Interestingly, the nations of the west in this position are founded in Christianity, and for this God seems to have blessed them richly. However, this blessing has become a god to most and today the blessing has become a curse as man is enticed by the lure of all manner of shiny objects that attract attention – attention that should be given to repentance and worship of the Christ who is worthy of it.
Israel often thought of themselves as the people of God and figured that because of this they would not come under condemnation. History demonstrates clearly that this is not the case, yet the church of Christ looks at itself the same way and things that because we are under grace we will never be judged.
Yet, judgment begins in the house of the Lord! Look at the indictments on the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 for a brief example that indeed Christ will judge his church. Recall the death of Ananias and Sapphira to remember that the church should be a people of fear (Acts 5:1-11). Or bear in mind the condemnation and astute circumstantial reading of the apostle Paul on the believers in Corinth who were taking the Lords supper without regard to sin and Christ and suffering sickness and death as a result of it (1 Cor 11:29-30).
The problem as we saw last time is that we are filled with pleasures and good things that preoccupy us so that we have not time or room for Christ in our lives. We have been taken up with the world so much that there are minimal affections for the one who truly deserves and desires those affections.
Here are some practical things we can prayerfully consider doing to help change our hearts:
- Exchange TV, movies and music for reading the Bible or godly books or listening to sermons or an audio bible
- Memorize scripture – a verse a week is 52 verses a year
- Get more sleep
- Be regularly in the word of God – every morning (after getting a good nights sleep)
- Figure out what distracts from this and remove it from your life or work hard to minimise the distraction (Heb 12:1-2). Dont try and do it in one shot – little by little – or in bigger steps – as suits you
- Get serious about sin – and confess it before God and ask Him to change your heart toward it – even if you don’t want to
- When you sit down to do an activity ask yourself “Is this going to help my walk with Christ or someone elses walk with Christ?”
- When engaging with unbelievers look for and take opportunities to tell them the good news
- Simplify your life. Own what you will use regularly to the glory of God and deny yourself anything else – if you already have the “anything else” refer to point 5
I’m sure you can think of others.
The key to this working is your answer to the following question: Are you serious about denying yourself and following Christ? I pray you are.