Tag: wwjd

What Would Christians Do? Pt. 2

What Would Christians Do? Pt. 2

If you’re even remotely familiar with Christianity, you may have heard the phrase W.W.J.D. What Would Jesus Do? In part 1, we explored the origins of this phrase and the implications of it. Is it more than a phrase or is it a personal conviction? The answer? It depends on the person.

We may not find this specific phrase in the Bible; but we do find various verses that encourage us to live like Christ and as an example (Ephesians 5:1-17, 1 John 4:7-21, Acts 1:8, John 14:12, 1 Timothy 4:12).

Oftentimes, in the process of living like Christ, we equate Christianity with Christ. Our hearts begin to believe ‘Christianity is the Way’ instead of ‘Yeshua (Jesus) is the Way.’ There is a difference in believing ‘Christianity is the Way’ as opposed to ‘Yeshua is the Way.’

If we pour all of our energy into following after Christianity, we’re no different than the Pharisees. Oftentimes, Christians demonize Pharisees as these historical enemies of Christ. The heart of the Pharisees is not specific to the Jewish culture or the time period in which Yeshua walked the earth. Many times, we are the Pharisees. We don’t want to believe that because we’re upholding what we believe Christ has required us to uphold. Isn’t that the same issue the Pharisees had? They were more concerned with upholding traditions and ideals, that they missed the more important truth and gift presented to them: Yeshua Christ, the Messiah.

There is no one expression or way to live like a Pharisee. (Disclaimer: Pharisees were not innately bad. They were leaders in Jewish culture and the temple. I’m specifically referring to their mindset and lack of precedence on what was most important.) For to live like a Pharisee, we would seek to justify ourselves because of the expectations and rituals we maintain.

For some of us, it’s our service to our church, our ability to pray, or memorizing Scripture. For others, it’s all the ‘bad’ things we don’t do. For many, it’s all of the ‘good’ things we do. There is no ‘amount’ of bad that you can do to keep you from being accepted by God. There is no ‘amount’ of good that you can do to cause you to be accepted by God.

It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a good person. Good is relative in our eyes. Good is holy in God’s. We don’t come close to God’s standard on our own. Your attempt at doing “enough” good stuff is empty religion.All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). There will never be enough on your own. That’s the equivalent of believing ‘Christianity is the Way.’ ‘If I’d just attend church service every week,’ ‘if I’d just not do this,’ or ‘if I’d just read my Bible enough’ or ‘if I’m seen as a Christian by other people,’ are all traps.

It’s the trap of self-sufficiency. It’s when we move from ‘Yeshua is the Way’ to ‘I can provide my own way.’ This proves to us, more than anything else, that we don’t really understand what Christ did before, during, and after the Cross. “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

This means: there is and never will be a way in which we can save ourselves.  Only Christ can. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way opened for us.. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings” (Hebrews 10: 19, 20a, 22).

Your religion will not save you. The rituals you participate in will not save you. The traditions you uphold will not save you. They were never given the power to do that. “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship (Hebrews 10:1).”

We don’t truly know how much power and freedom we strip from our lives when we try to live as our own savior. 

When Christ died, He didn’t just die for the Christian. He died for the world (John 3:15-17). He died for those who wouldn’t even accept Him. While they may never receive the beautiful gift of salvation because they never accepted it, the gift of salvation is for anyone who would believe (Romans 1:16; John 3:16).

So, let your salvation be found in Christ, not in yourself. For you can’t bear the weight of salvation on your shoulders. Christ already did.

I wasn’t planning on going this direction with this post, but I felt led by the Holy Spirit and was given revelation as I wrote. So, I hope this truly blesses and challenges you to rest in the grace and salvation provided through Christ, not your ‘Christianity.’

To further understand some of the ideas I alluded to in this post, check out two previous posts. I’m Not a Christian Pt. 1 and I’m Not a Christian Pt. 2. It may offend you, but may be exactly what you need to hear.

Let me know what you think and how this blog is impacting you personally! Like, comment, share, or email me. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy reading!

Over and out.

 

*The featured photo belongs to http://www.mercworks.net. I do not own the rights to or the photo itself.*

 

 

What Would Christians Do Pt. 1

What Would Christians Do Pt. 1

W.W.J.D.

What Would Jesus Do? In the 1990’s, this acronym became very popular in Christendom. For some, it became more than a cool catch phrase and more of a personal conviction. It encouraged Christians to respond in the same way they presumed Christ would respond.

You can read further about this acronym and its effects on Christendom here or here. Funnily enough, UrbanDictionary.com had a definition of its own. They have some pretty hilarious examples of how this phrase could be used. “WWJD? Well for starters, he probably wouldn’t purchase and wear tacky jewelry.”  “I’m not sure if I should write this webpage script in Perl, Java or PHP. Hmm, What Would Jesus do?”

With any catchphrase or cliche, the effect wears off eventually. Maybe, it should. I believe there comes a point at which you don’t have to ask ‘what would Yeshua do’ anymore. Instead, we ask ‘what will Yeshua do’ through me. The word ‘would’ implies a condition. “I would do this if ______.” It provides space for excuse. Instead, as a believer, I say, “I will do this because _______.”

What’s your ‘because?’ The Bible says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Cor. 5:20).

If your ‘because’ is anything other than the fact that God desires to reconcile others to Himself through you, refocus on what is important. It’s not about having the best ministry. It’s not about having the most followers. It’s not about being well-liked. When people encounter you, you ought to be a ‘deflector’ and ‘reflector.’ Before people can become enamored by how great you are, you ought to point them to the Source: Christ.

So, what will you do? What will you say? What will you think?

This is not to promote condemnation, comparison, or competition. This is not a question to answer based on how others are answering. This a question to open up a dialogue between you and God. ‘God, what would you have me to do?’ ‘God, what will you have me to do?’

I believe at the heart of this phrase (WWJD) is a need to acknowledge God in our decisions. It reminds us to be sensitive to the heart and will of God. We can’t go on living like what we do, say, or think doesn’t matter. Everything you do is perceived as a direct representation of who God is. The moment you say, “I’m a Christian,” you’re being watched. You’re being examined. People can’t help but to examine you. Don’t let this scare you. At best, let it be a sobering wake-up call if you’ve been thinking your life and how you live it doesn’t matter. Don’t be worried. The Spirit of God will empower you to live in a way worthy of the call you’ve accepted.

Further Study: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Currently, at my church, we’re going through a series called DETOX. Week Two’s message really speaks to some of the things written in this post. Watch the video here. Skip ahead to minute 37 and continue from there. Pastor Marcus Howard is a man well-studied on this subject and provides a comprehensive and practical training on this topic.

I hope you enjoyed reading this! This post was meant to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series.

We’re going to continue this series by answering some questions about the Christian’s lifestyle. Two questions will include: ‘Should Christians Go to Secular Parties?’ and ‘Should Christians Listen to Secular Music?’

So, stay updated.

Happy reading!

Over and out.

 

*The featured photo is from http://www.mercworks.net I do not own the rights to the photo or the photo itself.*