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so I have been thinking today about our life with Christ... I think many Christ followers live in guilt and bondage....why when all through the scriptures it speaks of FREEDOM
dont we all remember singing the song in youth group if the son has set you free you are free indeed?!?!?! WE ARE FREE if we follow Christ....
we are not bound to going to church... we arent bound to following rules.... we arent bound to programs and responsibilities... we arent bound to anything but CHRIST!!!... it actually says in the word to ABIDE in him... sounds better than bound... Christ always puts things better than me anyways .... ABIDE... like abiding in bed for ten more minutes while I hit the snooze every morning... ABIDE... there is comfort in that word.... when you abide Him you see his Beauty you have an appreciation for Christ... like Abiding on the couch watching basketball with your husband.... its sweet sweet fellowhsip with the best friend you will ever have in your life... and you maybe wanting to watch WHAT NOT TO WEAR or HGTV but you dont not out of guilt or responsilibilty but out of love and appreciation and the beauty you see in him... and the more you watch basketball you start to develop an appreciation for it... you know the more we spend time ABIDING in Christ the more we will fall in love with the things he loves... or how in the busyness of life you find time to meet with your best girl friend for coffee..... and before you know it that one hour lunch date turned into a three hour one....
I think too many times we equate following God to repsonsibilities.... like we HAVE to spend time in the word for this amount of time at this hour of the day....
so many times we are contridictory to the WORD OF GOD!!!
like we have to think this type of church has it right and this type has it wrong.... you know or because I dont do that and she does ... she must not follow Christ....
Look at what the very words of God say....
1 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.
2-4For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.
5Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.
6-9What's important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God's sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you're a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It's God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That's why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.
10-12So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I'd say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we're all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture: "As I live and breathe," God says, "every knee will bow before me; Every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God."So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.
13-14Forget about deciding what's right for each other. Here's what you need to be concerned about: that you don't get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I'm convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.
15-16If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don't eat, you're no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don't you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!
17-18God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.
19-21So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.
22-23Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.
I sure as heck dont have it all right in this life... I mess up daily... actually probably more like minute-ly... I left my cell phone at Cracker Barrell on Sunday went and got it around 2 and then threw it away in the DUMPSTER that night... I mean seriously if a girl does that she really doesnt have it all together.... ( by the wy I went dumpster diving for it and got it :) )
I want to seek him more, ABIDE in him more like I do in my big comfy white bed each morning... or on my comfy brown leather couch ( thanks dad rick and carrie) with my best friend each evening.....
and I want to place myself SECOND!