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by Steve Countryman
10/06/2011 / Christian Living
Living in a sinful world where character, principles, integrity and convictions seem so out of touch with what you see and hear on TV, radio, music and movies, I am amazed that Christians even know what they mean. Those words help to define someone who is steadfast, firm, dedicated, committed, unyielding and uncompromising, a determined Christian. The world sees them as biased, hateful, bigoted and none tolerant. The world likes to label people based on their lifestyle, profession, politics and religion. So how do you want your label to read? You will suffer a label for being a determined Christian.
We make excuses to justify our compromises and lifestyle choices. God shared with me that the goal of excuses is a release of responsibilities. You obligate yourself to someone by making an appointment, promising something, giving our word, telling someone that you will be there at a specific time, agreeing to pay or do something for someone; these are all examples of types of responsibility. Being held accountable. But we use excuses to get out of anything that is inconvenient for us. You give an excuse to get out of keeping an appointment or date. You give an excuse that traffic was bad and that caused you to be late. Using excuses to get out of your responsibilities. It is easier to use an excuse to blame your lack of responsibilities rather than to accept responsibility for your own poor decisions and choices. If we are accused of trying to get out of something then we call them reasons but they still end up being excuses. Giving your word, making a promise or telling someone this is what you will do then you have just committed yourself to it. It requires your commitment. The Bible says that if you give your word or if you swear or promise that you are to fulfill it to your own harm, discomfort, pain, suffering or loss of any kind. Failure to do so means that WHATEVER you say doesn't mean a thing and carries NO VALUE! That makes it hard to stand on the Word of God, recite scriptures and make declarations if your word means nothing. Committed Christians are determined Christians. Determined Christians don't make excuses!
Casual friends are those who you can hang out with verses being alone. But they aren't necessarily those real close friends who are willing to stand by you through thick and thin because they know and care for the real you. Real friends and casual friends are NOT those you count as "friends" on Facebook whom you have never met face to face or are "friends" of other "Friends" on Facebook. Most of them on Facebook are at best acquaintances or more than likely this side of total strangers. We compromise for the sake of friendships, work, religion, and school and we compromise in the name of tolerance and diversity. When you compromise you always settle for something much less than what God has for you. Settling for good instead of great. You cannot afford to compromise by trying to fit in or get along in today's world and still be a Christian. Popularity is always based on what a group or society determines is popular, not what is right or wrong or even what is best for you. What is popular is always changing to fit the selfish reasons and lifestyles of the group or society. A popular group can be associated with anything. From school to work, church, men's or women's clubs, the gang at the local bar, dart or pool groups, motorcycle club or car clubsect Most of the time, but not always, if you want to be part of the group you have to compromise something up to everything. You have to ask yourself how much is it going to cost me and is it worth joining a group? Some yes, some no and some groups you should avoid at all costs. Determined Christians don't compromise their principles or beliefs!
Jesus is our example. Jesus was determined. Jesus never worried, feared man, fretted, panicked, blew up or compromised. The group that He belonged to was the one He formed. Jesus was always in control. The assurance that He had of who He was, who the Father and the Holy Spirit are and who they were together brought peace and comfort to Him. Knowing that the Father was always there with Him. God expects His children to stand out. Jesus was an ordinary looking man, but everywhere Jesus went people would gather and follow Him. Jesus always stood out. God wants determined Christians who will stand out. To be determined means that you are committed, dedicated, unstoppable, and unwavering. Someone who is determined not to compromise, not to give in and not to give up. Determined not to limit God in any way. Determined not to be influenced by your surroundings. Determined not to hinder the workings of the Holy Spirit. But being determined to spend time with the Father. Being determined to study the Word. Being determined to grow in your daily walk with the Lord. Being determined to hear the Lord's voice. Being determined to be totally obedient to the Lord. Being determined to speak out with boldness, courage and conviction. Being determined to be a blessing. Being determined to step out, step up and step in. Being determined to be the Christ-like influence on your surroundings everyday. Being determined to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit! Being determined to lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Being determined to cast out demons in Jesus name. Being determined to be the powerful Christian that God has predestined you to be! To become a determined Christian you must "see" yourself as a determined Christian! Next you must declare and proclaim that you are a determined Christian who keeps your word. Walk in the power and the determination for the Lord!
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