I already see a slew of people (who will never say a word) quietly grumbling on this post "What a Pharisee" as I write this, not knowing what a true Pharisee really is (more of that in a moment). Christians, we have a major problem. And the Major problem stems from a tiny one. Or rather, several tiny ones. We have allowed "it's not a big deal" (or phrases like it) to dominate our walk with Christ. I'm not speaking to "you guys" (as the southern California lingo goes), or Ya'll (as we say in the south), I'm talking to me as well. If we had a drip in a pipe, we'd fix it. If we didn't, that pipe would open up and cause much larger problems. Then why don't we do it in our walk with Jesus? With our entertainment, we say "it's just a movie," or "it's just a song," all the while teaching our children and those who watch us (yes, we are watched) compromise by our example. We allow phrases that sound biblical but aren't to creep in, all while our alone time with God is compromised by cell phone interruptions, social media, and just general business. In general, if we were to look at our own lives from the outside in, would it be one of small, tiny, but constant compromise, or a life completely and utterly given over to the God of the Universe? When it all comes down to it, it's not the mighty things that destroy us (though at times they become the straw that broke the camel's back, as it were), it's a build up of several small things that, alone are not a big deal, but are ultimately the leaks that cause the flood. I don't want my kids to use my compromise as an example, I don't want the church that God has tasked me with to see my compromise. I want to be all in for Jesus. I want to give Him all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. I guarantee that everything I do will, then, be enriched and made better. People will tease me, even try and destroy my example; they asked Moses to place a veil over his face when he was transformed by being in God's presence, killed prophets, and nailed Jesus to a tree (let's not get started on what happened to His apostles and countless followers since). I want a life uncompromised; I want everything I do to be for Jesus. Then, even should storms come, I will have contentment in all things, for He will be my only source of peace and comfort. From Hebrews 10: 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. From Romans 12: A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Gifts of Grace
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. From Romans 14 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.