Wonder- Hillsong United

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Benefits of Being a Christian

Christianity is more than a list of rules, demands and obligations.  If it were not, no one would want to be a Christian.   But how do we make it look appealing to the watching world?  Actually we don't need to repackage it or jazz it up somehow....but on the other hand, there needs to be some kind of attractive characteristics in us in order to spread the good news about the salvation Jesus bought for us.  If these things are not obvious to those who watch us and watch the way we live, then maybe some self assessment is needed.

What are some of the benefits of being a Christian that I have experienced?
1) Trusting faith in the face of danger or hard times.  There have been times when we didn't have a paycheck coming in and there were great needs. In other times there were more problems-- usually around money...Repairs were needed...even repairs with steep price tags...or we needed money to pay off a car...And in these times I feel my faith, solid rock hard beneath my feet high above the waves of difficulty, trusting God to see us through and meet our need. and you know what? I have never once been disappointed. I have never had an unmet need. Praise God for that!  How can this not be an obvious benefit?  There were years spent in a wheelchair with the prognosis that I would never walk again.  I believed God would eventually enable me to walk; and he did.

2)  The power of prayer.  The expression "Prayer Changes things" is true, if you are praying to the Lord of Hosts, the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit..  I have seen countless prayers answered...Most recently, keeping hurricane Matthew away from us.  We did not have a generator and  would have faced severe losses were our basement to have flooded.  This is the third or fourth close call with hurricanes that I've prayed for deliverance from and at the last minute they changed course and went away  even, when we had clearly been in their path. I know others prayed and the Hurricane Matthew still came and caused great damage... I do not understand fully how God decides on the paths of storms and why some prayers get answered only with keeping the family safe and providing shelter and others lose everything.  And others, like us, were spared.  But I am convinced that God hears and responds to my prayers...,multiple times daily.  I can tell you great stories of the thousands of prayers that have been miraculously answered by my loving Lord.

3) Intimacy with the Lord of all creation.  He teaches me; hears me; talks to my spirit; amazes me by his beauty and by His love for me.. He teaches me through His Word, the Bible.  

4) The joy of worship-  there is nothing like worshiping God with good music, praises and prayer.  And this is something that a watching world simply cannot comprehend.

5)  No fear of death.  If you are not positive of what will happen to you after death, it would be common and reasonable for you to fear death.  I know that to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."  I look forward to Eternity and I know that there will be limitless things in the New Earth to cause us great joy;. Not the least of these is freedom from pain.  I cannot WAIT!!!!

6)  Members of a loving family. My church is like my second family...They help us constantly with needs such as transportation, meals, shopping.  We laugh together and we cry together. And best of all, they pray for me. There are no words to express how much I love them and they, me.

These things may not be obvious to the people  around me unless they watch carefully without judgment and take in the whole picture.  Yes I fail at times but JESUS FORGIVES ME WHEN I ASK FOR HIM TO.  That is the best benefit.  Have you ever done something that caused you great shame?  Guilt gnaws at your insides and you wonder how you can continue to live with those regrets and guilt.  I have..   And I have confessed, repented and trusted in the blood of Jesus to cleanse me from all guilt....and he does and I may still feel sad about failing Him, but the burden of guilt is gone.

I'm glad I wrote this all down. It is good for the soul to assess the good things God has done for me and you.  So when you look at me, look at the whole picture. The unseen as well as the seen.  If you are honest you will see evidences of these benefits in my life.
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