals and delivers. We need what the gospel offers in this nation right now and we cannot be afraid to state that.
In the text, disciples made disciples. The people who were not disciples noticed a difference in their demeanor and a similarity to Christ in their character and behavior. They were in essence mocked for being a follower of Christ. Because they had received their instructions from Jesus, it didn’t matter what people called them or labeled them. They continued to make disciples. As a Pastor and a leader in His church, I cannot be silent on things that are affecting us and could be a threat to the unsuspecting or new believers that Jesus wants to see discipled. I will continue to post regarding Christians in the coming weeks. The scriptures cannot be broken and I believe we are at a moment where there is a necessity for truth to be declared on this subject.
Make it great day.
Blessings and peace,
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