Does that bother you or is it just me? I hope it isn't just me...
God has burdened my heart lately about those I know (and don't know) who live exactly like that. They call it "modern Christianity" forgetting that our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.
While I was thinking on this, I thought about greats in the past. They lived their lives, just like you and me. They woke up in the morning, slept, ate, went to bed at night...but they had something more. What was it? I'll tell you: they truly loved Christ. They followed Him. They obeyed Him. And that is what separated them from all the, shall I say, plastic flowers. They didn't just live Christ on Sunday, they lived it every day, every moment. They "came out and were separate.." They were "in the world, not of the world..."
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
"And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;"
1 John 2:4
"He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
It is not a matter of upbringing, tempting situations or anything else that determines what we will and will not do. It's our choices, not our past, that bring things about.
Study the lives of Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael, David Livingstone, Gladys Aylward, John Hyde, Mary Slessor, Maeyken Wens, Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, Billy Sunday, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, Hudson Taylor, Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, William Tyndale, E.M. Bounds, Isobel Khun, Esther Ahn Kim.....need I go on??
I cannot see those great men and women of Christian faith going to the bar, living with their boyfriend/girlfriend, smoking or dancing, or fooling around, or swearing, compromising, or playing with fire....I can't see it. Just like I cannot see Peter, Paul, Andrew, James, or John living like that. Or... Jesus. Can you see Jesus Christ blending in the world today? Can you see Him at the bars? The clubs? In the backseat? Why then would you???
The great men and women of God heard and obeyed when Jesus called them to "deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24) They denied themselves the simple pleasures that we call "our rights." They took up their cross - whatever "cross" it may have been. Hurt, abandonment, betrayal, rejection, laughter, loneliness, money problems, health problems, whatever they had to bear, whatever their "thorn in the flesh" was, they took it. And they followed. They went to the ends of the earth. They struggled, they fought, and they prevailed! They led many souls to glory!
There are choices in Christianity. I encourage you - LIVE in such a way that when others see you, they don't see YOU, they see HIM!