Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Four Steps to Changing the World

Much has been said over the years about how to change the world (and the world's need for change). There is certainly enough to show us how badly the world needs reform. Corruption is rampant in every level of society. So is crime, immorality, malaise, sloth, envy, and every form of sin. Reality TV shows feed our appetite for voyeurism. It seems we love to watch other people's sins and corruptions. Child abuse and domestic abuse seem to be more and more in the news. Yes, there is a good deal of need in the world for something to happen.

For me, I am a preacher. More than that, I am a Christian. I believe with all my heart that the only hope for the world is the Lord Jesus Christ. In His words, His teachings and the life changing power of the Holy Spirit He has sent to us, is all the hope there is for humanity. But with all that, there seems to be a dearth of change happening.

In other words, for all the good that is in the Bible, for all the presence of the Holy Spirit and for all the churches and all the Christians, there does not seem to be a lot of transformation going on. I want to show four steps that I believe (if they were followed) would make a true Christian difference in the world. We may not be able to change the whole world, but if these steps were followed, we could make a difference in the place where we live.

Step 1. We need to remember who we are. We are Christians. We are child of the Most High and Living God. We are Brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ, slaves of righteousness, Kings and Priests to the Lord our God. We are heirs of salvation and possessors of every blessing in the heavenly places. Our God lives within us in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. He speaks to us. He has left us with His love letter, the Bible to teach us His will and His ways. Step 1 is to take up this Bible and to learn of Him and His ways, then, to live according to what we have learned. Step 1 in changing the world is to see Christians changed. We are supposed to be being changed, day by day, into the image of our savior, Jesus Christ. We need to be not only Bible believing Christians, but also Bible living Christians. Each and every one of us need to start with ourselves first.

There is no sense in crying about the need of the world to change if we Christians will not be changed ourselves. We want prayer in school when we do not pray in our homes. We want to see passed to make our nation more of a Christian nation but we will not learn of, nor live by God's law in our own hearts. We complain about the lack of commitment among Christians to Christ, while we refuse to commit ourselves to Christ. Step 1 begins with each one of us.

Step 2 is a logical outgrowth of step 1. Once we begin to live by the word of the Living God, that is the scriptures, then we need to start applying them to our relationships within our families. If we cannot learn to love our spouses and our children the way God wants us to love, how can we ever love our church families or the lost in the world? If we want to see the world changed according to the words of Christ, then we need to see our families transformed by the words of Christ. We must take the lessons we have learned and applied to ourselves and then apply to the larger settings within our families. God has given us families for this very purpose. We can learn sacrificial love and service within our families. We can learn how to provide for people who are dependent on us for their lives within the family. We can learn to be committed to a group and that our lives are not lived out in isolation. All this and more is there to learn. Step 2 is for Christian people to have Christian families.

Step 3 requires us to step into a larger crowd, our home church. When Christian people take their Christian family and go to a Christian church we can effect one more step in changing our world. Unfortunately, many churches today live in a sub christian culture. They do not expound on the sacred scriptures, they substitute entertainment for worship. They are driven by the world's measures of success ... numbers and money. But, if Christians were to take the biblical lessons they have applied to themselves and to their families and applied the same lessons to the life of the church, then we might see a rebirth of Christian communities again. I mean truly Christian communities. We would see groups of Christians who love the Bible, believe the Bible, learn the Bible and live the Bible. What a revival might be brought about by groups united in doctrine, fellowship and prayer. The third step is to see our churches transformed into truly Christian fellowships.

Step 4 involves Christian people living out Christian principles in the world around them. If we would stop seeing ourselves as businessmen, teachers, farmers, lawyers, and workers and began to think of ourselves as Christian businessmen, Christian teachers, Christian farmers, Christian lawyers, or Christian workers, what an effect that would have on how we conducted ourselves in the world. If Christian fathers and Christian mothers raised Christian children, what might the future of our nation look like? If Christian husbands committed themselves to their Christian wives, what changes in society might be brought about? If we put the principles of honest work, honesty in our business dealings, if Christian ethics and morality ruled over our lives ... if the Bible was the standard of our real behavior ... what would our culture be like?

That is my simple, not profound, four step method for changing the world. People becoming real Christians, turning their families into real Christian families, making their churches into real Christian fellowships, and living out the principles of their Christian religion in their everyday lives, touching the world around them.

If one Christian would do it, it would make a difference. If every Christian did it, the whole world could be turned upside down. It begins with one person, seriously committed to God, Christ, and the words of the Living God in the Bible. It begins with you and me.


Blogger Diane said...

Excellent post John. It does start with us, and what an impact we would have in the world if all Christians were to live out what they believed.

9:58 AM  

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