We are what we repeatedly do… 3 actions that will help you be who you say you are

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Apparently, I’m a “legit” Duck fan…

At least according to Twitter…which just added me to the list of “Legit Duck Fans.”

If you know me at all, you know that I love my sports…

And I love my Ducks!

So, I guess that Twitter got it right…I’m legit.

This whole legit-Duck-fan thing got me thinking…

Am I a “legit” Christian?

(Can I even use “legit” and “Christian” in the same sentence?  It almost sounds sacrilegious…)

What is a Christian, anyway?

How would you answer that question?

I was reminded last week that we are what we repeatedly do, which must mean that if we are Christians we should be repeatedly doing something to make us who we are.

Or, to put it a different way…

For Christians, it’s more about what we DO and less about what we SAY.

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Actions do speak louder than words, especially if you say you’re one thing but you’re actions say you’re not.

So, what actions say that you’re a Christian?

What things should we repeatedly be doing to make us “legit?”

Let me give you three actions that will help you be who you say you are:

Connect with God.

Some ways that you can regularly connect with God include: prayer, silence/meditation, & enjoying His creation.

Connect with Scripture.

Read it.  Listen to it.  Think about it.  Study it.  Memorize it.  Live it…

Every day.

Connect with Christians.

You can find opportunities to regularly connect in a church, small group, or even Bible studies at school or work.

Just don’t underestimate the importance of being connected with other people who are trying to follow Jesus with you…

We are all part of a body, and we need each other.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

We also are what we repeatedly do, so…

Don’t just tell people that you are a Christian, show them Jesus.

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?  (James 2:14)

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What God Says in Silence

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Silence is dead.

The constant noise of everyday life fills our minds…and our hearts.

The noise keeps us up at night with minds that won’t shut off.

It wakes us up in the morning with the sound of an alarm.

It distracts us with the ringtones, notification alerts, & vibrations of our cell phones.

It numbs us with social media.

It demands our attention with deadlines & to-do-lists.

It screams at us in the form of expectations, worry, & fear.

It fills the empty spaces of our days with busyness & restlessness.

Silence is dead…and noise is its killer.

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God created us to need silence.

In silence, He reminds us that He is God.

In silence, He gives us strength for the day.

In silence, He gives us hope for the future.

In silence, He encourages us to keep going.

In silence, He comforts us in our fears.

In silence, He speaks words of wisdom to our minds & hearts.

In silence, He gives us rest.

When was the last time you were truly silent?

When was the last time you sat quietly with God?

Don’t underestimate the need for silence in your life…

Let God help you turn down all the noise.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress.

Psalm 46:10-11 (NLT)

When You’re Running on Empty, God says…

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You know the feeling…

That feeling of running on empty when your tank’s got nothing left.

You feel weary.

Worn out.

Tired.

Weak.

Done.

When you’re running on empty, God says…

“I am your strength.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“I am your peace.”  (Philippians 4:6-7)

“I am your rock.”  (Psalms 62:5-8)

“I am your shield.”  (Psalms 18:1-2)

“I am your comfort.”  (2 Corinthians 1:2-4)

“I am your hope.”  (Psalms 42:5)

“I am your deliverer… (Psalms 40:16-17)

… and, I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

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Running on empty is part of life…part of living every day in a fallen, broken world.

But, you don’t have to stay living on empty forever.

God promises to meet you in your emptiness and fill you up.

The problem for us is that we tend to look for other people or other things to fill our emptiness…and that only leads to disappointment, discontent, and more emptiness.

If you’re tired of chasing after things that are leaving you feeling more empty, stop running.

And let God fill you up.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (Jesus in John 10:10)

Playing Chess with God

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Strategy.

When you sit down and face someone over a game of Chess, you better have a strategy.

When you go to war playing Clash of Clans on your smartphone, you better have a plan.

Will you attack?

Are you about to be attacked?

What’s your next move?

Jesus knew all about strategy and planning when He said…

“…what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.”  (Luke 14:31-32)

Jesus tells us in this little story that there’s a king with 10,000 soldiers who is about to be attacked by another king with 20,000 soldiers…

Oh and by the way, you’re the king with 10,000.

What do you do?  What’s your next move?

Well, hopefully you sit down and think about whether or not your army of 10,000 can beat the other king’s army of 20,000.

And if not?

You start negotiating terms of peace.

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We have two options when it comes to facing God.

The first option is that we can choose to live our lives our way and do our best to take our stand against Him.

The second option is that we can seek terms of peace with Him.

Either way, we have to count the cost of our decision.

We can choose to live our lives our way, stand up against Him, and pay for it ourselves forever.  Or, we can choose to follow Jesus and accept His payment for peace…no matter what it ends up costing us in this life.

We can claim ownership over our lives now and take our chances with God later.  Or, we can give up everything for God now and go into eternity knowing that we’re on His side.

God wins…and we win too.

In the end, it all comes down to what we value the most.

Do we value control, our own comfort, and convenience?
Or, do we value things like sacrifice, service, and surrendering ourselves to others?

What’s your strategy when it comes to facing God?

What choice are you going to make?

It’s your move…

“If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”  (Jesus in Luke 9:24)