I have always wanted to blog. I am a communications major, and I have always enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. As you probably can tell by my user name, I am a Christian. I am not ashamed to state my faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 tells us, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” My real name, “Christina,” literally means follower of Christ. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was five. It was Al and Nancy Shoopman who led me to Jesus. I was baptized in Mission Bay in San Diego when I was nine. It was not until I was 17 that I really started to understand what it means to have a one-on-one personal relationship with Jesus. I started reading God’s Word and praying to Him, and I felt a passion to live my live for Him. My faith was challenged many times in college by the classes I had to take, but I always came away with a better understanding of what he Bible has to say about a current topic. I am 30 now, and I still feel the same way. My life has been far from perfect, but with God daily at my side, I feel better equipped to handle each day.
The Bible is more than just a book to those who believe in it. It is a weapon. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” A weapon should never sit unused by our sides. It is not a decoration or fashion statement. It is not something we carry to church on Sunday and crack open once a week because that is what our churches tell us to do. It is a weapon. Satan is real, and if he had his way, he would distract us with all available means to prevent us from learning how to use this weapon. Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us, ” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Satan’s goal is to keep us from becoming skilled in the Bible’s many uses against the enemy and his demonic forces. Satan would like for nothing more than to make us weak, so that he can attack us and render us useless in achieving God’s will for our lives here on Earth. Satan is relentless; he will never stop looking for our vulnerabilities. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Throughout our lives, the devil will do what he can to prevent us from doing the will of God. He will tempt us, dangling carrots under our noses, and when we least expect it, we might just grab one of them. We need to protect ourselves with the armor of God (also mentioned in Ephesians 6), so we will be less likely to suffer from an attack. (When we are attacked, however, Jesus will be there to bandage the wound and help us press on. He will never condemn us; but he will ask us to repent when we fall into temptation.)
As Christians we, need to be ready to stand up for what we believe in. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 4:1-5: “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” I believe we live in day where we want our ears to be tickled. Many preachers are leading their congregations away from the authority of God’s Word and telling them what they want to here – what feels good. A doctor would never tell his patient what feels good; he would tell his patient the truth in love, hopefully using proper bedside manners. We need to do the same as Christians. We need to tell people the good news about Jesus in a gentle, loving way, but people need to hear the Truth. Not some watered down version of it, but God’s Word as it plainly reads. We are charged with this task as Christians: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
I believe many Christians nowadays are closet Christians. They sing songs on Sunday mornings, they attend church, they read God’s word here and there, and they recite well-known verses. But how many are willing to go out into the world with the good news of Jesus Christ? In a society that thrives on acceptance and approval, this is a hard challenge to accept. Many people mistakenly think Jesus preached nothing but love, peace and harmony. Keep in mind what was prophetically said of Him in Isaiah 53:3: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, and like one from who men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” I don’t know about you, but the Jesus in the Bible doesn’t sound like he got along with, and agreed with, everyone he encountered during His lifetime.
I urge you to follow the words of Mark 8:34-35 if you are a follower of Christ: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Make a choice today to stand with God and upon His word and be an effective instrument for the eternal kingdom!