"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Friday, June 2, 2017

6 Myths and Truths about Growing in Christ

Anyone who remembers Eliab? The prophet Samuel thought he was God's chosen because of his looks. You remember John Mark? He was taken to a missionary journey but had proved unreliable because he had deserted Paul and Barnabas. There are times we miss the traits and marks that God looks for in a servant and judge people with our flesh, so we pick the wrong people for the right ministries.

God told Samuel how He never looks at a person's appearance but his heart and John Mark later repented and wrote a version of the Gospel and proved helpful to Paul's ministry. How do we know who's a real help right now in ministry and who's not yet ready?

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How do you make sure you are really growing spiritually in Christ and how do you know you're not? Among the tragedies today in church is not knowing who's really growing and who's not. And many who are carnal or spiritually immature get the highest positions in church and direct those who are genuinely mature.

So, here are 6 truths and myths about growing in Christ.

Myth 1: People active in church are growing spiritually in Christ. Not always. In fact, those so active are often the ones who are immature, especially those who are in church almost 24/7, participate in all the activities and ministries, and seem to live in the church---in their busyness they lose time alone with God and they seldom seriously study the bible or devote enough time for it.

They may look good in church but often they lose it when they're elsewhere where they act and behave differently. Mostly, they do not help do house chores and make going to church an escape.

Truth 1: Activeness in church doesn't mean anything.Those who really grow in Christ study the Word of God seriously, have daily quiet times alone with God and live out the Word daily. They may not be so active in church (sometimes they just sit in the pews on Sundays and do nothing else) yet they live right in the eyes of God whether they are in church, in school. at home or anywhere they may be. They are the most useful servants of God. At their beckon and call, God sends his angels to assist their prayers.

Myth 2: Worship leaders and members of the worship team (and choir) are worshipers. Not always. Often, they worship good only when on stage to be seen by people, especially when they're on camera. Do they worship as good when in the privacy of their bedrooms? I doubt. I've seen members of worship teams not worshiping when it's not their turn to lead worship on stage. They talk with each other, text, just stand idle during worship or busy themselves with other things. Some do not sing at all but just wait for worship to finish, obviously bored.

Worse, some can even worship expressively on stage but live in sin off stage. I've heard about worship team members or church workers who are actually in sexual immorality (and personally knew some of them who did).

Truth 2: True worshipers worship God in spirit and in truth. They worship God first of all by being deep in his Word and actually living daily life according to it. And how they worship in church is the same way they worship God in the secrecy of their bedrooms.

Myth 3: Worship is singing and playing musical instruments. False. People always mistake good singers and instrument players as "worshipers." Worship is NOT singing or instrument playing. In the spirit, you may be singing for God and yet God does not see it as worship. Worse, a lot of people really worship themselves in church though they may think they are doing it for God.

Truth 3: Worship is how we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. It has very little to do with singing and instrument playing. You can be singing out of tune and yet be a true worshiper of God. Many people do not know this, but meditating the Word of God is true worship. No one may be singing in church, but if everyone is meditating the Word seriously, it's actually worship time.

Myth 4: Sunday is the Lords Day. It sounds good but you won't find this idea in the bible. Nor is Saturday the "Sabbath" day. Don't think you've become "spiritual" or you are growing in Christ just because you go to church every Sunday.

Truth 4: Instead, ever since you got born again and surrendered your life to Jesus, God started owning your life. "You are not your own, you have been bought for a price" says the Word. Thus, all your days on earth are the "Lord's Day." You worship God daily. You rest in God each day as well. We devote ourselves to God not just once a week (and just 4 hours at that) but all day everyday. In fact, it's the reason why we "pray without ceasing" and "meditate the Word of God day and night." If you worship God just on Sundays or Saturdays, your spirit is starved.

Myth 5: You must give God your tithes and offering. A lot of Christians believe giving tithes and offering is part of Christian growth. In fact, just because they give their tithes, they think they have become good "givers." But if you really want to grow in Christ, you should get the true picture.

Truth 5: Since 1998, God had already showed me that not just 10 percent of our money but all of it belong to God. We probably give 10 percent to the pastor or apostle in church on Sundays, but the remaining 90 percent still belongs to him---because (as I have said) we are not our own, we have been bought for a price. Truth is, we own nothing.

Never treat your money and possessions as your own and then just give 10 percent to God and think the 90 percent belongs to you. You're getting it all wrong. If you want to really grow in Christ, all your money and possessions should belong to God. Anytime he requires them, you should be willing to release them. Always ask God what you should do with the 90 percent. It's his.

Myth 6: God loves you more than others if you have more money. I really find it ridiculous when people think they have more money because God finds them growing more in Christ than others are. The same when people see churches with more money and bigger buildings as growing more spiritually than other churches. Your riches has nothing to do with your spiritual standing. In fact, being richer than others doesn't mean anything.

Truth 6: God gives money to anyone, even crooks in politics, the corrupt and criminals. But God never gives the cross of Jesus just to anyone. He chooses who suffers (or drinks the cup) with Christ and sits with him on his right and left in his Kingdom. If you have more money, it only means you have the responsibility to share it with others who have none. Nothing more. Jesus didn't say blessed are the moneyed. He said blessed are the poor in spirit.

If you're looking for someone to assign an important ministry, make sure you know who the real servants in your church are---servants recognized by the King and His Kingdom.

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