By Greg Silverthorne
As expressed in Part 1 (link) “a Christian, one who is fervently and effectually faithful, must do more than just worship the Lord two hours on Sunday morning”.
There are 6 Potent Pillars that anchor a person who is ‘Real’ in their Christian life. The first three of these Pillars were explored in the prior post, namely:
- Your PRIORITIES: Put God First, Everyday!
- Your PATH: Be an Effectual Faith Walker
- Your POWER: Be Strong, Be Sanctified
- This post will explore the last 3 of these Potent Pillars.
- This is, by the way, the 400th post for this blog, 66 Assurance Way!
Your living ‘what PAUL wrote’ (New Testament)
Philippians 3:14 (NIV)
- I smiled as my Pastor (who I quote in the next Pillar) gave a spirited Sermon last Sunday on 3 verses from the New Testament that I love! The topic of the Sermon: “When God Uses a Problem To Bring Out Our Best”. Based on 2 Corinthians 12: 8 – 10, he explored the meaning of these three familiar verses. He, as well, had us wonder how much different Paul’s life might have been if God had removed ‘the thorn in his flesh’ quickly. We can only imagine. The ‘best’ in the prolific Apostle might never have been revealed or written; 13 books of the New Testament are widely believed to have been penned by Paul.
- God, my Pastor expressed, used the problems that Paul faced and endured to bring out the best in him.
God’s grace is sufficient. He’s perfect when we are weakest. The whole chapter (2 Corinthians 12) gives us a sense of how Paul lived his life. It, and the book of Philippians, give a Christian a rich sense of what Christian life ought to be.
- SCRIPTURE for this Pillar: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Galatians 6:7-9; Philippians 3:20 (NIV)
What Joe blogs, What Paul wrote
As I stated in “Faith in Action: Joe Quatrone, Jr. (Christian Stories)“:
An accident which could have ended the life of Joe Quatrone, Jr., ended up being the beginning of a life of Ministry and Christian service. The prayers and faith of Joe, his parents, and his church family helped fuel the story he details in his heart-felt testimony. In over a year of blogging, it’s surely one of the most extraordinary Christian stories I’ve ever read.
Quatrone’s blogs on Paul are informative and inspiring!
- As I expressed in the post cited above profiling him, I firmly believe that God had a plan for him. If he didn’t save him from that accident, who was going to carry out that plan? Every ‘called’ Christian blogger, minister, and Pastor is fulfilling, in some way, a plan that God has drafted for them. Each has a unique set of God-given gifts which are reflected in what they do.
- As I spoke with Joe about the words he’d use to describe Paul, Quatrone said:
“Apostle of and to the Gentiles”.
Paul’s impact on the churches of the day, and the Bible’s New Testament, is beyond dispute. What Joe (Quatrone) blogs about -‘what Paul wrote’- stands as well-researched, heart-felt posts for anyone who wants to be well informed on this Great Apostle.
I showcase two posts from Pastor Joe Quatrone Jr’s blog now. I’ll reblog in a few days another post from his fine blog.
- In “Living in the Future Tense” (Philippians 3:17–21), he writes:
To be “spiritually minded” simply means to look at earth from heaven’s point of view . . . Christians have a dual citizenship—on earth and in heaven—and our citizenship in heaven ought to make us better people here on earth. The spiritually minded believer is not attracted by the “things” of this world. He makes his decisions on the basis of eternal values and not the passing fads of society.
- “Battle Stations!” (Philippians 1:27–30) captures beautifully what Paul wrote in the first chapter of his letter:
The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground.
As we face the enemy and depend on the Lord, He gives us all we need for the battle. When the enemy sees our God-given confidence, it makes him fear. The single mind enables us to have joy in the midst of battle because it produces in us consistency, cooperation, and confidence. We experience the joy of “spiritual teamwork” as we strive together for the faith of the Gospel.
‘Your PRAISE: On all days, to the Almighty
Dr. Rev. James A. Webster, Pastor, Oak Ridge First Baptist Church
These words, from my Pastor since 2007, speak well to the very personal nature of Praise. A vital part of Christian Living, the uniqueness of each Christian’s praise makes it quite different than Worship or Prayer. The song that sparked this whole Series lyrically expresses that another’s Praise is hard to understand or ‘figure out’. What is Praise? My definition, for the purpose of this post:
- Praise is expressed gratitude for God’s grace and goodness.
Can someone else praise for another Christian? No. While a Choir’s singing is an example of Praise (Group Praise), an individual (as Pastor Webster states) “can’t praise for someone else.” Praise can be expressed in many ways.
- Be it in Scripture (from the Bible), Spiritual Songs (‘joyful noise’), Sermons (from the pulpit), or Words (written or spoken), PRAISE goes well beyond your talks with Jesus and Bible verses.
- The focus of the next two posts in this Series is Praise; look for them later this month.
Our Heavenly Father is surely worthy to be Praised! I close with the final verse of the last book (150:6) of Psalms – and the 100th Psalm.
- Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6 (NKJV)
- 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 (NIV)
Your PROPER WORSHIP: Are You a ‘For Real’ Worshipper?
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:21-24 (NIV)
Just as important to a Real Christian as having Proper Priorities (the 1st Potent Pillar) is their regularly engaging in Proper Worship. Not all worship by saved children of God is real or proper. Real Worshippers are informed and transformed, they aren’t simply conformed. They are Christian Disciples, not just diligent churchgoers. Unlike the Praise that such faithful Christians offer to the Lord, Worship is a public, group-oriented aspect of one’s Christian life. It is church based. As a member of a church that the Holy Spirit has guided them to, Real Christians avoid being passive, unengaged Pew Parkers. They, after getting settled into a new church, are constructively engaged in at least one ministry. They are tithers as well. Lastly, those who hold to this Pillar, and the other five, ‘put on the full armor of God’. Written by the man (Paul) who is the source of the 4th Potent Pillar, the scripture in Ephesians 6 captures so well what those who are living a Real Christian life are all about.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)
Worship which is proper, which is ‘in spirit and in truth’, is critical to every abiding Christian’s Walk. During one’s life, you’ll be in Spiritual Warfare from time to time. Having God’s full armor will allow you to endure and walk with Confidence! Strive to be a fully-armored, Real Worshipper.
- In summary, the 6 Potent Pillars of Real Christian Living are:
1) Your PRIORITIES: Put God First, Everyday! 2) Your PATH: Be an Effectual Faith Walker 3) Your POWER: Be Strong, Be Sanctified 4) Your living ‘what PAUL wrote’ (New Testament) 5) Your PRAISE: On all days, to the Almighty 6) Your PROPER WORSHIP: Are You a ‘For Real’ Worshipper?
Keep Walking. Keep Praising. Keep it Real!
Grace, mercy, and Peace to you.
Apostle Paul (Westminster Cathedral mosaic) – Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P./Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Howard Univ. Gospel Choir – Adam Fagen/flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Cross – iStock