Who Is A Christian?

Great article!

The Gospel Network

This might be a simple question. But the answers, if we are to undertake a poll will reveal many erroneous ideas about who a Christian is. According to the 2010 population and housing census, 71%1 of Ghanaians identify themselves as Christians. Across the world approximately 2.2 billion2 people call themselves Christians. The history of the world is studded with stories of people who abandoned family ties, fled their countries and even others who have paid the ultimate price by giving up their lives in the name of Christianity. In the face of such staggering statistics and sacrifice, the natural question to ask is who is a Christian?

Societal versus Biblical Definition

For many, a Christian is an individual born in a Christian home. For others, a Christian is one who is punctual with church attendance. A Christian to others is a morally good person who loves their neighbour…

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As Christ’s Voice calls you and me…

What would happen if you didn’t do what the Lord has called you to do?

Rather think of it like this, how many people may not have the opportunity to know Christ as you and I do, due to us choosing not to do what the Lord has called us to?

This has been a question that has been on my mind since I first heard it, in certain times sounding much louder as I neglected my duties or even chose to do what I thought best suits me. The first time I was asked this was in church during a sermon delivered on one sunny Sunday morning at our university chapel. I began to see more of my worth and my role in God’s big and mighty plan, in the eyes of an all holy, all knowing (omniscient), and all powerful (omnipotent), ever present (omnipresent) God. The question resonated with clear tones, an appeal to those listening with some level of urgency- what do we imagine happens when we do not answer to the Lord’s call? It could not go unnoticed. Sometimes it really is quite a scary thought to think how easily our decisions that may seem more meaningful in that moment could take precedence over anything else and we lose sight of what the Lord has set for us. So easily the focus is on us, what we ought to achieve, how much more of our own efforts we need to put in, a little more for us- but today the question is quite different. In the midst of busying ourselves with fulfilling our own desires, what would happen if you and I do not answer to the Lord’s call? Imagine in a practical sense how many lives could be lost as a nurse chooses not to attend to his/ her patients, how many young futures suffer as their teachers choose not to educate them, how many in our own lives are affected as we do not do what the Lord has called us to do?

Some may argue pursuing personal desires is certainly better than not doing anything at all. Some self determination to answer to our own needs; trying to in fill the spaces we feel so incomplete, something is being done and some good should come of it. We may believe and tend to think that- honestly we are not sure how it will turn out exactly in our pursuits but we have to figure it ourselves as we go, at least that is how we feel we ought to do it and it feels right. After all internally there is always a need within to do something greater for ourselves, if externally we aren’t being pushed to do something greater by the world around us. It could be doing something more for our families, working a little harder at work, applying ourselves a little more at school; cause all we feel is we need to give more of ourselves, to make it better right? Pursuit of one’s own dreams and desires is not bad but the question I’m asking is whose call impacts us as we go on our daily lives in our different pursuits?

Nehemiah 2:1-10

One story that stood out to me illustrating whose call we are to seek in our lives is shown in the life of Nehemiah. His story, from how I have come to understand it, is one of an ordinary man who achieved extraordinary things, who was a practical man of action, hardworking, organised, and focused reaching a top position being the king’s cup bearer in the Persian Empire.  He enjoyed the unreserved confidence of the king and was trusted to taste the king’s wine to ensure that it was not poisoned. He was however a Jew who with his industrious character had managed to become the king’s favourite and also one of his most trusted. In today’s context, he had climbed the “social and corporate ladder” using honest means and was enjoying an enviable position in one of the most powerful kingdoms at the time. Some researchers believe he was even a governor there. Yet despite all that power, there was a greater call for Nehemiah which was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed, which would help his people in a land so far from where he was. The Word tells us that he was so grieved for the exiles and the unrest he heard was going on in Jerusalem. He mourned for days weeping for his country repenting of the way they had sinned against the Lord, through prayer and fasting. (Nehemiah 1:4) In spite of the comfort and security he enjoyed in the Persian Empire, the need to help his own people in their time of distress outweighed whatever ease he had there.

Only the Lord ignited Nehemiah’s love for his people and his home country. The Lord had directed to him to his true calling- to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and reconstruct what had been broken. If left to our own will, we find satisfaction in the comfort of what today offers with our myopic vision, not seeing the great visualisation of an AWESOME GOD.

Today the call is for you to answer to the Lord’s call. Have you received salvation? Have you been born again? “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 ESV

Today the call is for you to turn to Him and refocus placing Christ at the centre where He belongs, if you have received Him. Make every day and everything in your life about glorifying and seeking more of Him in your life. From His call we realise that EVERYTHING grows and is given a fulfilling purpose. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV

The day I heard the call to follow Christ, and listened in my heart I realised the day had finally come for me to surrender and give my life to Jesus Christ whom I didn’t fully understand but I knew that I desperately needed. I remember before I heard His beautiful call, the way I felt my independence as most valuable, of utmost importance and by the code to which I would live by for the rest of my life. I would live according to my own rules and stand tall taking pride in my own accomplishments and failures. As far as my decision making would go, I would only answer to my own needs, my heart and feelings would be my guide, for only in those I felt I could rely. I felt safe with that neat arrangement of mine not seeing my own blindness- my rebellion, my trust in my own sin and ignoring the need for a Saviour who knows me better than I know myself. How my dependence on myself limited me from a call that is so great, much greater than I could imagine with more fulfilling work, He had set for me! One that would enable me to see my part in His plans and He would strengthen me in doing what He has called me to. No longer could the call be ignored and I knew the reconstruction plan of my life had begun.

May I answer to your call O’ Lord, may I seek you with all my heart, and in all I do may you remain the centre for you deserve all the glory.

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:2-3 ESV

 

For everything there is a beginning…. ….

I feel this has been long awaited. 

I am hardly a writer nor a theologian, at least I don’t think of myself as one but I have realized that having been given this gift to be able to express myself in word, it should be used. Yes, of course there are times even when I think if it is a good idea to actually publish my thoughts, whether anyone will read this, what if I have much criticism to answer to, how will I face it? For too long I battled in my mind, wondering, second guessing, trying to make sense of a plan that had already been made even before anyone knew I would be in existence. I felt challenged, was excited for what was ahead but had no idea how to actually start….

It’s simple to understand why I struggled to actually start for so long because I had made this about my abilities and what I have always known myself to be good at. I did not make this about the One who sent me to write in the first place and how He would equip me for it. I thought how I would start writing would be determined by me. How much I see now, how I underestimated the One who sent me.However I couldn’t hide from it any longer, the Lord has been showing me in so many ways that despite the fears I have, this has to be done. For everything, there is most certainly a beginning, especially when Christ is involved. I have been so amazed and left with little words to express how His faithfulness has led me to actually start typing… Letter by letter, I am going to share with you, how His living word has sustained me through and has led me. May this encourage you, whoever you are. I’m praying the Lord by His grace enables you to experience Him, for truly there is no greater joy than encountering our Saviour Christ Jesus.

As a disclaimer these are all thoughts and reflections I have shared and have come across in my Christian walk. I have read and researched on many of the topics I will be sharing here and am always delighted to receive feedback for those who are also keen on knowing Christ more and grow in their relationship with Him. The lord we serve is One who always does abundantly and exceedingly and may He be praised for it! Through these works of my hands do I give Him all the glory and I pray to continue on strengthened only by Him!

Numbers 9: 15-23

On the day the Tabernacle was  built the tent of Testimony was set up and a cloud covered it. The cloud was said to be like fire from evening till morning above the Tabernacle and continued during the day as a cloud. I can only imagine this cloud descending covering the Israelites in the desert and this is how I envisioned how that would be today. The day Christ called me to follow Him and I gave my life to Him, immediately I received His protection in the form of a cloud- I received refuge and shade from  the harsh conditions I would otherwise would be facing helplessly without Him. It is said in the Word that during the day they were kept safely under the cloud and even at night as it blazed like fire.

It goes to show that even in the day we still need protection. We require His protection everyday, every bit of each day. to have hearts and eyes fixed Christ through the day and night. This picture represented a beautiful picture of God with us. At night He burned like fire (Amen) a fierce form of protection and as a source of light. Night time when we are physically vulnerable and at greater physical risk we can still fall prey to all sorts of sins- we can fear the unknown in the dark or be enticed by many temptations. The cloud was Christ’s presence then and presents how He is in our midst today. His presence should be our guide when to begin, when to pause, when to continue, when to stop and when to rest!

How different would our lives be when we make our every movement at the Lord’s instruction. To rest when we are told to, work when we are told to and be patient to be told of our next step.

This seems tedious and signing to a form of slavery but the Lord is said to be the best master we can find guaranteed. Matthew 25:24

Walk in the fear of the Lord not in the fear of man by night or by day, praying for you all. Pray to begin with Christ, pray to obey the Lord, pray everyday to begin with Christ.