Tough To Live

       In another Gospel note the theme is “Tough To Believe”. That’s a look at hard to believe teachings of Biblical Christianity (link 175). This “G-note” deals with the greater challenge of just living the Christian life. Most will admit the believing part is easy. The following “stuff” is why many folks don’t continue in the faith & church involvement:

      From the gospel of Luke we have a discourse of Jesus that teaches his followers to “love their enemies”, “bless those who curse you & pray for them”, no vengeance & “turn the other cheek”. Then “give to all who beg”, “lend to others expecting nothing back”, and “don’t judge others but forgive them”. Luke 6:27-37 We have another world’s assessment of our values in Luke 16 where Christ says, “what is exalted among men is an abomination in God’s sight”. Verse 15
      From the book of Romans chapter 12 we are told “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, . . .” v.2. That chapter goes on to service in the church like teaching, contributing the tithe, giving aid, acts of mercy, etc. And of course the New Testament never cancelled the Big 10 – no idols, no blasphemy, no lies, no neglecting the Lord’s day, no adultery, don’t kill thy neighbor, etc. etc. And all of this may be easy compared to MARTYRDOM which may be a part of it during the great tribulation – Revelation 12:11. (We should keep in mind that from the garden beginning, GOD TESTS US . . .)
       Now what about Christ’s word in Matthew 11, “Take my yoke upon you . . . for my yoke is easy & my burden is light?” Is there a contradiction here? From my own experience of living the “life” for 46 years there’s no contradiction, and here is WHY: When we repent of sin & accept Christ, we join the “family” of God. Being born again/regenerated is a work of the Holy Spirit, and that Spirit empowers us to live “the life”. We won’t be perfect, but God looks at our sincerity & resolve. I realized early on it might be “Tough To Live” this new lifestyle, but God showed me a few miracles (link 33), His presence (link 73), His guidance (link 143), and His appointments (link 151). My faith held up and increased.
       Sure it may be a challenge to live God’s way, but it’s doable. Engaging in a denomination with all its specific doctrines, traditions, ritual, preaching, social mixing, etc. can be helpful. But all that doesn’t “float in the air” – it has to be based on something. Besides solid doctrinal teaching, that something is personal decision/determination, personal prayer, personal Bible reading, personal relationship w/Jesus Christ. Without those PERSONAL elements the Christian life is TOUGH TO LIVE, & our landscape is littered w/folks who have given up on the Church AND Jesus. If we want vitality in our spiritual life – if we want our “cup” to “runneth over” Psalms 23, we need to get that personal stuff right.
       Well I don’t find God’s Book & way of life to be that “Tough to Believe” or “Tough to Live”. I find it to be very interesting & satisfying knowing that the true purpose of life is unfolding around me. But I had to start somewhere & that was way back when I heard & responded to the Gospel. Christ’s call is still in the world today because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” And “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 3:20 Choose Jesus, He is alive. See also link 28 “What’s In It For Me?”

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