Warning: Changes Ahead!

Warning: Changes Ahead!

June 19, 2018 2 By Nancy Oehlert

If you’re looking for encouragement, I’m hoping that this lifts you up.

If you’re looking for a positive thought to get you through the day, let this blog spur you on!

If you’re looking for a life that is full of meaning, that’s where I’m headed, too.

Hop on and let’s search together.

But, I’m warning you, it’s going to get bumpy.

 

You’ve been caught reading someone else’s journal.

It’s okay, though, the journal is mine.

This blog began as a journal. You should be aware of that because journals can be messy. They’re full of un-filtered thoughts and raw feelings. Right? So, fair warning, some of those thoughts sting.

Some might hurt and make you angry.

But you’re already on board, so stay with me.

You’re reading thoughts I’ve been left with after encounters with a very real, very living God. If you don’t believe in God, that’s okay. He exists whether you choose to believe or not, just like a hot stove will burn you whether you think it will or not.

Can you, will you, keep an open mind?

 

Warning: You’re coming to this post could be his way of tapping you on the shoulder.

Perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at things?

If you are already a believer, the warning to you is even stronger. It’s disquieting that Jesus’ strongest words were usually spoken to the ‘religious people’ of his day.

It’s true that God loves us just as we are but it’s equally true that he refuses to leave us that way. “Be perfect as I am perfect.” That’s the standard God sets.

Let’s be honest, far too many Christians, myself included, have been leading lives of marginal obedience. And that’s just not good enough anymore. The price for this ambiguous approach to life is too high for everyone.

The number of people who have walked away from their faith is alarming.

I am sick of hearing about young people that I’ve known for years leaving home and abandoning their faith. My heart breaks because these are sweet, caring, young people that I watched grow up in households of faith.

Why are they leaving behind a God who loves them?

 

Why? I wanted answers.

So I started asking questions. What I learned cut me deeply. Our children and the rest of the world are tired of listening to us ‘mature Christians’ read, teach and preach one message on Sundays while we live another message the rest of the week.

When we are one person at church and someone else in our daily lives, when our home and work lives do not reflect the truth we claim to know, our children and other people see it.

Make no mistake, they see the inconsistency. So they’re thinking that if God and the Bible aren’t enough to elicit our own faithfulness and consistency, why should they ‘buy into’ it?

How important can it really be?

 

It’s absolutely vital!

No human expects another human to be perfect. But they do look for a consistency of character in their parents, teachers, co-workers and church leaders. If we wear the name of Christian and proclaim that God is real, others must see that God and his word are truly central to our lives. What we watch, listen to, read, and say, where we go or do not go need to reflect God’s standard and Christ’s love in our lives.

 

We must live what we sing!

How much more effective would our witness for Christ be if we lived what we sang as children?

   Be careful little eyes what you see.

   Be careful little ears what you hear.

   Be careful little mouth what you say.

   Be careful little hands what you do.

   Be careful little feet where you go.

   There’s a  Father up above and he’s looking down in love.

So be careful ….

 

Repairmen are needed. We must mend what we can.

Make a list of all the people you know who used to go to church that don’t go anymore. How many young people do you know who have left their faith behind when they left home, like an old baseball glove?

Make a list of them and ask God to start working on their hearts as he works on yours. Contact them and if you’ve been a poor example, be honest and apologize. Share with them that you’re trying to do better.

Assure them that God truly does matter. Gently plead with them to redig their well of faith just as Isaac redug the wells of Abraham centuries ago.

Meet them to share a cup of coffee and your renewed faith. Encourage them to ‘come home’ and promise to stay in touch.

If you’re a believer, Jesus is speaking to you when he says, “ If anyone causes one of these little ones- those who believe in me- to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42) Jesus said it. The Holy Spirit inspired Mark to record it for our benefit. I think they mean it.

We’ve got people to contact and things we gotta do.

Please keep in mind that the notes you read in this blog are meant to help a flawed individual…me. If they bless you in any way, I’m thankful. Let’s encourage one another with the closing words of James’ letter:

“My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let that person know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

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