Acting like a saint don't make us one.
Many of us have been going to church for as far back as we can remember. We have seen and been part of religious activities that it has become the norm and nothing more. "I must go to church every Sabbath (Saturday or Sunday), I cannot miss bible study or prayer meeting." Attending church is part of our duty as believers so we can give thanks to God in a collective manner, encourage each other in the faith (iron sharpens iron) and to hear the word of God; equipping ourselves to be true disciples in order to go out in the world and tell the good news of the gospel to others.
Regular church attendance is no immunity for sin and will not stop you from being tempted by the evil one. Being a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, deacon or church cleaner are all roles that need to be filled in order to make the church operate effectively but being good and doing good deeds will not bring you closer to God. Your pastor cannot save you nor can the officers of the church save you. You have to come to know Him for yourself. You need a personal relationship with God in order for you to grow spiritually. Therefore, the coming together for worship, prayer and bible study is important.
Prayer alone will not bring results or help fellow believers. Though some answers are immediate, others require patience, therefore the person in the waiting seat needs encouragement from fellow believers who have been there before and can offer practical advice as well. Being obedient to His call and being willing to go where He leads is therefore essential in contributing to the results of most prayers/ answers.
Often we hide behind prayer in order not to get our hands dirty. It is good to pray and for some of us that is our part to play but for others who have experience the hurt and pain; joy and happiness or highs and lows, it is an opportunity not just to pray but also to share.
Share an experience, share a testimony tell your fellow believer why his or her prayers will be answered or why you have such joy and believe in your heart, that it will be alright.
Encourage them to continue praying and believing God will deliver them. This is the perfect opportunity to share God's love with other believers who are going through a trying time and non-believers alike. Maya Angelou in her poem 'Christians', says:
'When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow.'
Once you receive results don't keep it to yourself, it is time to share with others; to tell of His love and grace. Be a true disciple for Christ. Don't look down on others thinking you are holier than they are because they don't show up to church as regular as you or don't part-take in activities like you do, for being a Christian has nothing to do with religion.
Copyright 2005 J. S. Ramkissoon
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.
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