Keynotes – December 2018

The Marks of a Christian – Part 2
Last month we looked at the attitude of a Christian relative to governments. This month we look deeper; we look into the heart of God. “If God is in charge, why do all these bad things happen?” That type of questions haunts many people and raises doubts for many Christians. Such questions come because we don’t understand the mind of God. We think we know
that certain events are bad and others are good and God should have things work out the way we know is best.
Are we truly as wise as we might think we are? Aren’t we imposing our
wisdom on God? That’s a dangerous position because we are putting ourselves higher than God and breaking the first commandment of not having any other god before God. We don’t mean to do that; and yet, that is what we are doing.
Being a Christian is something like learning to ride a bicycle. When we first
believe there is great joy. There is great comfort. Our faith “couldn’t be stronger.” Or could it? When we first believe we don’t see
them, but we are staying up because we have training wheels. Our weak faith feels strong.
We normally talk about the Good News as the love of God, but in this case the Good News is that your faith has room to grow! I can say that
confidently because no matter how strong your faith is today, it can be stronger tomorrow.
We don’t want to be ‘Casual Christians’ or ‘Arm chair Christians’ who aren’t fully engaged in being a Christian because our faith
is still in its infancy. We don’t want to have training wheels all of our life.
It is very likely that we are going to Heaven, but God has SO MUCH MORE that He wants to share with you!
Taking off the training wheels happens as we walk with God. Taking off the training wheels happens as we learn the heart of God. How does God think? What are priorities to God?
How is this event something God is going to use for good?
Here’s a clue, remember that God looks for the long term. Although God is right beside us all the time, the immediate need or issue isn’t as important as being a Child of God in Heaven for all of eternity.
As an example most people look at the tragic death of Princess Diana and question why God would allow that to happen. Let’s start by saying I don’t know for sure because I am not God. However, we know that God loves all people. We know that God doesn’t easily let go of His Children. We know that Diana grew up in a Christian home. What if she believed in Jesus
as her Lord and Savior and her dating a Muslim was about to cause her to lose that faith condemning her to Hell for eternity? What if God called her home to Heaven before that could happen? Is it now a tragedy or a blessing that we don’t comprehend?
When hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans was that to take faithful Christians and spread them across this country so that more people would know Jesus and enter the Kingdom of God? We don’t know.
What we do know from studying God’s Word is that He works HARD
to get people into His Kingdom. Studying His Word opens our hearts up to possibilities beyond our comprehension. It has taken many years studying the Word of God to help me see how God works, and I keep learning more.
Consider how Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and how tragic that seems. Joseph could see God’s hand at work. “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the salvation of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20 The evil actions of the brothers ultimately resulted in millions of people surviving a seven year drought.
Read God’s Word on your own. Study it together with sisters and brothers in Christ. Let God work in your hearts to reveal His heart. Dig into His Word and you will find treasures that you can’t yet imagine. No matter how strong your faith is today, He has a gift for you that is even greater. Open the gift of the Word of God!