S.T.A.R.

With Christmas around the corner and in continuing with the theme of Christian Acronyms it only seemed natural to talk about one of the most important parts of the Christmas season, the STAR.

The star was the way that the wise men were able to find Jesus, and it can be a way for us to find Jesus today.  God used a star to mark the location of His son for the world to find him.  It can be a way for you to lead others to Christ today as well, by thinking of S.T.A.R. in this way – Standing Tall, Always Ready.

As Christians we are to stand tall for the call of the Kingdom.  We must always stand strong in defense of Christ, especially in a world like the one we live in.  There are so many things that are going on around us that can either cause people to turn their backs on God and His people, or can cause misconceptions as to what people must do to be saved.

When we stand tall, we are taking a stand against the ways of the world.  As Christians we are to be set apart, we are to be different, and people should be able to see a difference in us as we go about our daily business.  We should always take the opportunity to be different, if we look like the world, then those around us who don’t know Christ will never know him because they will never know what He looks like unless we take the stand for Him.

Many of the common misconceptions in the world today are the ideas that many have that they can live as they want and still seek redemption, but I want to tell you today that taking that view is like playing with fire, it may seem like a fun time, but eventually you are going to get burned.  We are to live our lives as if they could be over at any time, because we are not promised tomorrow.

Next, we should always be ready.  We should be ready for Christ to come back at this moment.  We should always be ready to show others what He is doing in our lives.  We should always be ready to give an answer.

1 Peter 3:14-17 says, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.(KJV)”

It may not be an easy thing to stand tall in the face of adversity, but that is what we as Christians are called to do.  Fear of persecution is something that keeps Christians from being the light that they need to be, but I would encourage you to stand tall in your walk today and to always be ready to share what God is doing in your life.  Let your STAR shine bright through the darkness and let the world know that God is doing amazing things through His people.  We must share Christ with a dying world.

We should always live in expectation of the return of Christ, because we never know what tomorrow holds.  Is your STAR shining brightly today?

P.R.A.Y.

In the Christian walk prayer is one of the most important parts of our everyday life. I talked about us praying until something tthappens (p.u.s.h.) a few weeks ago but I want to continue that discussion this week with P.R.A.Y. – Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.

Jesus, when asked by the disciples how we should pray, responded with the Lord’s prayer…something we should all look at as a model for our prayers each day.

“And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”” (Luke 11:2-4 ESV)

Jesus showed us the proper order of prayer. He said to open with praise. When you pray, open with praise to God for everything that He has blessed you with.  We have so much to be thankful for, yet many times we forget to thank God for what He has given us.

Next, Jesus says to repent by asking forgiveness for our wrong doings, but He also says for us to offer forgiveness to others. For us to fully repent and be forgiven we must set our hearts right to receive forgiveness. If you ask for a blessing you have to be prepared to accept it; harboring ill feeling toward someone else can keep us from receiving a blessing ourself.

The third thing we are to do is ask. Jesus tells us that if we will ask, we will receive, and if we seek we will find. When Jesus says, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” it is asking for deliverance from the snares that can so easily hold us back from following in the footsteps of Christ.

The final thing that we must do is yield to the way that Jesus set before us. For us to move forward and fully enjoy our Christian walk, we must accept our place on the road of life and yield to the way of the Lord.

How is your prayer life today? Are you praising God for the blessings and repenting of the things that are holding you back from receiving what you are asking for while yielding to the example that has been set for you? I encourage each of you to look deep within your heart and examine your thoughts. Choose today to examine your heart and set it straight.