THE AGE OF CHANGE AND DISTRACTIONS

Is it harder to be a Christian today than 100 years ago? People lived 1000s of years but only 100 plus years ago things started to really change. In 1903 the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane, for 12 seconds. In 1908 Ford built the Model T car. My grandparents moved from North Carolina to Oklahoma for a few years and then to Oregon by covered wagon. As a child I lived on a small farm with no indoor plumbing or electricity. In the world, at that time, there were still some people living in caves, tents, tepees, huts and lento houses.

When I was a child it was unusual for anyone to live past 70. Most died in their early 60s. Telephones and radios were rare and there were few TVs prior to 1950. Families, during my grandparent’s time, had many times up to ten children. Many lived and worked on farms. Probably not more than ten percent had a high school education. With the exception of teachers, doctors and a few others very few had a college education. Most families had a religious background and had respect for each other and their neighbors. Most leaders were respected and held in high esteem. Businesses had few regulations and anyone could start a business with hardly any red tape. Democrats were a little left of center and Republicans were a little right of center. It wasn’t too difficult to reach agreements. Politics did their thing and they had little apparent effect on the general public. Schools taught morality and there were times when Scripture was used in teaching. There were no public unions or teacher unions. There was no such thing as political correctness.

There is no need to point out the differences today because we are well aware of the many changes. For example, there are 5.6 billion cell phones in use. The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and it was invented in March 1876. There were not too many phones in use 100 years ago.

With all of the changes and distractions is it any easier or harder to live a Christian life now? What would it be like living a Christian life if everything we have today was discovered 2000 years ago? What would people’s morality and spirituality be like? Do you think the world would still exist or would we have destroyed ourselves? Can you see what all of the recent changes and distractions have done to people’s religious beliefs?

We have a God that foresaw everything that would happen. There have always been distractions causing man to rebel against God. The Old Testament history tells of the Israelites worshipping false gods and denying God. Man’s self-centered nature is such that we are selfish and concerned more about what is most pleasurable to us. We see God wanting to restrict what we think and what we do. We do not want anyone watching or supervising, telling us what to do. We do not like, as a whole, restrictions.

But God knew, in His infinite wisdom, that man could not live like he was created, to be on his own. He would need help. Therefore, He sent His Son to be crucified for our sins and our salvation. His ultimate plan was to provide us with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. To receive His Spirit, man was required to accept Christ as his Savior and be committed to worshipping God. That meant repenting and changing the way man was living.

John 14:16 – 17 – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 16:5 – 7 – “but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

Unless Jesus died there would be no gospel or Holy Spirit available. Thus, the Spirit of God was available to reside within the heart of every believer because of Christ’s actions. The Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sins; reveal God’s standards and requirements and to be our councilor and give us guidance throughout our lives.

The Holy Spirit is with us to help us navigate all the changes and distractions that hinder us from living the life Christ exemplified. He is with us to change our nature from being self-centered to Christ-centered. He is with us that we might receive the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22 – 23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” He is with us giving us confirmation that we have been sealed and guaranteed to become a child of God.

A problem too many Christians have is they are either unaware of the Holy Spirit in their lives or they ignore Him. If that is you, this is what you are missing:

  • Ephesians 1:13 – The Holy Spirit will mark you with a seal to guarantee your redemption and salvation.
  • Hebrews 2:4 – The Holy Spirit will give us signs, wonders, various miracles and gifts. If we have seriously surrendered our lives to Christ the Holy Spirit will make us aware that He is with us.
  • II Timothy 1:13 & 14 – The Holy Spirit will help you live a holy life by giving you faith and love in Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 12:12 – The Holy Spirit will tell us what to say.
  • Acts 1:8 – We shall receive power from the Holy Spirit.
  • John 14:26 – The counselor, the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of what Jesus taught.
  • Acts 13:12 – The Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit and give us directions and where to go.
  • Acts 20:23 – The Holy Spirit will warn us of potential problems.

If you truly have the Holy Spirit in your life and you allow Him to guide you, He will get you through every change and distraction that comes. God wants what is best for you and that is what the Holy Spirit will allow you to have if you are surrendered and submissive.

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