Imperfect Christians

All Christians are just regular, normal, average people
(just like you) and all people will let you down at one time or another. Christians are NOT perfectly good people; they are all sinners. Christians try to do good, but being imperfect they make mistakes and fail; but they try to be aware of their shortcomings and their sins. They pray to God for strength, direction, for God’s grace and forgiveness.




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Misconceptions About Christians

Christians are not perfect!

Forgive me God for doing the evil I do not want to do
and forgive me for not doing the good I want to do.

Romans 7:19 NIV

Christians by Maya Angelou



Self Righteousness

Are Christians self righteous and judgmental? Unfortunately we all are to some degree! Most try not to be, but Christian’s may not even realize that in your eyes they are self righteous and judgmental!

“Do not be confident of your own righteousness
and look down on other people.”

Luke 18:9 NIV

Jesus said to them, “ If any one of you is without sin,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7 NIV

If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:8-9 NIV


No one is Righteous Romans 4:9-19





Judgmental

“Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use,
it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
- Matthew 7:1-3 NIV

Are you not going to church because you are being self-righteous?
You don’t need to go because....

Are you not going to church because you are being judgmental?
Have you already judged the people in church?

What do you believe in? Who is in charge?
You or God?

Is your life full of worry or love?
If you need unconditional everlasting love; look to God.

What is the most important powerful force in your life?
Your family, your job, money, or God?

What do you think about?
Where do you spend your time?
Where do you spend your money?

In a Justice Courtroom would there be enough evidence and proof
to "convict" you as a Christian?




People are usually compelled to go to church
from one of these 3 categories:

1. Some people have always been drawn to God and have always gone to church all of their lives, it just seems normal, routine, the way they were brought up, just part of their habit; they are blessed.

Some people are drawn to God through a tragedy.

When Bad Things Happen To Good People
by Harold Kushner

2. Why is there so much suffering in this world? Why do wicked people prosper and bad things happen to good people? How could God allow these bad things happen? Harold S. Kushner addresses these and many more questions in his book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People. I do not agree with some of the author’s theology, which is not important. What is important is that Harold Kushner makes you think! We all need to reevaluate our faith. This book actually pushes you into the “deeper waters” of faith; and some of these waters are “deeply troubled waters.”

3. Some people are so disgusted with their lives; hurting themselves and the ones they love, feeling alone and abandoned they look to God.

I come from group 3
- Osten




Why do people not want to go to church?

Because of Christians acting badly.

· People will be judgmental.

· People will be hypocritical.

· That it will be boring.



When Bad Christians Happen To Good People
by Dave Burchett

Church is not a courtroom
to judge sinners.

Church is not a social club for saints.

Church is a hospital to heal sinners.



“I can clearly see that what the Church needs today is the ability to heal wounds and warm the hearts of faithful, it needs to be by their side. I see the Church as a field hospital after a battle. It’s pointless to ask a seriously injured patient whether his cholesterol or blood sugar levels are high! It’s his wounds that need to be healed. The rest we can talk about later. Now we must think about treating those wounds. And we need to start from the bottom.” - Pope Francis Vatican Insider September 25, 2015

Christians are not perfect...
but they are forgiven!





A Warning for Christians

21-23"Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'
Matthew 7:21-23 The Message



Judgmental

How can we aspire to live by a higher Christian standard to be “Christ” like? How do we pursue a higher plateau of higher principles, values and ethics, and not be looking down at other people judging them? What will other people perceive when we try to attain these high values?

How can we hold ourselves to a higher standard and not belittle people who don’t share the same Christian values we have?

Living by a self-imposed higher standard and not being judgmental is as thin as a razors edge. It is a tough balance to be “Christ” like.



As fallible human beings, how can we be “Christ” like and be good examples and role models for others. How can we be good Christians and by our example people will recognize us by our love as disciples of Christ and will be drawn toward Christ?



Don’t be too hard on the person who sins,
For the yardstick you lay on another
May someday be used as a measure for you;
Oh, be gracious and judge not, my brother!


Let me not judge my fellowmen,
But understand them, Lord, and when
The casting of stones begins,
Remind me of my many sins.

R.W. DeHaan

“If you are looking for faults to correct...
try looking in the mirror!”




Anyway

(Adapted from a prayer inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s
Children’s Home in Calcutta.)


People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered:
We will forgive them anyway.
If we are kind, people may accuse us of selfish ulterior motives.
We will be kind anyway.
What we spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
We will build anyway.
The good we do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
We will do good anyway.
If we give the world the best we have, it may never be enough.
We will give the world the best we have anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between us and God;
it is never between us and them anyway.


(Adapted from a prayer inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s
Children’s Home in Calcutta.)
Call to Worship at Arapaho United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 7, 2011.




Christ has no body now on earth but ours. Ours are the only hands which he can do his work. Ours are the only feet with which he can go about in the world. Christ has no body on earth but ours.
(Adapted from a Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila
Words of Assurance Arapaho United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 7, 2011




God provides moments of transformation, sacred times when we sense the cleansing power of the Spirit restoring life and energy. We are even now being changed, lifted up from one degree of glory to another. Believe the Good News. Live it! Do not lose heart but embrace your ministry, by the Grace of God.
Words of Assurance Arapaho United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 7, 2011





Christians

A Poem by Maya Angelou

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.”

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’” I’m whispering “I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.”

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I don’t speak with pride.

I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.

I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect.

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I’m worth it.

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I can call upon His name.

When I say… ”I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow.

Pretty is as Pretty does… but Beautiful is just plain Beautiful!

55 quotes and quotations by Maya Angelou and Biography of Maya Angelou





Cross In My Pocket

I carry a cross in my pocket.
A simple reminder to me
Of the fact that I am a Christian
No matter where I may be.
This little cross is not magic
Nor is it a good luck charm.
It isn’t meant to protect me
From everyday physical harm

It’s is not for identification
For all the world to see.
It is simply an understanding
Between my Savior and me.

When I put my hand in my pocket
To bring out a coin or key,
The cross is there to remind me
Of the price He paid for me.

It reminds me too, to be thankful
For my blessings day by day.
And to strive to serve him better
In all that I do and say.

It’s also a daily reminder
Of the peace and comfort I share
With all who know my Master
And give themselves to his care.

So, I carry a cross in my pocket
Reminding no one but me
That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life
If only I’ll let him be.




Modern Day Pharisees

Every time we stick our nose up in the air in arrogance at other people;
we may look righteous, like we are looking up to heaven,
but God is not fooled. God knows our hearts.

If we claim we are without sin; we deceive ourselves,
we are modern day Pharisees.

Every time we look down upon people
and place ourselves on a self-righteous pedestal;

and Every time we do not see the value
in each man, woman, or child we are modern day Pharisees.

Every time we think we do more than others,
Every time we think our gifts and talents
are greater than others;

Every time we are prideful, our gifts, our sacrifices
are not acceptable to God.

Every time our pride comes before God;
we are modern day Pharisees.

Every time we ask Christ, “Who is the Greatest?”
Every time we want to have the greatest
most important seat at the table;

Every time we want to wrap ourselves in robes of glory
before others; we are modern day Pharisees.

Every time we treat fellow believers or non-believers with harsh,
judgmental, vindictive words we are not followers of God’s WORD.

Every time we do not encourage and support fellow believers
in their ministry and their mission;
we are modern day Pharisees.

Help us dear Lord to be your people. You taught us to “love one another as Jesus Christ loved us.” When you washed your disciples feet you showed us that there is no greater love than to love one another and to be a servant to one another. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, to save us from our sins. Help us dear Lord, to give ourselves to you and to others as a holy living sacrifice for your Glory; not ours. Let us always remember that every time we approach God; we come to God with empty hands.

Amen

Osten



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Closing Prayer

St. Ignatius of Loyola Prayer

"Dearest Lord,
teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight, and not to heed the wounds;
to labor, and not to seek to rest;
to give of myself and not to ask for reward,
except the reward of knowing that I am doing your will."





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