Summary: A plea for Christians to stop covering up and putting on a show and just be real about who we are and where we are spiritually.
---about our relationship with God
- hot or cold
- doubts or questions
Lk. 7:18-23 John 20:24-31
--- about our spiritual growth
- infancy & maturity
- perfect but not perfect
-filled but not filled
--- about our emotions
-Let’s not tell Christian lies!
This is the third in a series of messages about characteristics needed for a effective Christian life. The first was determination, the second was acceptance.
God wantsw us to be real with Him. He does not want us to cover up or put on. In Rev. 3,
God wants us to be authentic. Either hot or cold He can deal with. You can preach for days right here. God can deal with our distance or coldness from him if we will only own up to it. These people are candiates for salvation. The ones that know their distance from Him. Those of us who have been lulled into a false sense fo security are the most difficult ones to reach. It’s easy to preach on and on here. Also, speak to the fact that you can be real with your doubts and quetsions. John the Baptist was; Thomas was; Just be real with God. He can deal with your doubts and questions. He’s a big God. Preachers, lets not put our people down because their faith is not as strong as ours. Almost everyone is your church has doubts and quetions. Love ’em through those times.
God wants us to be real about our spiritual growth. If we are immature, we will never grow past that until we admit it. Nothing wrong with being a baby unless we desire to stay there.
Also, lets never think we have this Christian life by the tail. Paul says he was not perfect yet he was perfect. That is the paradox of the mature Christians. While we indeed are going in the faith, the "perfect Christian" sees his shorcomings and failing more and more clearly. The deeper we go into God’s grace the more we know we need the blood of Christ.
It’s only the sancitfied person who truly understands the extent of their own sin. This perfect but not perfect is the attiude of the mature saint. Also, we are filled but not filled. Blessed are those who hunger for righteousness for they shall be filled. If I’m filled then I am no longer hungry. Mature people must have a constant hunger and filling, hunger and filling. That’s a tremedous paradox. I’ve never known a mature saint who was satisfied with their walk with the Lord. There is always higher ground for us to take. Preacher, talk out your own experience here. Your people will see you as more real.
Also, lets be real about our emotions. Christians have moods like everyone else. We get depressed like everyone else. Lets don’t gloss over our humanity. The world is not drawn to inauthencity. They need the wounded healer that is real and has been through the same hurts in life. Lets not tell Christian lies and cover up the real us by acting Christian. God can deal with our humanity and people can as well. We don’t have to be super-dooper saints. The world can’t idenitify with that.
WE SHOW TRUST IN GOD WHEN WE ARE COMFORTABLE ENOUGH IN HIS PRESENCE TO BE REAL.