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April 11, 2016 @ 8:37 am

Just What Is a Christian Anyway (Part 1)

I recently heard one of the Republican candidates running for President described as a RINO: Republican In Name Only. In other words, although the individual was running on the Republican ticket, some in the party felt his positions fell short of a true representation of traditional Republication values. In fact, these critics were saying his voting record looked more like someone who was a Democratic.

So it goes in politics…

But the point made is an intriguing one: we can call ourselves one thing while, at the same time, behaving more like something else. We can call ourselves a “Christian” while looking quite unlike its founder, Jesus Christ.

So just what is a “Christian”?

Literally and simply stated, a Christ-ian is a follower of Christ. He or she may not look like much when they first start following Jesus but, over time, they mature into an ever closer reflection of their Elder Brother and Lord. But only if they truly follow and do what Jesus tells them to do.

Let me share with you an excerpt from Michael Phillips’ book, The Commands, in response to the question of what it means to follow Jesus.

Quite simply: To obey what he tells us to do, to do what he says, to think as he thinks, to respond as he responds, to love as he loves, to see people as he sees people them, to see God as he sees him, to pray as he prayed to lay down self-will as he laid down his self-will, to take his example into every decision, every response, every attitude, every conversation.

One might well despair of such an all-encompassing definition rightly acknowledging the distance between ourselves and Jesus Christ. Perhaps it will help if we read together the last two chapters of C.S. Lewis’s classic work, Mere Christianity, aptly titled Nice People or New Men, and, The New Men, respectively. For, if we follow Jesus, God intends to make us, like his Son, perfect. True Christ-ians.

~m

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March 5, 2016 @ 8:44 am

Jesus - A Closer Look

In the last episode I spoke of Jesus being God’s Son, coming into human history because it was what his Father wanted and for the purpose of showing us what his Father was truly like: to reveal to us God’s identity in the most vivid manner. I also acknowledged that Jesus’ mission had great breadth of detail. For in revealing his Father’s heart to us we catch breathtaking glimpses of what God had in mind when he created humanity in his own image. But before we go on with our exploration of the scope of Jesus’ mission perhaps we ought to pause a moment and reflect on some of the words Jesus used to describe himself. 

~m

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March 1, 2016 @ 6:02 am

Jesus: Who Is He and Why Did He Come?

Just as important as it is to think through what makes up the good news of the gospel is the need to arrive at an answer as to who Jesus is and why he came. The question calls for thinking beyond any cliches we may have either heard or adopted without adequate evaluation. We need to get a firm handle on both what the good news is and the identity and motivation of the One proclaiming and embodying it to gain the needed appreciation for the expansive nature of God's Fatherhood. 

~m

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February 26, 2016 @ 6:41 am

The Gospel: Just What Is The Good News?

It's hard to underscore the need to get a handle on just what makes up "the good news" that Jesus came to deliver to mankind, the core of his message. The conclusion each of us reaches has practical impact. 

~m

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