Jude 3 (ESV)
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Which version of Christianity do you practice?
At last count, there are approximately 30,000 denominations in the United States alone. Each with a slightly different message emphasizing certain aspects of the gospel and delineating other points. If one is unhappy with the institution they currently are attending, they can easily shop down the street for another which better suit their beliefs and needs.
For the person searching for God, the journey can be most confusing. Most people have very little theological education and generally select a church community very much like choosing a gym membership. On the other hand, many who have left the institutional church because of hurt feelings or disagreement of teachings, leap to the other side and become agnostic Christians. They believe portions of Christianity but have difficulty with the God of the Bible. Most often they are stranded on a spiritual island unrecognizing the seriousness of their dilemma. They want a relationship with the living God, but everything they are told to do and act upon doesn’t seem to change their world. Again, they may become frustrated and walk away from The Way.
When one comes to realize Christianity version one is still available for all who ask, seek, and knock, the journey’s Way becomes more encouraging, engaging, and exciting. As one reads the early disciple’s writings about Jesus Christ, and His teachings, one begins to capture the Good News that the angels shared with the shepherds at the birth of earth’s King.
When one begins to focus on developing a meaningful relationship with the Triune God, instead of following a list of rules and duties, one discovers the God of the Bible.
As you travel through the writings of Matthew, Mark, John, Luke, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, you capture another side of who God is. Then as you immerse yourself into continual prayer with your heavenly Father, He answers your heart with solutions beyond your expectations. You slowly learn He cares for you and all those around you. As you begin to communicate with the Living God more profusely, you find yourself experiencing the fruit of His Spirit in your life.
Your heart and mind and soul slowly align with His desires. You begin to change. The old you slowly dissipate and a new creation comes alive. Your focus becomes more God and less you. You join His story instead of trying to write an independent biography. The relationship you begin to experience is pattern after the one Jesus has with His Father. As you read Scripture, you study context, Biblical culture, and learn to apply the message into your life today living in the 21st century. You become an amateur theologian.
Christianity version one is found written in the New Testament section of the Bible and also the writings of the early Church fathers during the first three hundred years after Christ’s ascension into heaven. All that information is at your finger tip. Instead of relying on any one institution or teacher, why not become a practicing Christian of version one yourself?
Ask your heavenly Father to lead you; allow the Holy Spirit to direct you; and Jesus Christ to fully live in you. Step aside your pride, lust, and worldly desires, and allow the Triune God complete His masterpiece within you. He designed you, gifted you, and made you unique for His purpose. Find that purpose in Christ, hang out with the Invisible God, and relive Christianity version one. You will never want to go back to the life you had before you truly met the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly Good News. If you haven’t come to that realization yet, then maybe its time to return to the basics of Christianity version one. Your family, friends, and work associates may think you as a radical Christian, but if radical means experiencing the overflowing life found in Jesus Christ, then why not bring it on!
Today is a new day. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow is only a day on a calendar until it arrives. But today is always the start of something new. Why not make today the day you reach out, forgive others and yourself, grab the hand of the Man from Galilee, and follow Him along your journey today. Be radical in Christ, partake of His creation, and watch as He leads you through this world’s maze for His glory and your salvation. You will not have time to look back. But will find yourself always amazed at His work in your life and the life of others.
Rooting For You in Christ!
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