Without a strong connection with your Creator, the suffering is real. Nothing can offer ongoing relief for your inner angst, but reconciliation with God.
Taste tests are popular ways of promoting food or drink products. In a taste test, a company goes beyond merely talking about its products and instead offers samples for people to taste.
Trying to describe the taste of something to someone who has never tasted it, is very hard to do. That’s why ice cream and yogurt shops give you samples on tiny spoons.
Perhaps it is time that we go beyond religion and theology, and begin to offer people a theism taste test. (Theism is belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.) The Bible puts it this way: “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8).
The Salvation Army and some other Christian denominations have a tradition of offering people a taste test at the end of worship meetings. We invite people to come to the “altar” or “mercy seat” and to experience (taste) God for themselves. However, in much of what we do during the the rest of church meetings, we try to explain God theologically to people’s minds.
Perhaps we can create more opportunities for people to actually “taste and see that the Lord is good.” But how?
1) Make sure that you have tasted God for yourself and aren’t just basing your belief in Him (your theism) on head knowledge and/or on your religious background. It’s hard to promote something that you, yourself, aren’t tasting and enjoying.
2) Offer to pray for someone on the spot. When you pray a spontaneous, heart-felt prayer over a person, he/she can get an actual taste of God’s presence. Many times I’ve seen tears run down people’s faces as I have prayed with them.
3) Encourage people to read the Bible for themselves and to obey it. Let them share something with you that they got from their own Bible reading.
4) Encourage people to listen to what God is saying in their heart and then to say and/or do what He tells them. Ask them to share with you something they have heard from God. If they realize that they haven’t heard anything from God, then offer to listen to God with them and then share with them what God tells you for them.
5) Taste and experience God in a Christ led support group based on 1 Corinthians 14:26. Learn more about the theism taste test and Christ-led support groups at this link. If you are ever in Nashville, visit the Christ-led support group that meets at The Salvation Army, 225 Berry St., 37207 on Sundays @ 10:45 am.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” –Romans 8:14
Learn to follow Jesus in the book “Beyond Church.”
Jesus warned that there would be false prophets — counterfeit Christianity. So how can we tell the difference between true and false Christianity? Jesus put it this way:”Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” –Matthew 7:15-17.
I believe that the fruit that Jesus is talking about is a person’s lifestyle, beliefs, and words. That fruit reveals whether a person is a Christ-follower or not.
We not only need to recognize false prophets, we need to avoid their influence. Otherwise, we can be led away from true Christianity. The Bible says: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” –2 Corinthians 13:5. We also need to examine the fruit in our own lives and see if we are “in the faith” or not? In an environment of false prophets, it is very easy to be misled and deceived. Does your life show forth the fruit of true Christianity?
Christianity is a day-to-day surrendering of your will to the living Savior; not a lifetime sequence of simply sitting through Sunday sermons. There’s no syllabus for salvation. Follow Jesus!
Doing my daily Bible reading, I saw Paul describe a Christ-led support group in Romans 1:11-12. He wrote: “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
1) Paul expressed a desire to “impart some spiritual gift” (not to present a systematic teaching); and
2) He desired to engage in mutual encouragement (community) not to be a 1-man authority. More @ this link.
There’s no syllabus for salvation.
A support group is an informal, interactive, participatory gathering of everyday people who openly and spontaneously share their concerns, issues, insights and experiences with one another so that they may encourage, comfort, and help each other to overcome problems, discouragements, frustrations, habits, addictions, etc. Support groups are often focused on a particular issue, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, etc.
A Christ-led support group is focused on being directed and guided by the living, resurrected Jesus. People meet to listen to Jesus speak in their heart and then say or do what He tells them to. The original instructions for Christ-led support groups were written by Paul of Tarsus: “When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to build each other up.” –1 Corinthians 14:26 (WEB)
Some benefits of participating in a Christ-led support group include:
Here’s a link to learn more about Christ-led support groups.
To experience a Christ-led support group in person, visit the one that meets at The Salvation Army, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207 on Sunday mornings at 10:45. Click here for a link to our Facebook page.
Mother Teresa traced the tracks of Christ with her feet and while doing so she transformed her life and the life of countless others. Now the Catholic Church has officially called her a saint.
The truth is: All genuine Christ-followers are saints. Everyone who traces the tracks of Jesus with their feet and lives out Christ’s lifestyle is a saint. Saints are normal Christians. If anyone claims to follow Christ but isn’t saintly (Christ-like), then they are subnormal.
Jesus gave the world a new normal. Now He calls all His followers to trace His tracks and to live like He lived. Mother Teresa did. Will you?
Here are a few of her quotes: