***Heads up – stream of consciousness writing follows today.***

I have the privilege of being surrounded by faithful men in many walks of my life.  As I write this, I just got home from spending a few hours together with many of these men studying the Word of God.  How easy it is to share your faith in such a setting.

It is supportive.

It is loving.

It is reassuring.

It is easy.

But did Christ call us to walk the easy path?

During the course of our conversation tonight, we explored the concept of being beyond reproach.

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.

1 Timothy 3:2

This passage is considered to be the requirements for a position of leadership within the church, but I believe it to be an instruction for all men, as overseers of our families and leaders within society.  Now you might say that you’re not a leader and don’t aspire to be.  Are we not called to help lead others to Christ?  To point the way and serve Him by fulfilling the command to go forth and make disciples?  Does that not make you a leader of a sort?  

Do I portray myself to lost souls beyond reproach?  Am I living in the world or am I living as Christ’s ambassador in the world?

I find myself questioning if I had let Christ work through me on others as much as I could.  I try to show and act with love toward others, but in every circumstance?  Do I do everything to fight injustice and to show mercy as He has directed?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

If I did not answer “no” I would be lying to myself.  I can do better.  I must do better.

So, back to one of my original questions – did Christ call us to walk the easy path?  We know His burden is light as becoming obedient to Him and the Father is to free ourselves of the debt and consequences of sin.  But we also are told that we will face trials, temptations, persecution, ridicule, and rejection.  None of that is easy.  I think we are to live our lives for Christ without regret, without fear, with love, with honor, and with faith overflowing.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:14-25

Where am I going with this?  Simple, I have faith.  I firmly believe that Jesus Christ came to Earth fully God and fully human, was crucified, rose from the grave, and ascended into Heaven.  I believe that the Father and Son love me so much as to not just forgive my sin, but to completely wipe it out.  Why should I fear living openly for Him so that others might see His glory and faithfulness to me? Will He not arm me for whatever battle I may face in life?

FDR had it right when he said “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

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